The Expanding Contact Center Needs to Ensure its Core is Strong
Contact centers today are facing a bewildering escalation in the complexity of their offerings. No longer confined to making and taking calls, the average contact center today may be acting as a clearinghouse for social media posts, and an endpoint for communications arising from mobile apps, website chat and even integrated retail store experiences. The rise in conversations, media channels and responsibilities may feel a bit overwhelming at times.
For this reason, it’s vital that the contact center be anchored in powerful core technologies that can help it share information and collaborate, manage the workforce and act as a liaison with departments such as marketing and sales. As data from all these sources pour in, contact center management must ensure the organization has the right analytics technologies to make sense of it all so they can tell how good a job they’re doing in an increasingly complex environment.
In a recent blog post, Monet Software (News - Alert) CEO Chuck Ciarlo recommends that companies brush up on the basics as they begin 2017. All the new channels being added must be based on key performance indicators (KPIs) so call center management can know quickly when something goes off-track. A good workforce management (WFM) solution can help.
“Track [the KPIs] – not sometimes, but all the time,” he wrote. “It’s a tough job without a workforce management solution, but with WFM the appropriate data is automatically collected and delivered so you always know how you’re doing. There are several KPIs – the most important to watch are how quickly calls are answered (less than 20 seconds is a good benchmark), average handle time, and lost calls.”
It may also be a good time to overhaul your script, particularly if you’ve been using the same one for a while. Examine ways you can improve customer engagement, either by changing the script or relying on less rigid scripting, which can help customers feel more cared for by a personalized experience.
“Some call centers give agents word-for-word opens, closes and question responses, while others set a more general tone and allow agents the freedom to engage in conversation,” wrote Ciarlo. “The latter is generally considered the better option, but you’ll need agents you can trust to make it work.”
Determining if your agents can be trusted with more autonomy leads to the third core function: the quality of your workforce. Ensure that agents are smart, flexible and can be understood easily by customers. Look for agents with a high level of emotional intelligence and empathy who can break from stock solutions and customize problem-solving for each customer.
A modern workforce management solution can make all of these tasks easier. If it’s been a few years since you’ve upgraded your WFM, however, your existing system may not be making it easy for you to reinforce your core strategies. Maybe it’s time to take a look at whether your workforce management solutions are working for you…or you’re working for them.
Edited by Alicia Young