Paul White provides some pointers for a building a brand new contact centre.
If you are looking to build a new green-field contact centre, you’ll need to make sure you spend wisely by avoiding components that don’t combine easily and by limiting your overall project and systems integration costs.
So, rather than having to join together piecemeal technology from lots of different vendors, or putting up with the pain of adapting traditional off-the-shelf solutions, it makes more sense to adopt an integrated solution that can give you only the modules you need at an affordable cost
Customers are increasingly demanding, particularly when it comes to cross-touchpoint service, where interactions might begin on one channel and potentially involve a number of others before the process is successfully completed.
Given this requirement for joined-up, multi-channel service, firms need to find ways to recognise customers, provide a consistent service across channels and also make it easy for agents to manage queries that require access to back-office operations.
If the agent has to access multiple applications and log in to each one, this process can be lengthy and error prone. Recent research suggests that, on average, 13.5 percent of an agent’s time is spent on these post-call activities, representing 8 minutes of every working hour.
For your 150-seat contact centre, that can equate to around £600,000 worth of time that’s taken up just by having your agents searching databases.
So, any technology procurement needs to consider a number of key elements: ease of deployment and the cost of ongoing operation; ability to provide a consistent experience across multiple channels; and provision of a simple-to-use web interface for agents to take them through the steps required to complete interactions. Once this platform is in place, you can then start to look at further best-practice components to deliver added value for your business.
For the first of these elements, we recommend an “all-in-one” solution incorporating all the ingredients of traditional contact centre solutions –ACD, IVR, call recording, scripting, reporting and workflow. An example of an all-in-one solution is the intelligentContact (iContact) from mplsystems.
Using a cloud-delivery platform, organisations can implement all or any of these capabilities on a “pay as you go” model with solutions available for deployment within days. Traditional enterprise licence options are, of course, available as well.
This flexibility gives firms the ability to transform their customer service environment while still taking advantage of appropriate legacy technology investments. However, where there are gaps, additional multimedia queuing and routing, customer experience, workflow and business automation, campaign and sales management and monitoring & reporting functionality can be deployed on demand.
The key is to bring all this functionality together in a way that makes it easier for your agents to carry out their tasks. Effectively, this requires the combination of contact handling, workflow, case management and reporting, drawing on data from multiple applications.
The good news is that all this data doesn’t physically need to be in one place, it just needs to look like it is. To address this, we recommend using a comprehensive agent desktop (such as the iDesktop IntelligentDesktop from mplsystems) that allows you to craft your own desktop mash-up that reflects and supports the role the contact centre has to play within your business.
Having got multimedia contact handling, agent support and customer data integration right, we would also make some further recommendations:
- Headsets – high-quality sound is important – you should look out the USB versions of Sennheiser’s CC520 and CC550 Binaural headsets, or Jabra’s BIZ 2400 Duo dual earpiece system.
- Speech recognition – Telephonetics/Netcall speech recognition is really good – I book my cinema tickets with it all the time!
- Smartphone apps – the mobile phone is the new customer service channel of the immediate future – don’t forget to develop for all the major smartphone and tablet platforms – iPhone 5, Windows Phone 8, Microsoft and Android tablets.
- Predictive outbound dialling – if you consider that you need to use predictive dialling as well – Sytel would be a responsible choice, in a technology area that is easy to get wrong and fall foul of increasingly demanding legislation.
- Reporting/Analytics – you can spend a lot on advanced OLAP tools, but if you’re smart and know your pivot tables, you’ll still get really good results from Microsoft Office 2010 Excel.
Click here for more information: www.mplsystems.co.uk