Good customer service is the result of the right attention to strategy, business processes, technology, and people management. This seven-post series focuses on customer service technology and explains the what, why, how, and when technology questions.

Part 1 reviewed the customer service technology ecosystem.

Part 2 reviewed the challenges caused by the complexity of this technology ecosystem.

Part 3 reviewed the tactical outcomes of poor customer service.

Part 4 focused on the ways that the customer service technology ecosystem is changing.

Part 5 categorized technologies based on their ecosystem maturity.

So what does this all mean?

Many companies are focusing on delivering differentiated customer service experiences to their customers. But enhancing the quality of service delivery is a really difficult proposition given the complexity of the contact center technology ecosystem. Here are five recommendations to help you out:

  • Align your customer service strategy with your enterprise customer experience strategy. You should align your customer service operations to support your company’s value proposition and brand to its customers. This alignment will determine the technologies you implement and how you measure success.
  • Partner with the right stakeholders in the organization to drive transformation. Many enterprises plan their investments in contact center infrastructure in a very conservative fashion due to the risk of disruption, downtime, and impact on customer satisfaction. Instead of simply managing a technology refresh, today’s competitive environment calls for a more transformative strategy. You need to build a shared set of customer experience goals with key business stakeholders such as the CIO and CMO. This will help customer service organizations drive more transformational projects.
  • Understand who your customers are and what they want to do with you. Today’s consumers use many communication channels and touchpoints to request customer service — and they also change rapidly. Make sure that you build a well-integrated multichannel architecture, backed by a solid foundation of knowledge management, to support these consumer demands.
  • Design a contact center infrastructure that supports business process changes. Complex contact center infrastructures based on disparate systems don’t support rapid and effective business process changes. The shift from best-of-breed components to integrated suites for multichannel contact centers is happening — make sure to choose technologies and vendors that will provide you with the necessary business agility to futureproof your business.
  • Don’t forget about your customer service agents. It is imperative to meet your customers’ needs — but don’t forget about your agents. Choose technologies that empower them with the information and content they need to communicate with your customers productively, effectively, and efficiently.

Check out our TechRadar™ report for more information about customer service technologies.

In my next blog post, I will focus on where to go from here.