“Simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance,” Coco Chanel once said. While the icon referred to fashion here, the same also resonates for technology and processes. Effectively leveraging both are essential to providing a great customer experience in contact centers, with solution design being the most critical component to realizing results.
Technology enables solutions; it is not a solution in and of itself. Frequently, companies purchase technology without first fully understanding the problem to be solved and the processes to support the solution. The right technology with the right process and proper training can create a flawless experience in the contact center and a loyal, lifetime customer.
When technology and processes are designed correctly, agents have access to essential resources needed to take care of the customer, which ultimately leads to a satisfying experience. Without these key pieces in place, the agent must decide if they should transfer the call to another agent, hold while they seek help or call the customer back after they find the necessary information. Technology should be designed with the end-to-end customer experience in mind, providing front line agents with flexible, readily available information.
Some core technology is necessary to provide a great customer experience in the contact center, including:
- Messaging and Routing – This is the technology used to identify customers and anticipate their needs through user-friendly, self-service options that quickly and easily get them to the agent most able to assist them. When used correctly, the customer is able to either electronically obtain the necessary information to answer their question or are seamlessly routed to the best agent to take care of them. In addition, it is important to pass all pieces of data through to the agent, so they can personalize each interaction and pick up where the system previously ended.
- Knowledge and Learning Management Systems – After the customer has been properly routed, the agent can use this technology to quickly and effectively find the information they need to address the customer’s issue. These tools have greatly evolved in recent years to enable agent development and tie data therein to performance metrics. The key to success here is to ensure the system is easy to navigate and has all of the accurate information needed for the agent to drive to First Contact Resolution.
- CRM – This technology is the heartbeat of a contact center in that it allows a company to clearly and succinctly deliver information to enable the agent to customize the call to the needs of the customer. All critical customer data including profile information, contact preference, and historical notes must be readily available to enable seamless contact. The workflow design must be flexible enough that the agent can quickly and easily find any information they need. Most importantly, it houses all information across all business functions and channels to ensure a 360-view of the customer is available.
- Quality Monitoring and Speech Analytics – Driving quality service and valuable business insight into the contact center is critical and cannot be accomplished without the right technology and processes in place. These tools offer the ability to assess and manage quality through unstructured data analysis and contact monitoring. This data is also instrumental in analyzing and addressing significant cross-functional breakdowns, misalignment of policy decisions, and process issues. Most companies are under-utilizing these critical systems. Beyond improvements in call handling quality, these tools are valuable for mining data for ways to eliminate non-value contacts.
Again, keep technology as simple as possible and never implement technology without thorough process design to ensure it meets the needs of the customer and agent. We encourage all of our clients to remember the 80/20 rule: 80 percent of the business value comes from effective solution design and 20 percent from the technology itself. Technology aside, companies need their primary focus to be around the customer experience and enabling the front line team to deliver.
More questions about the role of technology in a contact center environment? Contact us.