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When customers call support for help, they’re already facing problems. But once the phone rings, in far too many cases, they’re plunged into a real nightmare: seemingly infinite IVR prompts, endless hold times, and - just as they’re at their wits end - a connection to a live agent who’s not equipped or incentivized to help them. All your customer experience efforts are destroyed in the space of a single call!

That should be terrifying for C-level executives, too. Customer experience is often cited as the number one concern of CEOs. It’s described as the one area companies can differentiate and compete in an increasingly commoditized world. And customers are confirming this: they’re willing to pay more for a great experience.

Do you know how to end IVR horrors? Check out 3 questions your business should ask here

The writing is on the wall regarding CX – but most businesses are saddled with the Contact Center that Time Forgot. Instead of focusing on CX, they’re still fixated on driving down costs and maximizing productivity. AI is the top trend among CIOs in 2019, and 80 percent of organizations want to use chatbots by 2020, according to Gartner – even as customers clamor for more human contact. Companies and customers are on two wildly divergent courses when it comes to CX, and the result is decreased customer satisfaction, wasted investment and lost revenues.

Reversing the course requires a top-to-bottom examination of your CX efforts. And one of the earliest and most important areas for this is in the contact center – the place your customers go in moments of truth. It’s where they go when they’re stressed, angry or confused – in other words, when they’re most likely to become part of the switching economy.

How well does your business do in these moments? If you’re like most, not well. Your customer may have to first deal with a confusing IVR, pushing button after button hoping to find someone who can help. Then, when they reach an agent, that agent may not have the knowledge to help them – in fact, they may have no information about the caller at all. Frustration builds and before you have a chance to do anything about it, the caller’s looking for someone else to spend money with.

We’ve developed an infographic that spells out the scary terrain of the contact center in a CX world – it shows you what frustrates customers, what callers really want, and shows that there’s a path to great CX that’s waiting for smart companies to take.

Check it out – and its associated report – here.

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About Chris Bucholtz

Chris Bucholtz, director of content marketing at NewVoiceMedia, spent 15 years as a technology journalist, covering CRM, customer service and telecommunications among his many beats. He was the founding editor of InsideCRM and has managed marketing content for SugarCRM, Aplicor, Relayware and CallidusCloud. This year will be Chris’ 11th Dreamforce.

Read more from Chris Bucholtz