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Addressing delivery and shipment enquiries during the supply chain squeeze

Neil
Neil Titcomb UKI Sales Director – Odigo

Whether you’re shipping Christmas food and presents to consumers or handling year-end orders for construction materials, the importance of excellent customer support is paramount. Now, with a supply chain crisis engulfing the European region businesses are experiencing a massive spike in customer support-related enquiries. This blog explores how Contact Centre as a Service (CCaaS) solutions can help companies address delivery and shipment enquiries during the supply chain squeeze.

Addressing

With supply chain disruption leading to delayed deliveries and price hikes, both wholesale and retail businesses are heading into the holiday season with big challenges to face when it comes to maintaining great customer experiences. How can a new approach in the contact centre help to keep customer satisfaction levels high while boosting brand reputation?

The holiday season in the UK is traditionally a boom period for all kinds of businesses from wholesale to retail, and the seasonal spike in purchases demands greater flexibility of systems. This is especially true of those that facilitate better communication with customers. 

Whether you’re shipping Christmas food and presents to consumers or handling year-end orders for construction materials, the importance of excellent customer support is paramount. Now, with a supply chain crisis engulfing the European region, and being intensified in the UK by Brexit, businesses across the sectors are experiencing a spike in shipment and delivery enquiries with the added headache of rising material costs at the wholesale side.

Integrating information from various suppliers in a changing environment demands a holistic approach to customer service. This begins in the contact centre, with businesses enhancing their ability to quickly and efficiently address delivery and shipment inquiries. Crucial things to consider in this context include: 

  • The ability to deliver incoming stock notifications to interested customers, 
  • Delivery updates, 
  • Proactive customer outreach to offer problem solving,
  • And keeping messaging across channels up to date to minimise confusion over supply and demand situations. 

Don’t forget that customers are already fed up with COVID being used as an excuse for bad service. Therefore, the last thing companies should do when faced with this next wave of disruptions is to rest on their laurels and brace to make another round of excuses.

How CCaaS can mitigate supply chain risk in the winter

Many businesses have been forced to devise or accelerate digital transformation plans due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This has led to an explosion in e-commerce and a concurrent reduction in physical touchpoints which has impacted a range of industries including manufacturing, construction & engineering and healthcare. Alongside these factors, and interconnected with them, supply chain problems mean that already disconnected customers are at an increased risk of disruptions and may struggle to access the kind of support they need when issues arise during a transaction. The rising burden of enquiries from this combination of factors added to by seasonal spikes is placing something of an unsustainable burden on customer service teams which must be addressed.

When it comes to customer service, Contact Centre as a Service (CCaaS) solutions are an increasingly attractive proposition to business leaders looking to address these customer service challenges. CCaaS solutions offer an integrated platform that, driven by the power of AI, can help businesses manage the flow of information by integrating with existing CRM and other third-party software to provide the best quality contextual information to agents. Meanwhile, the automation capabilities inherent within such platforms reduce the manual burden of data entry and retrieval for contact agents.

By adding missing functionalities to call centres, such as information analytics and multi-role bots, deflection strategies can be implemented and assessed to handle spikes in the volume of enquiries. The AI assist capabilities of CCaaS platforms can augment agents with next-step suggestions and real-time information so they can rapidly handle a greater number of delivery and shipment enquiries. This integrated up-to-date information can then be passed on to the consumer in the form of timely updates and greater transparency over pricing, delivery times and other key purchase considerations over the holiday season.

Optimising customer experiences during a seasonal spike 

Customers have grown used to demanding ever-quicker order fulfilment and real-time visibility over deliveries, so any company – whether B2B or B2C –  which can effectively optimise customer experiences (CX) along these journeys, and do so quickly, stands to win big. After all, the ability to offer excellent CX boosts the chance of repeat business. Furthermore, the associated reputational boost will be key in seeing businesses through the current supply chain crisis and lay the groundwork for success in the future.

There are stats to back up the importance of customer experiences, too. Salesforce estimates that around 57% of consumers think there is crucial change needed in contact centres. At the same time, customers are more willing to share a bad experience online than a good one. This creates a need for business leaders to enhance their contact centre offering if they’re to maintain both reputation and relevance amidst a more competitive landscape. 

CCaaS solutions can store and analyse customer data in such a way that calls can be routed intelligently. Personalisation strategies might redirect younger users to online channels or send them important updates via email or text, while those with a preference for more traditional interactions can be put straight through to a human agent. These strategies optimise the experience for all involved and with the benefit of automation can do so without an extra burden on contact centre agents. 

Though there are undoubtedly big concerns for business leaders to address in the coming months, from spiralling wholesale costs and the ebb and flow of a global pandemic to a more fiercely competitive landscape these issues should not come at the expense of greater customer service. Indeed, by investing in the contact centre to boost customer engagement, companies can mitigate or even overcome some of these issues by improving customer satisfaction, building brand reputation for repeat business and optimising communication, transparency and efficiency along the supply chain. 

Would you like to learn more about how CCaaS can help address customer service during the supply chain squeeze?


ccaascontact-centrecustomer-experiencesupply-chain
Neil Titcomb
UKI Sales Director – Odigo

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