For many years no one really worried about the call center. It was just a line item on the budget that you had to have, but no one really saw how they could "use" their call center to make for a better business. But as the business world has gone more customer-centric, the call center has been pushed to the forefront as the hub of a company's customer experience. You know that your customers are calling in with sales and service issues, and you're constantly monitoring key metrics to ensure things are running along smoothly. But do you really know what is happening?
Real-time reporting gives both the agents and managers instant access into what is really happening in the call center. Agents can watch their performance metrics as they progress throughout the day, making them more aware of how each action they take impacts their daily goals. For instance, how many calls versus chats have they completed? What is their QA score for the day? This real-time information empowers them to make better and faster decisions. Meanwhile, managers track things like the number of agents available (which affects hold-time), longest call waiting, call abandonment rate and average talk time for individual agents, as well as groups. If they are alerted to a compliance issue in real-time, for example, a manager could easily message an agent while they are still on the phone and help direct the conversation. With real-time reporting managers don't only know what's happening, they can control it!
It's probably safe to assume that your agents are handling similar customer service and sales issues call after call after call. A package got lost in transit, a product isn't working properly, they need to update contact or billing information; they can practically resolve those issues in their sleep! But what happens when a customer calls in with a more complicated issue that your agents don't typically have to handle? The rise of self-service channels has led a lot of customers to look first and call second, so they expect the agents to be better and more helpful and more knowledgeable than they are. Many customers are infuriated by speaking with a rude or incompetent customer service representative, 33% say they would leave because of it, so how your agents handle the unexpected directly impacts the overall customer experience. Do they get stuck in their script? Can they admit they don't know something and find someone who does? Do they stay calm or do they get flustered and defensive? Managers need to know how their agents handle the unexpected so they can provide on-the-spot guidance to preserve the customer experience and overall quality score.
Technology has certainly made the call center much more efficient, proactive and even profitable for many companies. But we all know just how frustrating it is when your software quits working mid-project or two apps are fighting each other and crash your whole computer. Is your contact center software making things better or worse for your agents? If your software is routinely crashing or resetting while agents are on calls, the customers are the ones who end up paying the process. If your IVR system keeps looping back on itself you're creating unnecessary pain points! If your agents know that a certain application will only bog them down and they aren't using it then you're spending money on software that isn't helping anyone! You need to know which people AND which products are bringing your whole contact center down. If a piece of technology isn't contributing to the betterment of your call center it has to go!
Your contact center has to hold the customer experience together, so if you only look at metrics you're missing the bigger picture! What is really going on with your agents, your software and your callers? The more you know the better you can plan for the future.
Publish Date: January 22, 2015 5:00 AM