Key Signs of Broken Processes (and How to Fix Them)

Broken concrete bridge - broken process concept
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Broken processes in the contact centre scream ‘inefficiency’. Worse still, it’s all avoidable if you take the right steps to fix them.

But where do you start in identifying where you are really wasting time?

To find out, we asked our expert panel for the classic broken processes to look out for, signs to spot them in your contact centre, and their best advice on how to fix them.

Here’s what they said…

1. Bouncing Customers From One Department to Another

What’s the Problem?

David Samuel at Contexta360
David
Samuel

Inefficient call routing is like navigating through a maze with no clear path. Customers bounce from one department to another, growing more frustrated with each transfer.

How to Fix It

Interaction analytics allow contact centres to continuously analyse and refine call routing strategies based on real-time data insights.

By identifying patterns, trends, and areas for improvement, interaction analytics enable contact centres to optimize routing paths, ensuring that callers are promptly directed to the most suitable agents or departments.

This iterative approach not only enhances customer satisfaction by reducing wait times and minimizing transfers but also boosts operational efficiency by streamlining workflows and maximizing agent productivity.

Contributed by: David Samuel, Chief Product Officer, Contexta360

2. Seeing Spikes in Escalated Calls

The Problem

Grace Dawson at Odigo
Grace
Dawson

Sensitive subjects or volatile customers can result in a breakdown of communication.

When this happens, if agents don’t have clear guidelines or identify red flags early, escalations may occur too late to salvage customer relationships, even if the eventual outcome is favourable.

How to Fix It

Implementing a tiered support model can empower agents with greater autonomy in issue resolution and provide access to expert support at an earlier stage.

During interactions, AI analytics can detect shifts in sentiment and suggest appropriate actions based on speech analytics, proactively defusing issues.

Specialized agent teams can also be made available with real-time visibility and knowledge sharing for seamless journey progression.

Additionally, extending the contact centre to include subject-matter experts within the organization streamlines transfers, ensuring prompt resolution of complex queries.

Contributed by: Grace Dawson, Junior Sales Executive, Odigo

3. Experiencing Lots of Silence on Calls

What’s the Problem?

Frank Sherlock at CallMiner
Frank
Sherlock

Silence on calls often slows things down.

How to Fix It

Ensure all conversations are analysed, whether they are voice- or text-based interactions.

Using solutions like conversation intelligence can help collect and analyse 100% of your contact centre conversations – automatically – to review for silence, certain keywords and even call outcome, identifying areas for improvement.

These insights can inform process improvements, as well as empower your agents to effectively make changes and deliver better customer outcomes and experiences.

Contributed by: Frank Sherlock, VP of International, CallMiner

4. Agents Not Doing What They Say They Will

The Problem

Agents take so many interactions throughout the day that ensuring they remember and deliver on all the things required for each interaction can be very time-consuming.

How to Fix It

This can be supported by:

  • An Accurate Callback System – If you say you will call at 9am tomorrow, set the callback and let the system worry about when it needs to re-contact the customer.
  • Automating Regular Tasks – Find a system that can automate the regular tasks required for your agents, e.g. click to send SMS with appointment reminders or email follow-ups.
  • Setting Alerts – Look to implement AI agent assist technology to ensure promises are captured and monitored and alerts can be made if or when these things are slipping.

Contributed by: Lisa Orford, VP Product for Contact Centre, 8×8

5. Working Alongside Seemingly Powerless Operational Leaders

The Problem

Pierce Buckley at babelforce.
Pierce
Buckley

Contact centres are lousy with broken processes – which is quite weird, because they’re generally run by bright people who understand the problems their customers face.

Whatever the process, however it’s broken, the cause is always the same: contact centre leaders have almost no ability to change processes.

How to Fix It

There are three topics that you need to address:

Business Requirements

What do you need to achieve? What problems do you want to solve?

Technical Constraints

Do you have the technology that would enable those changes? For example, is it even possible to connect different systems and share data across them?

Usability Constraints

Can your operational managers at the coal face make changes themselves? Or are your tools too complex to allow that?

These factors are driving more and more businesses to pursue a no-code approach. It’s the only meaningful way to empower contact centre leaders and enable ongoing, agile process improvement.

Contributed by: Pierce Buckley, CEO & Co-Founder, babelforce

6. Feeling Uncertain About Agent Compliance

What’s the Problem?

John Ortiz, Technology Sales Manager, MiaRec
John
Ortiz

In contact centres, safeguarding customer sensitive data is paramount, yet relying solely on manual methods poses significant risks.

Manual data redaction processes are prone to human error and often unable to keep pace with the volume of interactions, leaving sensitive information vulnerable. With the exponential growth of data, the manual approach becomes increasingly untenable.

