As digital plays a growing role in travel services, organizations are struggling to contain the multiple channels and personalization delivery expectations that come with it. While some are consolidating efforts to integrate in-air and on-ground, others are going the extra mile, connecting all their services and people with a digital backbone -such as contact centers. Ultimately, as ‘customer experience’ becomes the heart of all service offerings, contact centers will have to upgrade to digital contact centers.
Leading this transition are the integrated IT-BPO players, as they seamlessly manage process, people and information, giving rise to what we call ‘Digital Contact Centers’. Digital and the upsurge of self-service, contrary to belief, is not the death knell of the contact centers but rather gives them new role and scope. It’s important to understand that traveller interactions today can begin on one channel and then migrate onto others. For Ex: a traveller may consult the app for timely notifications on his flight, but if that flight gets cancelled, he’ll want to be connected with a human and resolve his issues. Therefore building a seamless, omni-channel expertise is crucial in the “connected travel” age.
By going digital, travel providers can deliver consistently strong experiences across channels seamlessly. To achieve this one needs to unify voice, non-voice, agent-assisted and technology-assisted channels under one system.
Digital contact centers new role will be that of an engagement center with its main function as an omni-channel provider enabled by an analytics-driven architecture for smarter decisions. Defining the new generation of Digital Contact Centers:
- From Contact Center to Customer Engagement Center
- Omni-channel expertise
- Domain-specific skills and process solutions
- Unified analytics
1)From Contact Center to Customer Engagement Center: Full channel integration (i.e. omnichannel capability) is set to triple within the next two years.*. Therefore, contact centers can no longer be just a one-trick pony. Travel Service Providers that understand the growing need to engage the connected travellers across a multitude of channels, are thereby bringing contact center to the forefront of customer experiences. Not surprisingly, it has also emerged as the number one trend affecting contact centers in 2016 (Deloitte 2016). Let’s look at the opportunities that the new age contact centers are aiming to deliver on:
- Seamless experience
- Connected information – social, mobile, digital channels
- Personalization enabled by analytics
- Optimized cross-sell and up-sell
Customer Experience will be a key differentiator:
- 82.5% of companies recognize Customer Experience as a competitive differentiator
- 77.5% recognise Customer experience as the most important strategic performance measure
- 77.0% can evidence cost savings via improved Customer experience
- Connected customer journeys, customer experience, and contact resolution top focus as most contact centers head to 9-channel option
- 50.2% rank analytics as #1 factor to reshape the industry in the next 5 years
2. Omni-channel Expertise: As mentioned earlier, the traveller journey on-ground and in-air works through multiple devices or channels – like self-service baggage drop or online check ins, mobile notifications, social tagging and ancillary push messages. When personalizing this journey, often there are gaps in managing the omni-channels seamlessly. Under a digital contact center service, all the channels are unified so that the information and insights are combined and routed to the right channel in real-time. Additionally providers can plan omni-channel personalization to provide differentiation.
Owning the experience across the multiple channels requires tools and technologies that leverage the right solution or service to the right person at the right time seamlessly. In particular implementing technology for resource and process efficiencies is key to attaining omni-channel experience. Owning the experience across the multiple channels requires tools and technologies that leverage the right solution or service to the right person at the right time seamlessly. In particular implementing technology for resource and process efficiencies is key to attaining omni-channel experience.
3. Analytics: Over the recent years, the gap between service delivery and traveller expectations has widened such that the need to analyze, predict behavior and plan real-time service offerings has made predictive analytics and automation an investment must. In the Travel BPO landscape, predictive analytics are the No.1 trend to intimately understand and scope out traveller expectations. By defining parameters, putting in place contact center analytics, one can develop a full picture of the customer journey mapping across devices, network and locations.
- 79.4% have no big picture view of interactions across service channels currently
- 50.2% rank analytics as #1 factor to reshape the industry in the next 5 years
Surprisingly, just 17.4% can locate problem hot spots that impact customer experience.
Having the big picture, a digital contact center can enable quick resolution of issues lowering operational costs and leverage seamless engagement opportunities with travellers to cross-sell /upsell and ultimately enhance customer experience creating loyalty and sustained profitability. Analysing omni-channel data across voice, online, SMS and smartphone app data to measure and improve the customers’ journey across all channels and services.
One needs integrated IT-BPO solutions that include a full spectrum of technologies like Mobility, Analytics and Automation with domain specific talent.
4.Domain driven skills and Process Solutions: Enabling technology across ranks, geography and teams will need process solutions that seamlessly integrate and can help pinpoint weaknesses or real value drivers, for smarter, quality decisions.
Leveraging Process Technology: As connected travel matures, travel organizations need quality migration paths towards digital, mobile and social. This is needed in 3 core functions – people, process and performance. Using cloud-based solution is recommended for multi-site environments. By building a process around service and analytics, it can route actions across multiple centers, based on resource skill and traveller need, in real-time, across predefined queues.
• People: Skill-based allocation to optimize resource utility and in-turn increase productivity.
• Process: Automating key processes for back-office productivity and comprehensive management.
• Performance: Benchmarking performance
IGT Solutions provides Integrated Contact Center solutions that effectively integrate within existing processes to seamlessly connect and personalize each touch-point of travel, operations and processes. When skill and technology come together, the efficiencies of both are incomparable.
Integration capability is set to triple from 22.4% to 74.6% in next two years.
IGT’s IT proficiency with Digital Contact Center solutions:
1) iQD, IGT’s back-office automation tool is an advanced and comprehensive queue management solution, that allows to dynamically manage high transaction volume periods and enables skill-based work allocation to agents, thereby increasing efficiency and productivity.
2) IGT analytical offerings like travel big data analytics, social media analytics, website and mobile analytics are specially geared towards to the Travel industry. By focusing on business intelligence across all contact center transactions, IGT optimizes an analysis portfolio that covers transactional insights for agent improvement areas, business intelligence for customer insights and business monitoring insights for process management in a unified format.
3) Integration: IGT leverages travel domain expertise and customer engagement experience to provide end-to-end social media capabilities, to set-up & manage, scale up and provide round-the-c lock social monitoring, in turn enabling the development of a comprehensive social media strategy.
In conclusion, Customer support is not simply just a BPO. It is a rather a big cog in the travel wheel and important to the company as a whole. The next generation of digital contact centers, will integrate to develop richer value and revenues streams. As a leading IT-BPO pioneer, IGT has extensive experience with Social Media Contact Center services, back end outsourcing and personalization solutions tailor-made for the Travel industry in transitioning to a digital ecosystem.