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Unifying the Desktop Provides a Critical Single Picture of the Customer

December 03, 2013

By Tracey E. Schelmetic,
TMCnet Contributor

In order for a contact center – or any enterprise, for that matter – to run smoothly, it’s hard not to agree that all necessary information should be in one place. Yet, at the beginning of most contact center shifts, agents still find themselves logging into six, eight, 10 or more applications, all of which they need to toggle back and forth between in order to gain the information required to complete a transaction. This raises the possibility of error, wastes time with duplicated tasks and annoys the customer when he or she has to repeat information.

The promise of a united agent desktop is a compelling one. With most contact centers today operating on a multichannel basis, pulling all the data an agent needs to serve the customer into a single desktop can literally cut transaction times in half and greatly boost that “Holy Grail” of metrics for forward-thinking contact centers today: first call resolution (FCR). This remains a challenge when many of today’s contact centers still use multiple loosely- linked applications that agents must navigate while trying to successfully manage interactions with customers.

A recent infographic published by Altitude Software (News - Alert) highlights why multimedia desktop applications that empower agents to process business tasks, using multiple applications, while controlling all media, are powerful tools to increase customer retention and boost customer engagement. A truly multimedia desktop puts the entire customer history in one place for the agent to see and understand, leading to a better chance that the agent will have enough data to bring the issue to a close in a single transaction. The unified agent desktop handles all interactions regardless of media type, integrates all applications into a single interface and reduces barriers to providing the best quality customer service.

Given the importance of a unified desktop, you’d imagine more companies today are using them. Unfortunately, this isn’t true. For companies that have moved to unify the desktop, the rewards have been handsome.

According to the infographic, 85 percent of contact centers using a unified desktop have improved the customer experience. On average, these companies have seen a 40 percent improvement on agent scoring by the customer, an 18 percent decrease in average handle time, a 17 percent improvement in agent daily closure rate, and a 72 percent increase in the all-important first contact resolution. They have also seen a decrease in the amount of training agents require, fewer data entry errors, plus more empowered agents who are better positioned to upsell and cross-sell, boosting revenue.

“Don’t put all your eggs in one basket” may be a pearl of wisdom from the past, but it simply doesn’t apply to the modern contact center. With a complete picture of the customer on a single desktop, a reasonably well trained agent today can excel in customer retention, upselling and loyalty in a way most companies can only dream about. 

Edited by Blaise McNamee