A typical contact center is usually buzzing with noise, activity and excitement. Agents interact with customers, trying to help them find a solution to their problems. It can be quite easy for the operational efficiency of a contact center to be sidelined as calls, emails, and texts continue to arrive.
Does this sound like a familiar situation to you? In order to deliver a positive customer journey, learn how a great contact center works and the common issues it encounters to avoid these pitfalls.
We’re on a mission to end the tyranny of alt-tab in the Contact Center. Here’s a list of dos and don’ts to make your job easier.
Take a one-pane approach
The most efficient contact centers put the customer experience at the forefront of their mission. They use the latest technology strategies to provide a seamless process for customers to find help.
Agents can quickly search a customer’s history and access a variety of data. They don’t have to sift through a dozen apps. Agents are able to provide support through each customer’s preferred channel. Through a single “window” they can see multiple sets of customer data. This saves the contact center time and money by improving customer retention rates.
Integration with external and third-party systems
In order to create a well-oiled customer service machine, you must embrace your mission of providing frictionless customer service for end users (customers) as well as behind the scenes for agents and managers. Without all “parts” working in sync, your end goal of smooth and fast support will be diminished.
Your contact center systems must be integrated and capable of transmitting and extracting information to and from third-party systems. To optimize internal operations and create true efficiency that leads to customer focus, all of these touchpoints need to be connected and measured in the context of the entire customer journey. Successful businesses know how to make the connection with the help of CRM.
Incorporate AI and Automation
When you have transparent system connections, you can easily use AI for greater efficiency. One important element that really makes AI strategies sing is quick and easy access to data.
Contact centers can integrate AI-powered knowledge bases and leverage their CRM to improve customer interactions, improve agent experience, and support automation.
Because a CRM is a repository of customer data, a knowledge base is a centralized location to store information about service processes and tasks that can help customers meet their support needs on their own. AI can leverage the information hosted in your CRM and knowledge base for the benefit of your business.
Don’t work in silos
When an agent does not have the ability to research all the relevant details of a customer’s history, the risk of customer dissatisfaction increases. A survey in Plainview found that over 20 hours per month are spent trying to resolve communication issues caused by siled data.
Siled data often occurs because different software programs used on different channels or services may not communicate effectively with each other. Other times, the necessary information is stored in a program to which the agent does not have access. Agents can also be accidentally banned from one of several programs after forgetting their password.
One solution to this common problem is an efficient CRM that can store a variety of customer data. It should also provide easy access to other programs that perform different functions. This software integration greatly facilitates the agent’s job. You can expect a positive customer experience when calls are quick and easy.
Don’t force agents to work on too many apps
Have you ever had a million tabs open on your computer at once? It can be very stressful to watch this while trying to focus on a client talking to you. While apps can be extremely useful, having too many also comes with a risk.
Going through thirty different programs can take a long time. When working in a contact center, time is one of the most valuable assets an agent and manager can have.
Your business must find a CRM capable of performing many of the essential functions. The CRM must also be able to communicate effectively with the other software that you are using.
Don’t fall for poor cross-channel interactions
How well can your agents handle customer inquiries and questions from different sources such as email, chat, and voice? An efficient workflow should be in place so that agents are not overwhelmed with incoming requests from different channels. Dealing with an upset customer on the phone at the same time can be stressful.
Social media is another channel that gets ignored. These days, tweets can go viral within hours. A disgruntled customer who posts something negative about your business could cost you money in the long run.
Large companies usually have marketing professionals dedicated solely to customer inquiries on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. It can be very costly.
An omnichannel solution enables contact center agents to receive and send communications with customers through multiple channels from a single platform. An agent can effectively respond to emails, take calls, and respond to text messages in an organized manner. They can even answer social media questions using just one program.
According to Invesp researchers, companies that use omnichannel solutions retain 89% of their customers. That’s a very large percentage of people who stay loyal to a business. The customer journey improves when different channel options to connect with your business are available. The right solution will provide smooth workflows for your agents and enable them to provide top-notch service.
Don’t rely on outdated technology
Is your contact center technology capable of supporting agents when they can’t answer a phone call in time or can’t resend a customer’s text right away? Nothing will frustrate a customer more than feeling ignored and ignored when trying to contact your business.
Invest in quality technology for your center, such as AI virtual agents, to truly meet the needs of your customers. AI virtual agents can help answer a customer’s questions and save them from having to pick up the phone. They can also let a customer know that an agent will help them soon.
Delivering premium customer service is easier when you have the best technology at your fingertips.
Don’t settle for unmet staffing needs
Staffing needs should always be a top priority for contact center managers. Too few staff on a busy day could be disastrous for agent performance. Workflows should be adjusted accordingly so that no agent is too dispersed.
Many times a large volume of unexpected calls can arrive with an insufficient number of agents available. One of the most important pieces of technology to invest in is a quality interactive voice response system.
An IVR prioritizes calls by routing them to the right person, provides voicemail, and allows customers to schedule a callback so they don’t wait on the phone.
Use your call analytics to predict how many agents will be needed on peak days for accurate planning. When upcoming shifts are expected to be slow, you can cut costs by scheduling the right number of agents for that day.
A contact center can be difficult to manage. With the right tools, managers can ensure agents and customers have a positive interaction. Your systems should be able to provide a one-stop-shop approach, provide customers with different communication options, and make it much easier for you and your agents.