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FCR Solutions Spotlight: 5 Contact Center Tech Upgrades to Consider in 2019 - FCR - Blog

FCR Solutions Spotlight: 5 Contact Center Tech Upgrades to Consider in 2019

The text of this article originally appeared on the FCR blog on December 5, 2018. Click here to read the original.

Hint: Focus on Agent Performance

If you’ve sat through any customer service technology demos or walked the showroom floor at an industry conference, you’ve undoubtedly heard well-meaning sales folks speak of innovation, disruption, and automation. I’ve heard this spoken of chatbots, in particular, this year. Statements like, “Chatbots will automate X% of your customer interactions” and “Your competition is working on a chatbot as we speak” have been uttered in my presence.

While automation continues to grab headlines in a variety of industries, there’s plenty of innovation happening in this space in other key areas that can improve your customer and agent experience – and in some cases, you’ll see gains in both quality AND efficiency – a rare win-win. There are five such areas where I see significant gains for your contact center by upgrading in 2019 if you haven’t already.

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Integrate Slack with support tools

Slack has revolutionized contact center communication. Still, I was stopped dead in my tracks earlier this year when a client asked, “Is there anything out there that’s better than Slack?” Wait, what? I thought Slack had completely disrupted their space. How could there be anything better?

That sent me on a quest to understand how our support teams use Slack (Read Part One and Part Two of my findings here). That exercise led me to a variety of Slack applications, of which there are many. Let me give you a couple of examples of where support teams are gaining some efficiency in Slack.

  1. Tighter integration with ticketing system – A common workflow on support teams when agents have questions is to enter their question and the ticket ID they’re working on in Slack – hopefully to a channel with multiple people who can help versus a direct message to one person. As you can imagine, this is a lot of copying and pasting and navigating between the ticketing system (like Zendesk or Salesforce) and Slack. That’s when we discovered an integration called BubbleIQ where agents, by simply tagging a ticket, can have that ticket posted to the appropriate Slack channel. Whoever reviews that post can add a note to the ticket from Slack without ever opening the ticketing system.
  2. Tighter integration with knowledge base – Another common use case with Slack is where agents ask questions. Many of our support teams have elaborate systems of editing the post with the question to also include the answer so folks can later leverage the searchability of Slack to find answers to questions that have already been asked. In a way, Slack becomes an internal knowledge base. To take it a step further, Guru has a great integration where agents can query the customer-facing knowledge base and even add new content directly from Slack. This article by Yael McCue, Senior Customer Success Manager at Guru talks about how they’ve gone all in on Knowledge Centered Support (KCS), a process for involving your entire support team in the creation of the knowledge base. It’s a perfect complement to this integration.

Those are a couple examples among many possibilities when it comes to integrating Slack with your other support tools. The likes of Zapier and Workato can take this even further.

Supercharge self-help

I already touched on self-help and knowledge base a bit but have more to say on this topic. Gone are the days of the stale FAQ or knowledge base on your website. Sure, if you don’t have a knowledge base, that’s a great place to start – and if you already have a ticketing system, chances are there’s a knowledge base included that you can use.

When it comes to artificial intelligence (AI), self-help is where the biggest difference is being made. While this begins to dip a toe into the chatbot waters, small to medium organizations likely don’t have the volume needed to fully automate customer interactions. There’s still plenty of opportunity for AI to help understand what customers need and connect them with faster, better solutions. Here are a few ideas to take that stagnant knowledge base off the back shelf and place it in the spotlight:

  1. Make sure knowledge is updated and relevant. As mentioned before, a process like KCS can make a difference on your support team. Without going into detail, KCS ensures that everyone on the support team, during every customer interaction, evaluates whether or not a knowledge article needs to be added or updated, keeping the content up to date.
  2. Track what customers are asking. In any searchable knowledge base, the system you’re using should be tracking what customers most frequently search for. Analyze that data closely and make sure you have answers to the questions they’re asking. Any time the customer can’t find what they’re looking for, they’re either calling customer support or walking away.
  3. Put content where customers are looking for it. Don’t expect your customers to go find your content. Present it to them in places that make sense. For example, Zendesk’s Answer Bot sends an automatic response to customers after they email support suggesting articles and allowing customers to close their ticket if it answered their question. Solvvy analyzes the questions customers enter into a support or chat form and presents answers before the customer proceeds with a support ticket or chat. AnswerDash is a widget that lives on every page of your website making it incredibly convenient to search the knowledge base. All of these tools use Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning to understand what the customer asked and they serve up the most relevant information. Furthermore, they track how often the presented solutions accurately address a customer’s issue.

