How many applications do your agents use for call handling? Is there a window for CRM, order entry, email, chat, knowledge searches, homegrown applications, reports, folders for forms and many others? Is your CRM operating in a silo? How many copies and pastes do your agents have to perform to take care of the customer? What about training on all these separate systems? Is there frustration in your call center based on excessive reboots, poor response time, down time for patches and upgrades all of which impact contact center metrics? Has this strained relationships with your IT department?
These are all tough questions that are often ignored or overlooked from an employee agent satisfaction and cost perspective. This situation is described in two words; “inefficient” and “expensive”. Scenarios like this cause poor agent morale, high turnover and make it nearly impossible to provide a great Customer Experience. When the agent is not happy then nobody is happy!
Providing superior customer service across all interaction channels is essential for all organizations. When a customer contacts the company, the business must manage that customer interaction quickly and accurately across any touch point. A poor service experience will have a negative ripple effect on customer satisfaction. Over time, it could potentially:
- Increase costs by potentially forcing multiple interactions with different employees over multiple channels – customers will create multiple service
- requests through the phone, web, email or chat
- Decrease potential wallet share by losing valuable cross-selling or up-selling opportunities
- Force the customer to look at competitive offerings
The contact center should be a single point of contact for all sales and service needs, gives the customer or customer service representative access to new services and customer care functionality, while acting as an individualized marketing channel that organizations can use to push new products and services. Large contact centers were surveyed on their use of CRM applications. Issues such as improving customer satisfaction, increasing revenue-generating activities and customer retention all ranked high among CRM project goals. But many CRM implementations do little to meet the top goals and objectives of contact centers. In fact, CRM applications have become yet another unused silo of information for many companies. The survey of large contact centers reveals that 42 percent of contact centers using a packaged CRM are not satisfied with their current CRM initiatives. Even worse, 72 percent still have not attained a single view of customer transactions across all touch points. Yet effective implementations of CRM are critical to the success of just about every company. After all, the customer is any company’s most important asset. It is paramount that companies focus on how they can leverage a paradigm shift occurring in enterprise technology to meet their top goals of improving agent efficiency, increasing revenue and improving the customer experience. By consolidating critical applications into a single, unified, role-based desktop, contact centers can improve the agents’ abilities to provide quality customer service on a timely basis.
Unified desktop technology leverages the latest advancements in service-oriented architecture and composite application frameworks to enable the assembly, distribution and management of business solutions in a way that was not possible before – easier, faster and with a lower TCO. These solutions leverage the best of existing packaged applications or in-house-developed applications to deliver a process-oriented interaction, improving efficiency and effectiveness of the customer service representative.
Unified Agent Desktops Reduce Average Call-Handling Time
The business benefits are illustrated via the diagram below which is the representation of a call in the life of a CSR.
The scenario that existed before tight integration of the agent desktop forced the CSR to spend most of the interaction time shuffling between different applications to resolve the call. This complexity created an elapsed call time of about 13 minutes. This is especially difficult while troubleshooting a product or resolving a billing dispute, and during simple routine tasks such as an address change request. However, a tightly integrated desktop reduces the elapsed time to four minutes by consolidating information, providing dynamic navigation based on context-sensitive information and reducing call wrap-up. The new process also enables the ability to provide real-time recommendations to support customer retention and marketing programs.
Contact centers are still challenged by achieving a 360-degree view of the customer with too many places to find information.
We all agree that there is a problem!
We all agree that there are many contact centers and agents are still poorly equipped with an array of cumbersome, unconnected customer service software.
We all agree that this results in extensive wait and hold times, long calls, and frustrated customers who may leave for a competitor that provides better service.
We all agree that contact center agents need to be empowered with relevant information and easy access to all applications and processes to deliver superb customer service. It is also crucial for agents to seamlessly integrate feedback on every interaction, including social media, into the information management system to ensure accurate and timely data for decision making.
Find a solution but make sure it can do the following!
- Multi-channel Conversation Blending
- Seamless blending of external and internal conversations using any media
- Complete visibility of simultaneous conversations across multiple channels
- Embedded VoIP Softphone (optional)
- Outbound Call Campaign
- Web Callback
- Web Callback preview with auto-accept or accept/decline capability
- Web Callback request transfer
- Reschedule call before, during, and after call
- Real-time KPI and Contact Center Statistics
- Standard Responses Library
- User and Group Work Bins
- Spell Check
- Contact Profile and Interaction History
- Support Agent Supervision including silent monitoring, whisper coaching, and barge in
- Supervisory management of work bin and queue
- Supports Real-time Consultation and Team Communication
- Supports Voice with fully featured call controls
- Supports Web Chat
- Supports E-mail
- Supports SMS
- Supports iWD Work Items
- Generic framework for interaction push and pull of any type of work item
- Supports Social Engagement
- Supports Agent Scripting
- Supports integration with Quality Management/Call Recording
- Supports Citrix and VMware desktop virtualization
- Complete time lapsed view of the Customer Journey
- Knowledge Management
- Out of the box Adapters for all major CRMs
- SDK for integration with homegrown CRMs
In conclusion – I have to ask again:
“What’s on your agent’s desktop?”
1941 Western Electric 302 Desk Telephone on a late 1940s Telephone Desk/Chair