Meta Description: From tools that ensure an omnichannel approach to systems that integrate with CRM, via chatbots: here’s how to improve contact centres and the agent profession
Optimising a contact centre is closely connected to its agents’ quality of work. This means that tools contributing to optimising its operation and processes also increase the productivity of individual agents and improve their performance. Let’s take a look at these tools in detail.
In first place, the omnichannel approach, appreciated by customers and businesses alike
Today’s customers tend to wander from one channel to another without continuity. However, during these transitions, they begin to wish they didn’t have to start their search over every time or go through the same customer journey as before. That’s why omnichannel systems that trace all customer movements are so highly appreciated. Likewise, they are appreciated by businesses who, after having “recruited” customers, have the opportunity to look after them, offering options that encourage their choice in the event the customer journey did not lead to the expected purchase. Cutting edge Contact Management Systems offer a complete omnichannel vision, as they integrate the conventional telephone channel - which can be used both for inbound purposes like customer service and as an outbound resource for telemarketing campaigns - with others like instant messaging, email, text messaging, and social networks. As such, agents must efficiently manage a flow coming from several channels, which can only be done if the software at the base of the contact centre uses intelligent routing to manage communication with customers. The first two tools to optimise work, therefore, are a dashboard that displays customer statistics and automatic routing that involves customers on a case-by-case basis in telephone conversations or dialogues via instant messaging, text messaging, social media, etc.
A CTI system integrated with the computer and legacy architecture
The availability of tools such as call control in the browser, installed on the agent’s personal computer, also simplifies contact centre agent tasks. This is possible if the contact centre has CTI (Computer Telephony Integration) technology. In this case, desktop call controls allow agents to instantly display the status of their co-workers (unavailable, available, in a conversation, on break, etc.) who are involved in a campaign or project. In addition, CTI should be equipped with connectors so that the system can integrate with the legacy architecture the business has in place. For example, where there is CRM, the option of pulling up account information as a Contact Management System function prevents having to manage various software at the same time, with the risk of missing calls and wasting time. In fact, having too many modules and functions distracts agents from their main activities, forcing them to switch from one window to another, taking precious seconds away from contact management.
Chatbots as tools indirectly qualifying human work
The chatbot is another tool that is becoming increasingly popular in contact centres alongside conventional IVR (Interactive Voice Response). Emerging from the realm of artificial intelligence, they meet the dual requirements of ensuring continuous customer service and adding value to the employed human capital. Gartner predicts that chatbots are destined to play an increasingly important role in company-customer interactions, thereby reducing the need to resort to real-life employees. Lowering the number of low-profile requests, filtered by virtual assistants, will actually become the standard to qualify the role of those working in contact centres. In fact, this field has a high turnover rate even today. A study conducted by The Quality Assurance & Training Connection claims that turnover in the United States fluctuates between 30 and 45% of the workforce, more than double the average in other sectors. This results in higher recruitment and training costs and lower productivity and motivation. By contrast, more wisely redistributing tasks between virtual assistants and human agents could only positively affect this high turnover rate.