Enterprises of all sizes are keenly aware of the importance of customer service. However, the combination of rapid business transformation, the digitalization of experiences, and new customer expectations has created new challenges in their quest  to become truly customer-centric.

Business leaders are aware of these challenges. Forty-four per cent of purchase influencers across Asia-Pacific consider improving the customer experience to be one of their top priorities, and even a minor improvement to a brand’s customer experience quality can add revenue, according to research firm Forrester .

Key to this is end-to-end journey mapping.To enhance its CX strategy, an organization should focus on end-to-end customer journeys that seek to understand what drives satisfaction, loyalty and advocacy, according to research firm Gartner .

Achieving this starts with data. Organizations need to take ownership of the data that they are collecting from customers, and ensure that it is clean and accurate so that developers can work effectively with it. The data also needs to be unburdened by silos, to allow for organization to develop an end-to-end understanding of the customer.

In 2020, Twilio acquired customer data platform Segment to address this challenge for customers. The aim: Remove silos, which are the enemies of data and destroy customer relationships. This is most clear when looking at the contact center, which is often the first point of contact and ongoing interaction between customer and the organization.

To deliver an excellent CX strategy, the agents manning the contact center phones need to be able to instantly understand the customer and their complete history with the company.

Twilio’s research suggests that simply by putting relevant and contextual information at the fingertips of contact center agents, the subsequent personalized interactions result in a lowering of handle times by as much as 38 per cent, and a saving of 34 per cent on contact center operational expenses.

This was the experience of Lyft. One of the major ridesharing companies globally, Lyft tapped the Twilio Flex platform to ensure that it was providing both safety and trust at all touchpoints. It did this by focusing on one major area in particular: Communications.

Through Twilio Flex, Lyft was able to take a contact center system that was inefficient and displaying data across multiple platforms, and deliver an omnichannel solution with a single interface for data.

This platform allowed an agent to log in and begin receiving and managing contacts immediately from data provided through a single window. This meant shaving seconds off each contact, and over the course of a year and millions of interactions, massive savings for Lyft .

The contact center as a centre for operational excellence

Of the two priorities for delivering customer service excellence in 2022, Gartner wrote that improving operational excellence was one of them. “74 per cent of respondents say that creating a seamless customer journey across assisted and self-service channels is important,” the Gartner noted in its global survey of 4,000 customers.

The other priority is scale, and improving content and knowledge delivery. There is no better example of this than the story of Child Helpline International . As a non-profit with an absolutely critical mission – helping children survive mental and/or physical abuse – Child Helpline was facing severe challenges with scale. Its Zambian operations alone was unable to answer nearly one-third (30 per cent) of calls due to resourcing challenges.

Child Helpline turned to Tech Matters to implement a global solution, and Tech Matters turned to Twilio Flex to be the platform for its bespoke helpline solution, dubbed Aselo.

Aselo became a cloud-based, open-source modern contact center system that not only assisted the agents in fielding calls from children, but opened up an omnichannel approach that allowed children to contact the Helpline through platforms that were more comfortable to many of them, such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and SMS.

Regardless of the form of the contact, the children were able to have consistency of experience when interacting with an agent.

Furthermore, with Twilio Flex, the Helpline’s agents were able to start managing multiple conversations at the same time, further reducing the number of calls left unanswered. Through this platform, the Helpline was able to navigate an increase of call volumes by 50 per cent through COVID, and a total volume of calls of in excess of 100 million globally annually.

The four steps to redefining the contact center experience

Organizations that are looking to transform the contact center and, through that, deliver a deeper, customer-centric experience across the business, should keep four things in particular in mind:

  • The contact center is at the core of the customer service experience . The contact center needs seamless access to all customer data, and the goal should be to build the overall customer experience engagement strategy around the contact center, not make the contact center part of an overall strategy.
  • The cloud is an essential component of a decentralized environment. Having cloud-native applications that seamlessly link together and collate customer data for easy access is a core part of the modern customer experience.
  • The breadth of channels needs to be considered. Modern customers want to engage with companies on their own terms, and while this might mean a phone call, it will often be social media platforms and messaging applications. The modern contact center needs to facilitate, rather than resist this.
  • Data is king. How a contact center collects data and uses that to provide actionable insight back to the business that will allow it to become a critical asset to other lines of business, from marketing, right through to product development. It can give the leadership a comprehensive and complete picture of how customers are responding to the business.

Finding the right contact center solution can underpin a broader transformation journey that will allow the organization to redefine its customer experience, and benefit from deeper and real-time interactions with customers across all touchpoints.

Learn more from Twilio about how you can transform your customer experience.