The contact center is a complex place. This is out of necessity; the number of media channels through which customers can contact a company are proliferating, and customers are expecting more. Unfortunately, the average contact center agent isn't growing new powers to multitask. So it makes sense that we need to rely on technology to handle the ever increasing number of layers.
The average call center agent uses eight to nine applications on the desktop. In some companies, applications agents must have open on their desks reach 12 or more. Servicing a customer is difficult enough. Add keeping track of eight to 12 applications, and it's easy to see potential to damage both contract center metrics and the customer relationship.
So how can contact centers handle the complexity of today's contact center while still keeping costs from spiraling? Blogger Andy Robert addressed this problem in a recent Street Article. Robert suggests a few steps for contact centers to embark on:
Manage the desktop. Consider a solution that combines multiple applications into as few screens as possible so your agents don't waste time toggling back and forth between applications, raising the potential for confusion and wasted time.
In addition, use modern contact center solutions to build a logical process flow that can eliminate the need for duplicate or triplicate data entry on multiple screens. This can cut down on time and errors.
“If the software facilitates interactive work-flows, it can help your reps in bringing down the handling time,” observes Robert. “Moreover, any software that can deliver consistent performance across different channels is likely to lead to good customer service experiences. It is also important that the software selected by you can help the reps in providing accurate answers to the customers.”
Next, consider implementing quality self-service to offload routine queries from agent queues. But be sure you are implementing self-service solutions for your customers' convenience, and not yours. Otherwise, customers won't use it.
“It is imperative for you to understand that your customers are likely to avoid this service unless you make the things easy for them,” Robert adds. “In fact, you should focus on making this service as efficient as possible in order to make the most of it.”
By offering customers self-service solutions that make sense for them – and that they like to use – you can take some of the pressure off live agents. For the customer contacts that need to attention of a live agent, process automation can help make sure agents are handling all contact properly, boosting contact center efficiency, eliminating errors and saving time.
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Edited by Allison Boccamazzo