What does it mean when choosing contact centre tech

John Greenwood, Head of Technology & Payments, Contact Centre Panel

Everyone wants positive growth. Perhaps not our waistband, but certainly everything else. It’s how capitalism works. Positive growth is a simple concept. Increase the number of new customer transactions, increase the frequency of existing customer transactions or increase the average transaction value.

Deliver any one of those and growth is linear. Deliver all three and growth is exponential.

In the contact centre tech’ space we see lots of solution providers targeting firms that want to increase growth, whilst at the same time reducing cost to serve. They offer us great case studies of how they have increased operational efficiency, seamlessly delivered new customer communication channels and/or augmented people assets through digital assistants or BOTs to drive automation. This conversation is not about that. This conversation is about something far more basic and far more fundamental to the transaction process. Payments.

In my experience, when business managers think of contact centre payments, two things come to mind. One is taking payment cards over the phone. The second is the complexity of the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard. Generally, the conversation ends abruptly when it comes to the PCI DSS. Usually, the discussion is never really that interesting and is likely to cost money. Plus people believe the PCI DSS to be so complex when it comes to contact centres, that it feels easier to pay the monthly non-compliance fines and increased transaction charges.

Well folks, there is another way to think about it and here is why. Just like we think of aligning our contact centre tech to engage with the customer – less friction, less cost etc, so we should think about payments. We know our customer communication strategy should align with how our customers want to engage with us, so why not our ability to take payments?

The point is that contact centre payments are just like contact centre everything else, they need to support how customers want to interact with us. And what does that mean in the context of growth. Well, the answer to that is simple. Just think about how you can take more payments from more customers more easily, at less risk and at less cost. Have a payments strategy and align it with how customers generally want to pay and enable that within all the communication channels you use to engage with customers.

Oh, and the PCI DSS thing? Just come and ask and we’ll simplify that whole thing for you.