Workforce Optimization Helps Keep Customer Contact a Priority
July 02, 2012
By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor
Keeping up with customer demands in today’s social marketplace is definitely challenging. Expectations continue to increase while patience levels and time allowed for solution implementation decreases. Workforce optimization practices are essential to uncovering how staff can improve the overall customer experience.
A key element of workforce optimization involves making customer contact a number one priority, and there are several means to achieving this, according to a recent Aspect (News - Alert) white paper.
The use of unified communications is speeding agent response time and quality of solution delivery by connecting various resources over multiple channels of communication in real-time. A workforce optimization feature called ‘Ask-an-expert’ allows agents to be connected to the right resource in a matter of seconds.
For example, a customer may initiate live chat after visiting a product website because he couldn’t find what he needed. Agents can quickly locate the answer to a customer query by reaching out to a network of online experts.
With the touch of button, agents can categorize the list of experts based on their specific knowledge base, see who is available at that particular moment, then click to call them and get the desired information immediately. Essentially this process improves the chance of a first call resolution and leads to higher levels of customer satisfaction.
A second way to enhance workforce optimization and the customer experience is to institute an official escalation policy that acts as an extra layer of security in the event that things go awry. Responsibility for getting back with customers should rest with a group of specialists and not just one individual. Reasonable response timeframes should also be set so there are clear expectations for follow-up contact.
Another key is using analytics to capture unsolicited feedback in an effort to build comprehensive customer profiles and enhance service. This includes monitoring what your customers are saying about you on Facebook (News - Alert), Twitter, and in blogs. The process permits the company to participate in and direct a certain amount of the information being put out there for the masses. It also allows insight into potential product or service issues so they can be corrected early on.
Having the right number of people available at the right times is essential to maintaining workforce optimization. Flexible scheduling options are important to accommodate customer inquiries in times of high demand as well as scale back as need diminishes. And because not all tasks require the same amount of processing time, being able to adjust the schedule is an essential part of achieving optimum efficiency. The results can then be used to direct resources to the appropriate communication channels and prepare for future demand.
Finally, workforce optimization is achieved through the development of the contact center’s greatest resource – its people. Continuous training and follow-up programs will help employees deliver consistent customer results because their knowledge will empower them to do so.
Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO West 2012, taking place Oct. 2-5, in Austin, TX. ITEXPO (News - Alert) offers an educational program to help corporate decision makers select the right IP-based voice, video, fax and unified communications solutions to improve their operations. It's also where service providers learn how to profitably roll out the services their subscribers are clamoring for – and where resellers can learn about new growth opportunities. For more information on registering for ITEXPO click here.
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Edited by Rachel Ramsey