Don’t Drop the Omnichannel Baton and Win the CX Relay Race

A photo of passing a baton during the relay race on the professional stadium.
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Managing the hand-over from bot to agent is like taking part in a relay race. Jim Davies at Calabrio outlines 3 winning strategies for a seamless customer experience that are guaranteed to take you over the finish line in a record-setting way.

The ability for customers to self-serve successfully is increasing steadily, in line with technological advances, but there is a long way to go before we can even begin to contemplate an exclusive reliance on such tools.

Meanwhile, leading research organisations are consistent in their opinion and predictions that the number of agents worldwide will not change dramatically over the next few years, which means agents and bots need to coexist for the foreseeable future.

Realistically, I believe the challenge for most contact centres will be managing the transition from self-service to assisted service, when an agent takes over from a bot’s failed attempt to resolve the customer interaction.

It reminds me of a relay race where one of the runners is a chatbot and passes the ‘experience baton’ on to an agent to complete the final leg and win the race.

The ‘Experience Baton’ Challenge

With this image in mind, I foresee 4 likely scenarios in the relay race and yet only one promises the record-breaking outcome everyone is looking for:

1. The Chatbot Stumbles

In this scenario, the agent doesn’t even get to speak to the customer because the chatbot has failed so dismally that the customer abandons the interaction.

We can all recite horror stories where chatbots send us around in infinite loops with seemingly no ability or interest in actually helping us with even the simplest tasks.

The trouble is these kinds of frustrating experiences are bad for business because they are a key driver of brand defection.

While many people will give you a second chance, an astonishing 3 in 5 consumers say they’ve switched brands due to negative contact centre experiences.

2. Dropping the Baton

In this scenario, the chatbot runs a good leg. It has collected the necessary information and perhaps even partially resolved the customer issue, but can’t quite make it to the finish line therefore needs to hand over to an agent.

This is when things go wrong. During the hand-over between chatbot and agent, the ‘experience baton’ is dropped and the agent is left fumbling around trying to pick it up.

This manifests itself through questions such as “Who are you?” and “Why are you calling?” These are topics known by the chatbot but not passed on to the agent, resulting in high levels of frustration when customers have to repeat themselves.

3. The Agent Stumbles

In this scenario, the chatbot successfully hands over the baton to an agent but on the sprint to the finish line, the agent stumbles.

There could be a few reasons for this—stress, disengagement, fatigue, process complexity, information availability or system limitations—but the result is the same, a poor customer experience.

4. The Winning Team

In this final scenario, the ‘experience baton’ is handed over seamlessly and the agent sprints to the finish line.

The customer is satisfied and the agent has lived up to their role of brand guardian with the power to influence corporate perception, customer loyalty and company profits.

So how does your contact centre measure up?

Generate a gut-feel score between 1 and 10 for each of these 4 scenarios then prioritize the lowest-scoring scenario to help bots and agents strengthen their grip on the ‘experience baton’.

By using the right tactics and with regular practice, you will soon reach Olympic standards. Nurture your agents and invest in effective self-service platforms that transfer vital contextual customer information to the front line when needed, then you can sit back in the stands and raise a toast to running a successful contact centre race.

For more information about Calabrio - visit the Calabrio Website

About Calabrio

Calabrio The digital foundation of a customer-centric contact centre, the Calabrio ONE workforce performance suite helps enrich and understand human interactions, empowering contact centres as a brand guardian. Calabrio ONE unites workforce optimisation (WFO), agent engagement, and business intelligence solutions into a cloud-native, fully integrated suite.

Find out more about Calabrio

Call Centre Helper is not responsible for the content of these guest blog posts. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect those of Call Centre Helper.

Author: Calabrio

Published On: 2nd Jun 2023
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