Colin Hay at Puzzel talks through five ways training can make a difference and unlock the true potential of your contact centre.
Why buy the latest smartphone if you only use half the apps on the screen? Why buy a 9kg washing machine when you only fill it up with two loads a week, or purchase a hi-tech oven when you only cook on the hob?
The reality is that most consumers are simply unaware of the full potential of the technology they purchase and what else it could do for them. It’s a common enough scenario, but what happens when it applies to the contact centre?
The truth is that many contact centres are not releasing the true capabilities of their technology, with knock-on implications for customer service and ultimately the overall business.
When customer satisfaction measurement experts CFI Group published their latest report, they identified three essential components or channels that make up the customer service journey:
- Digital properties (websites, mobile apps and devices)
- Automated interactions (chatbots, IVR, visual IVR)
- Live agents (voice, chats, email, social media)
The report went on to reveal that 72% of customers use digital channels to resolve an issue, 88% of people who opt for automated interactions end up speaking to a live agent, while 79% of customers choose the plain old telephone to contact the customer service department in the first place.
These statistics highlight the importance of understanding the technology behind all three parts of the customer journey and, by default, underline the importance of training.
The Essential Ingredients of Good Training
But what makes a good training programme? Above all, it should be a highly interactive, two-way process. Avoid a ‘talk-and-chalk’ learning approach where the input and direction comes from the trainer. Look for a vendor that encourages knowledge sharing through face-to-face user forums and interactive online chatrooms.
A good training programme should combine theory and practical exercises in group scenarios to come up with creative technology solutions for real-world business problems. It should provide a comprehensive overview of the technology itself along with practical tips and tricks to implement for everyday use and for longer-term contingency planning.
Effective training should also help to outline a flexible path for updating and introducing new technology that supports the changing needs of agents, customers and business objectives quickly and cost effectively.
5 Ways to Look at the Contact Centre With Fresh Eyes Using Training
Having a greater understanding of the possibilities of technology enables users to gain a fresh perspective of their contact centre. The best training focuses on the following five areas:
1. Solution logic – The ability to dig deeper into the core programming of a system. Learn how to use inbuilt intelligence to adopt and train new technology such as chatbots and assist their integration with existing business logic and solutions. Know how to maximise cloud-based capabilities to accelerate the delivery of chatbots to customers, when they want them and in their channel of choice.
2. Self-service – Research by ContactBabel indicates that 80% of organisations offer some form of self-service to their customers. Understand how your technology supports the different types of self-service to best meet your customers’ needs on a regular day and in emergency situations. Then use this increased knowledge to promote the benefits of self-service inside and outside the organisation.
3. Efficiency – How do contact centres best serve their customers? Ensure training explains how to optimise skilled-based routing and prioritise conversations by applying the most effective technology.
4. Make the most of data – We all know data is important, the challenge is to breathe intelligence into data to gather valuable insights and add context to customer conversations. Which KPIs should contact centres develop, measure and track over time? Maximise your contact centre technology to harness data by exchanging ideas and experiences with the trainer and other users either face-to-face or via online forums.
5. What’s on the roadmap? – “Fail to plan and you’ll plan to fail” is an old adage that still holds true. Knowing what technology is coming up is important to making sound investment decisions. What’s new? Or is it a simple tweak here and there? Learn how to build your own contact centre roadmap to ensure the right technology is in the right place at the time required to deliver complete customer service.