Lorraine Kelleher of Spearline introduces us to a whole host of innovative technologies and the benefits that they might bring to the contact centre.
New technological improvements are advancing the ecosystem within call centres. The emergence of artificial intelligence (AI), data analytics and visual support have been significant drivers of innovation in this industry. The modern consumer expects their issues to be resolved promptly and efficiently.
This has led to a renewed focus on first call resolution (FCR). The following are all opportunities to innovate and revolutionize within your contact centre.
1. Omnichannel Communication
Omnichannel or multichannel contact centres deliver a seamless experience for customers across multiple channels – for example, voice, social media and SMS.
Consumers expect to be able to contact companies through their preferred communication channels. Some customers use a variety of channels to interact with organizations.
It is expected that agents should be aware of all communications and that they are up to date with the relevant customer details instantaneously. This includes basic details such as name and address but also covers elements such as the consumer’s preferences and prior reasons for contact.
This 360° view of the consumer empowers call centre agents to provide support across multiple channels in a highly personable, intelligent and timely manner.
The goal of omnichannel contact centres is to deliver a consistent service that ensures a high level of accessibility for consumers and increases satisfaction.
2. Intelligent Visual Support
Visual engagement is becoming a much more prominent tool within the customer service industry. Visual support through digital means can include co-browsing, live video or even augmented reality. Visual support enables agents to see exactly what the customer is seeing in real time and guides them to a successful resolution by utilizing augmented reality.
This provides a visual experience for both parties, leading to a deeper and more intimate understanding of the situation, and the result is a quicker time to resolution. Many companies choose to collect this visual information and use it in algorithms for building visual support bots which may be a crucial part of future customer service.
The ubiquitous nature of platforms, devices and networks has driven the success of intelligent visual support technology.
3. Sentiment Recognition
Sentiment analysis can accurately uncover the sentiment score of call centres. The impact of this is even greater when combined with predictive analysis. AI can capture unrefined data around customer interactions and feed this into an analytical engine which can then translate this to recognize sentiments.
This process can often identify the sentiment faster than a call centre representative. Sentiment recognition often focuses on factors such as tone of voice or specific keywords expressed to accurately pinpoint the emotions experienced by the caller.
This can be used to intelligently route calls to the correct agent and to create an automated ticket prioritization system.
Agents also have the ability to better understand the customer based on the analysis of current emotions. This allows them to respond in a more empathetic manner, which can often help to reduce the aggravations that an unhappy customer may be feeling.
4. Automated Messages
Interactive voice response (IVR) systems can be combined with AI to advance problem resolution. Natural language processing and machine learning are used to identify customer requirements and to provide the correct response, instead of presenting the customer with a pre-specified set of options.
Automated responses and simple solutions can then be provided to the customer using voicebots which have significantly lower costs for the centre.
The ability of automated messages and voicebots to promptly resolve customer-impacting issues leads to more satisfied customers. The workloads of agents are also reduced and they are able to spend more time handling complex customer calls.
5. Blended Call Centre Agents
An automatic call distributor (ACD) can identify rises in inbound and outbound calls. When an organization uses blended call centre agents who are trained in both inbound and outbound calls, the ACD can pass the call overflow on to any agent, even if this is not their predominant area of focus.
Where there is no ACD in place, a manager can make the decision to switch some outbound agents to inbound calls and vice versa in times of heavy call volumes. Blended agents are very beneficial in contact centres that have few seats.
This is important because small contact centres are particularly susceptible to low levels of occupancy and therefore lower levels of efficiency. Blended agents may also be able to use a script to handle calls that are not within their primary area of focus.
6. Data Analytics
Technology and the ability of data analytics to accurately analyse workflows and agent responses have ensured that supervisors now have more time to focus on other aspects of the business, such as customer generation and administration.
It also provides for a much more efficient and prompt analysis of agent performance and responses. This allows problems to be resolved faster than they were in previous times. Notably, speech analytics is proving to be a hugely beneficial form of data analysis.
It can uncover inefficiencies in current scripts, and make process improvements, such as developing systems for call centre agents to utilize in order to achieve the desired call outcome.
7. Smart Desktops
Previously, agents needed to access several different systems in order to acquire all necessary consumer data. Smart desktop solutions remove the need to do so, by using a single sign-on and a more intuitive user interface.
This reduces advisor effort by guiding the agent and providing all necessary query and consumer information instantly. Ultimately, this has been proven to greatly increase productivity, lower wait times and increase customer satisfaction.
Smart desktops also use a more simplified transfer process, making it easier and more seamless to connect the customer with a colleague who may be more skilled in a particular area.
Contact centres should utilize some, if not all, of the aforementioned solutions in order to increase FCR and customer satisfaction, as well as lowering call handling time and agent attrition.
These innovative solutions can revolutionize any contact centre and help to bring it into the modern world.
For more information about Spearline, visit: www.spearline.com