Lorraine Kelleher of Spearline shares her advice for modernizing the contact centre in 2020 and beyond.
Contact centres are a fundamental aspect of modern business and have evolved to become the ‘first line of defence’ when it comes to customer complaints and enquiries.
Ensuring that your contact centre is prepared for the future of communication is imperative to remaining successful in today’s world, where consumers expect their problems to be dealt with promptly and efficiently in the first contact.
A modern contact center improves the customer experience delivered by your business. The process of modernizing contact centres involves the following tips:
1. Assess the Contact Centre’s Needs
The current technology in use needs to be evaluated, while also examining the availability of technologies on the market and future trends.
The appropriate strategy should then be put in place, complete with strategic roadmaps for achievement and timelines.
It is important to bear in mind that the three most crucial elements of operating a contact centre are customer experience, operational efficiencies and the management of omnichannel operations.
2. Migration to the Cloud
Cloud-based contact centres are a network-based service in which a provider owns and operates the call centre technology.
They then provide the services remotely to businesses, usually through a subscription model. This model can dramatically reduce costs and increase revenues as expensive investments in hardware are no longer required.
Migration to the cloud also facilitates remote working, and data can be stored at a lower cost without the need for physical servers.
3. Real-Time Call Monitoring
Contact centre supervisors should be actively monitoring the work of their agents.
New technologies are constantly evolving which enable supervisors to monitor more easily. For example, those which are able to judge consumer sentiments and escalate to more experienced agents, if appropriate.
4. Agent Upskilling
Artificial intelligence (AI) and bots are becoming a much more prominent feature in the modern contact centre, thereby reducing the volume of menial tasks that are handled by agents. This means that the role of the agent is increasingly becoming one of complex problem-solving.
It is imperative that these agents are adequately trained in how to deal with such issues and that they have the right tools and skills to do so.
Critical thinking is one of these crucial skills which needs to become embedded into the organization’s cultural environment.
5. Consider Remote Working
A combination of factors, including concerns about pollution levels from long commutes and an increased expectation of a more flexible work–life balance, means that remote working is becoming an increasingly prominent aspect of the modern workforce.
As the majority of contact centres are migrating to the cloud, this has become a much more simplified practice for supervisors to implement in their organizations as they are no longer restricted by the need for physical infrastructure.
Interestingly, this method of working has frequently been shown to increase efficiencies.
For example, staff shortages are less frequent as employees are able to pick up their laptops and begin working from their home office at a moment’s notice. This means that supervisors are capable of scaling up staff levels quickly when call volumes unexpectedly increase or during busy periods.
6. Rethink Customer Expectations
In order to deliver a top-class customer experience, it is essential to have an intimate understanding of what the customer expects from you.
The context of each interaction should be understood so that optimized routing can take place. A more personalized experience has also been proven to increase customer satisfaction levels.
Customers today expect the agent who answers the phone to have knowledge of any previous contacts. Analytics and AI should be optimized to better understand consumer behaviours.
It is essential that contact centres are acutely aware of oncoming trends and that they keep themselves informed of consumer trends and expectations.
Consumer experience should always be at the forefront of supervisors’ minds when it comes to preparing strategies for modernizing their contact centre.
AI and call monitoring can help to enhance this, as can more motivated employees, which can be achieved through enhanced work–life balance and upskilling.
For more from Spearline, visit www.spearline.com