The contact and call center industry is on the rise. A report by consulting firm Global Industry Analysts (GIA) confirms the trends and foresees constant growth until 2018, when it is expected to reach a total value of $337 million. Among the causes of the growth, the use of innovative information technologies stands out, such as the social networks. If our hotel is to offer good customer service, it must keep up with technological advances.
According to the report, the technologies gaining importance in the call center field are automatic voice recognition (AVR), automatic call distribution (ACD), call routing, VoIP, CTI or tools for client relations management (CRM).
Another element that will be very important for the industry is the integration of the social networks in contact centers, which is happening as specific tools are employed by agents on a daily basis. Also, the report highlights the fundamental role that applications and mobile Web will play in the sector so that clients can interact directly with businesses through their smartphones.
The contact center was and is the place where client relations are concentrated; therefore, it is the scenario for addressing the new digital channels. To do so efficiently, one has to understand the distinctive features of these new channels and how they transform client communications by making it closer at hand, transparent, attractive, distinctive and, on occasions, riskier. Basically, the hotel client makes frequent use of different channels to find information prior to a reservation, including through his mobile phone.
Choosing a service suitable for our hotel must fulfill various requirements, taking into account the change in the customer service paradigm. Here are some guidelines:
A contact center has to invest in technology. It is essential to adapt and make full use of the potential of the new online channels. This allows to accumulate and work with all the information of value about the client, or to monitor the online reputation of our hotel as well. All this information from the consumer translates into business opportunities, which can be converted into reservations if we take advantage of them to strengthen our direct channel.
One particular detail is to put these multichannel technologies at the service of the client, thereby increasing his level of satisfaction while allowing us to find ways to improve efficiency. Some channels are less costly, others have greater penetration, others are more agile and flexible, others are faster: the idea is to customize the communication to each moment in the lifecycle of the client, using the most effective channel to work towards the objective in our communication with him.
A hotel’s staff and know-how must be another of our priorities when it comes to providing service. That’s clear. Experience is key, all the more so if we are talking about a personal attention that our digital users are demanding more than ever. Also, given the dizzying rapidity with which information and requests are produced, due more than ever to the use of smartphones, we have to rely on a qualified team to respond with the same rapidity and clarity. Professionalism has to be kept in mind: let’s not forget that a satisfied client is the best channel to increase reservations.