We have been slow at Sytel to talk about CX strategies for our customers. Why? Well our job is to provide joined up, easy to use software which then allows our customers to provide whatever solutions they think are best for the targeted customers – hopefully, in the process, providing the best possible CX.
In the bad old days, not so long ago, too many call centers functioned in what we call Push Mode. Identify a bunch of consumers and deluge them with phone calls, emails, text messages and so on and hope that some would stick and bring in new customers. When technologies are new, customers and prospects can be easily seduced by this way of contacting them, and results are often excellent. Of course, it doesn't take a sage to realise that an untrammelled battering of your senses demanding that you buy, eventually doesn't work. Consumers just don't respond. Push Mode is still in fashion in some countries, especially those new to call center activities, but because of customer resistance, it doesn't have a great future. No great marks for CX here.
Today's technologies allow for manifold ways of interacting with customers and prospects, but these folks are now a wary lot. They have to be sought out, be it in social media, on company web sites and so on. When found, they then need to be persuaded to engage. A bit like a fisherman casting a fly for trout. Gently does it. We can call this Pull Mode. How best to lure the customer in whilst making the experience an enjoyable one and letting him know that he is in control? No wonder there is so much talk about CX strategies now.
How are call centers doing in Pull Mode? Much better than in the days of Push Mode, but still a way to go. Technology has raised its head again in the form of AI and chatbots and is telling call centers that consumers don't need to talk to real people. Think again. If you want to make a sale, nothing beats a human. Your blog writer spent half an hour today trying to buy a subscription to a major newspaper. Chatbot after chatbot. Information constantly having to be repeated. It was only sheer cussedness that made him last the course; not your typical consumer. If CX is to be more than just another marketing buzzword, call centers need to temper their bot activities when they have willing buyers in their grasp!