Call center technology has the power to alleviate the burden and micromanagement of manual, repetitive processes; enabling contact centers to focus on providing better customer service while remaining decisively compliant. With massive amounts of data generated every second including calls in queue, net staffing, schedule details, agent state and so much more having the right technology in place can save organizations time, prevent missed opportunities, and provide an excellent ROI. In an era of perpetual information overload, call center automation and compliance become more valuable as data increases. An effective set of workforce engagement management (WEM) tools must process high-volume data in real-time to intelligently determine and direct each agent’s activity in order to maximize productivity and engagement while delivering immediate results.
In the last two years, many of the existing WEM assumptions, rules, and parameters should be re-examined. With the burden of relocation, staffing management, and general global confusion, organizational and technological management teams have struggled at times to assist the front line. Automation is key to making the SOP and data generated by your call center manageable; especially to agents. The simplification and efficiency of automation can do wonders for your call center and your metrics, but you must be strategic in the areas of automation implementation.
When we talk about the value of call center automation, we must make a few distinctions, however. Call center technology and automation should be able to track and provide data mined from internal performance metrics as well as customer service automation platforms in order to create a holistic view of the customer experience.
Internal performance metrics seek to reveal efficiencies and opportunities by leveraging real time statistical data to automate, manage and drive the employee performance management process and identify success stories as well as points of weakness. This is further complicated with hybrid work structures now being incorporated into our traditional call center metrics. With agents working alone in their home offices as well as on-site, expectations for adherence and productivity must be agile as well. Adherence alarms, shrinkage, super-state analysis and many other existing performance reporting mechanisms must be flexible in order to ebb and flow to the new norms of performance.
Optimally, contact center automation should lean heavily on performance management strategy. Once connected, we can seamlessly create and execute targeted development plans, measure and deliver incentives, and performance-related pay, providing multiple improvement opportunities and thereby aligning the individual and the organization.
The same call center technology that provides service level and occupancy rate analytics allowing supervisors to make changes as needed throughout the day and week should also provide centralized and automated planning tools to effectively manage and streamline front and back office personnel.
As we look to an uncertain future, the preservation of your business strategy and the emphasis on accurate forecasting is impossible without the tools to provide efficient and innovative long-term planning. Your WEM software should be an easy-to-use for forecasting, planning, scheduling, employee self-service and real-time management that helps give insight into future facilities requirements based on big-picture goals and events, enabling more effective demand planning.
Once your call center technology can be configured and deployed to fit your internal needs, it creates big differences in your bottom line. Improved and valuable technology increases bandwidth. This bandwidth then allows agents the autonomy and ability to manage their own personal time, schedule, metrics, and work. If we can facilitate a shared purpose, vision and management transparency, we can empower employees to perform better.
Contact centers implement performance management tools to change advisor behavior, improve engagement and measure performance across their team, but ultimately, it’s customer interactions that drive data creation in our industry. As new pathways to customer experience develop, new tools, preferences and strategies emerge. Customer service automation tools unlock valuable information that exists across separate contact center systems and enables you to consolidate, correlate and action key information relevant to CX. As customer behaviors change, performance management tools provide unlimited opportunities to refine and perfect customer service and sales strategy.
The new trend in customer service automation strategy is standardization of service, enabling customers to navigate between touchpoints cohesively. Digital communication channels for customer service and assistance remain a non-invasive way to ensure customers can stay connected to the business and maintain control at their convenience. As the future of the contact center evolves, this strategy will continue to pay dividends. Further improvements in omnichannel focus and personalization, focused CRM segmentation, and dedicated self-serve capabilities will drive the need for even more innovative cohesive automation and communication strategies. If your call center omnichannel strategy has been carefully thought through and set up correctly, automated services including ai will deal with easier queries, while the more complicated questions and complaints are left for live agents. Once your customer does connect to a live agent, it is imperative that the call center omnichannel strategy your business develops has the capacity to blend and seamlessly integrate automation with live agents. Designing your training and CE to gamify and integrate elements like dynamic scripting functionality and automation will ensure your live agents, omnichannel, and voice ai technology platforms all sync up.
Customer service automation also plays a decisive role in call center compliance. Automation strategies have the unique ability to utilize cross-channel self-service, where customers can make requests, fill out forms, or simply trigger actions that give companies a better understanding of customer needs and financial position. Savvy companies are beginning to utilize this information to actively adjust and customize their compliance; thereby setting into motion a system that becomes more compliant as customer engagement increases. The advantages of this strategy are twofold. The ability to improve call center collections compliance and elevate customer experience is truly unprecedented.
Automated, real-time tracking and forecasting across channels means that you can better predict how many call center agents you will need to schedule in advance. Automated forecasting tools help boost productivity without generating unnecessary expenses. This automation in turn provides the ability to create alerts and trigger workflows based on KPI thresholds such as schedule adherence, shrinkage, and service level. RTA (Real-Time Adherence) is a vital component of your WFM and your operations strategy that automatically surfaces issues. These sophisticated forecasting and scheduling algorithms leverage the full breadth of historical and intraday data and support multiple business objectives without constant oversight.
Call center technology innovations have reimagined ways to improve call center employee engagement as well as the customer experience in a way that no business anticipated. Armed with the right internal technology and data, your organization can maximize efficiency, monitor, improve and reward performance while reducing turnover. With the right CX technology, you can combine a highly integrated strategy with a well-trained managerial team and front line — producing high-quality customer interactions, better customer experiences and more engaged agents. If your internal, employee-centric agent experience is top notch, you can bet your customer experience is as well.
Courtney Cox is a Product Marketing Manager at Alvaria with 5+ years-experience in the Call Center Software industry. Her expertise lies in understanding the magic of a product the customer and how to connect the two. By applying her industry knowledge, she enjoys sharing her takeaways and experiences with readers.