Unified Communications in the Call Center Provides for More Productive Agents
September 08, 2011
By Susan J. Campbell
, TMCnet Contributing Editor
The call center space is one that is constantly evolving with the introduction of new technologies and the adoption of streamlined methods that can minimize the cost of support, while also pushing out optimal service to the customer. These capabilities can be optimized through Unified Communications.
This concept was explored in a recent Contactual (News - Alert) blog. The focus was on a recent Information Week survey on the topic of Unified Communications (News - Alert) adoption. Unified Communications can realistically encompass a number of different applications. Such a platform typically focuses on one-to-one communication that takes place within the call center.
By contrast, Interaction Management focuses on the one-to-many category, one that can also apply to the call center space. Contactual suggests there are enough similarities between the platforms that the lessons from each can apply within the call center industry. The question raised by the survey is how organizations manage the necessary variety of applications for their call center agents without overwhelming them at the same time.
According to Jonas Nicholson, a panelist in a recent Contactual webinar, typical call center agents have four to five applications running at the same time to support knowledge management, instant messaging, desktop sharing and more. This type of management was leading to the deterioration of agent productivity levels and the increase in the average call handling times.
When multiple channels of interaction are combined into a single solution for the call center, dramatic improvements have been measured in agent call handling times. Additionally, this Unified Communications approach has helped to reduce the stress felt by agents; client organizations have also measured an increase in productivity by as much as 50 percent.
The barriers to the full use of existing collaborative technology were also explored in this survey. At the top of the barrier list was the lack of full training for the user. A recent Contactual call center post focused on the importance of agent training, as well as the cost and complexity this training presents to the organization.
Training costs can easily be increased when the call center supports different applications for CRM, knowledge management, chat management, desktop sharing and more. The implementation of virtual call center technology can combine all of these applications into one unified solution that can effectively reduce the cost of training by as much as 60 percent.
This blog highlights the importance of investigating Unified Communications in call center platforms before investing in another standalone desktop application. The right approach is the call center solution that will combine the necessary features while also allowing you to reduce the cost of training and call handling times. The end result is an environment that allows for
Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for eastbiz.com. To read more of Susan’s articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Chris DiMarco