Independent Contact Center Consultants: Bridging Strategy, Technology and Operations Since 2004

Make Technology Your Agent’s Best Friend

frustrated contact center agentWhere have the simpler days gone? This is a common plea in the contact center. Self-service, an explosion of contact channels, varied customer needs, and a revolving door of product and service offerings have made work on the front lines increasingly complex. Agents want and need help!

Fortunately, there is a wealth of technology that can help agents meet customer needs throughout their transaction cycles. With thoughtful design and appropriate processes, agents won’t need to spend half of their career in training to use technology. But it requires foresight, planning, and well-managed execution to develop solutions that are “an agent’s Best Friend.”

The following table lists common issues that agents experience and provides corresponding technology solutions to alleviate their distress.

Agent Experience Technology Solution
Many disparate systems that are not integrated Unified agent desktop with integrated applications and automated processes
Time-consuming customer lookups and verification Identification and verification on front end (via IVR, mobile, web) with accompanying screen pop (for example, into CRM) to display profiles, history, media activity
Multi-tasking and responding to multiple media at the same time (using separate systems for phone, email, chat) Common or integrated multi-channel routing based on skills and business rules
Create and type responses for email and chat, or individual libraries of response templates Libraries of response templates centrally managed and accessed in email and chat tools
No visibility into interactions on other channels CRM that captures and displays all self service and assisted service interactions
Lack of integration between channels to transition customers smoothly from one to another Computer Telephony Integration, CRM, and common routing and reporting across media
Inconsistent responses to customer queries Structured Knowledge Management systems and/or wikis that are leveraged across channels
Inability to transfer data across tiers or groups CTI as well as presence and instant messaging
Complex back office documentation Templates and/or Smart-fill notes screens
Difficult and uncommon questions Access to SMEs via presence and IM, and/or help desk queue
Continual training for process, product, media or system changes causes staffing inefficiency Simplified desktop, workflow tools, LMS and web-based learning

While technology provides a means to meet customer expectations, it’s also critical for managing the bottom line. A weak technology infrastructure impacts agent productivity. The more impediments to efficient service, the bigger the dip in productivity. And when productivity suffers, agent morale follows suit… and with it, performance suffers further. Before the downward spiral gets out of control, identify your biggest challenge(s) and develop a plan for how technology can enable corrective action.

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