Manual QA in contact centres also struggles to keep up with the volume of calls – often evaluating less than 1%. This leaves uncertainty about agent compliance for the majority of calls.

How to Fix It

Generative AI offers a solution. By incorporating Gen AI-powered auto call scoring, contact centres can accurately assess 100% of calls, overcoming the limitations of manual QA.

This technology provides a pathway to streamline QA processes and ensure compliance across the board.

Leveraging advanced machine learning (ML) technology for auto data redaction also offers a transformative solution.

By automatically identifying and redacting sensitive information in real time, ML-driven systems ensure comprehensive protection of customer data, reducing the likelihood of breaches and ensuring regulatory compliance.

Adopting auto data redaction not only enhances security but also streamlines operations, enabling contact centres to focus on delivering exceptional customer experiences without compromising data integrity.

Contributed by: John Ortiz, Technology Sales Manager, MiaRec

7. Routinely Blaming Your Agents (Instead of the True Root Cause)

The Problem

Chris Mounce at EvaluAgent
Chris
Mounce

It’s easy to see quality assurance as focusing on agent performance, but failures aren’t always the result of agent action or inaction.

Skilled agents will quickly find ways to accomplish something and minimize any negative impact on the customer experience. Sometimes, this will actually mean circumventing broken processes.

How to Fix It

But if you have no means of identifying where and when this is happening, it’s difficult to fix that process. As part of scoring, when you find quality failures, you should add root cause reasons to a scorecard.

These root-cause reasons should be pre-decided and categorized so they can be easily reported on.

Giving evaluators free rein over root-cause reasons will not only encourage more subjectivity, but also give you lots of data that it’ll be difficult to extrapolate insights from.

Contributed by: Chris Mounce, Quality and Coaching Specialist, evaluagent

8. Regularly Handling Complaints in Isolation

The Problem

Elizabeth Tobey at NICE
Elizabeth
Tobey

Usually when one customer complains about an issue with a product or service it’s likely they are not the only customer facing this problem.

However, traditionally it’s been hard for organizations to find these patterns and address them due to siloed, manual processes on on-premises technology.

How to Fix It

With AI purpose-built for CX paired with an interaction-centric cloud platform, organizations can manage all of their interactions in one place and also have a historical and real-time 360-degree view of operations at all times.

AI analyses every interaction and identifies historical trends and patterns.

This means that it can pick up on certain keywords being used across all interactions and identify when there is a common problem.

It can also generate next-best actions to resolve the issue going forward. Using a cloud platform opens up data sharing across teams, workflows, and throughout your entire CX ecosystem so the AI can effectively do its job.

Contributed by: Elizabeth Tobey, Head of Marketing, Digital Solutions, NICE

9. Forcing Customers to Repeat Information

The Problem

Lisa Orford at 8x8
Lisa
Orford

With interactions being bounced around like a basketball, customer frustration builds when they have to constantly repeat information, sharing credentials for security over and over.

How to Fix It

All of this is completely avoidable with some simple things like having agents and subject-matter experts on the same platform to ensure that all contextual information, data or any security done ahead of connecting to a human remains valid.

Link in your back-office systems too, so that when an interaction comes in, all of the data required to service the interaction (as well as its history) is displayed.

Contributed by: Lisa Orford, VP Product for Contact Centre, 8×8

10. Spending Too Much Time in After-Call Work

What’s the Problem?

Time-consuming manual after-call work tasks.

How to Fix It

Automate the admin-heavy after-call work tasks agents must complete by providing automated contact summaries or dispositioning.

These tasks are tedious, waste precious time, and can be inconsistent from agent to agent. Embracing automation means your agents can spend more time supporting customers, instead of being bogged down with manual processes.

Contributed by: Frank Sherlock, VP of International, CallMiner

★★★★★

Review, Revise, Repeat!

A good way to keep on top of broken processes and address inattention at a strategic level is to adopt the Review, Revise, Repeat approach:

Review

This is the starting point. We see time and time again that systems are installed and left running the same way for years and years. But times change, technology changes and, most of all, your customers change.

So take the time – at least yearly – to review what you have. For example, have your processes changed? Have your requests changed?

Revise

You will probably find that the platform you have has changed, so use that technology to improve the service you can provide.

A good service provider will offer health checks to help support you in how to implement the new solutions.

Repeat

Acknowledge that running contact centre systems isn’t something you do once and walk away from. You need to repeat the above process at least yearly.

Contributed by: Lisa Orford, VP Product for Contact Centre, 8×8

For more great insights and advice from our panel of experts, read these articles next:

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