Harness the power of microlearning

I teamed up with my colleague and contact center training expert, Sheri Kendall-duPont earlier this year to share 8 Essential Features for Your Contact Center Learning Management System (LMS). The feature that stands out above the rest for me is, “Provide microlearning opportunities for busy contact center professionals.

We’re busy in contact centers and I’m guessing that the possibility of shutting off the phones for an hour or two for meetings and training is slim to none in your center. How often do we put off training simply because there’s no time?

There’s a better way and it has to do with making the most of those slow times between customer interactions where agents need something to do. With a robust LMS, it’s easy to design lessons that take a few minutes and can be completed in between customer interactions on an individual basis. Lessonly and Hickory are a couple platforms that do a great job at this and have the tracking to ensure that everyone completes the training.

Recognize the speech patterns that lead to success

This article from Harvard Business Review on words and phrases to use and others to avoid during customer interactions was particularly insightful this year. The authors found that using “I” instead of “We” language, speaking in specifics, and taking charge of the situation leads to more successful customer interactions. This isn’t particularly shocking but sometimes difficult to quantify.

This is the power of speech and text analytics. Our customer interactions continue to be a huge learning opportunity where we can understand both the challenges and successes in the customer experience. I’ve been particularly intrigued by a company called RapportBoost that uses AI to analyze chat conversations and understand the speech patterns that lead to more sales and/or higher customer satisfaction. Those insights are then used to train the entire team to better engage customers.

Keep an eye on the customer engagement market

2018 has been a fascinating year for popular customer engagement solutions. Just to name a few, Salesforce announced an end of life for, Zendesk did a number of things like bolster their reporting with Guide and acquire their own CRM platform, Amazon now offers their Amazon Connect phone platform and doesn’t charge user license fees, and systems like Kustomer are rising up with the promise of getting us closer to a true omnichannel customer support experience.

I don’t have a recommendation on this front yet other than to say that this competition stands to benefit the customers using those products. This means that whether you stay put or adopt a new customer engagement platform in 2019, you’re sure to see more and more AI, better integration, deeper insights, and richer features.

To conclude, it’s been a good year of product demos and I expect the same in 2019. There are plenty of opportunities to beef up contact center technology whether it’s in communication, training, self-help, analytics, customer engagement, and more. As you do so, I urge you to focus especially on your agents and ways to empower and equip them to more efficiently serve customers without sacrificing quality.


Publish Date: January 11, 2019 5:00 AM

2020 Buyers Guide Remote Agent Solutions


Making sure agents can work remotely isn’t a problem with Branches. The system shows accurate information, real-time. No fear of missing out on important updates anymore.


Web Agent
Our Web Agent application is a web browser-based telephone agent interface for the Genesis Intelligent Series (IS) call center platform. The Genesis Web Agent application makes any personal computer a professional telephone agent station.


Centrical Business Continuity & Remote Work Solutions
Centrical Solutions Help Sustain Business Continuity,
Keep Employees Engaged and Connected During COVID-19
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Centrical, provider of the holistic, real-time employee engagement and performance management platform, offers contact centers ways to

Keep calm and keep working remotely.

We offer solutions for business continuity in a crisis that provide effective engagement, communications, and reskilling of employees working from home, among other things. They will let you:

Reduce anxiety and isolation
The times we’re in require an extra effort to communicate and keep everyone connected. With Centrical, you can create an ongoing stream of communica...
(read more)
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Cloud IT Services GmbH

Dialfire offers you a complete call center solution that is simple and intuitive to use and adapts to your needs. It's completely cloud-based, saving you the hassle of setting up a phone system and installing software. In addition to predictive dialing and call blending of inbound calls, you can create personalized campaigns through an intuitive and easy-to-use interface. Features include automated workflows and full control over the agent screen.

You can see the full list of features here:

Consilium Software

Consilium UniAgent™ Mobile
As we enter the next stage of the global pandemic, Contact Centers are faced with a new set of challenges to enable their Agents to Work-from-Home without impacting Customer Experience (CX). UniAgent™ Mobile is the ideal solution to enable Work-from-Home Agents using Tablets or Smartphones or PC without any VPN. UniAgent™ Mobile is compatible with Cisco CCE, CCX, PCCE and HCS-CC contact centers (both bridged and nailed connection). UniAgent™ Mobile is available as On-Premises or Cloud Solution which can be hosted in the Private Cloud, or on the Public Cloud (AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, etc.). UniAgent™ Mobile can be deployed in conjunction with Cisco Unified Mobile Agent (CU...
(read more)
PH: (+61) 406 501 368

Dalbar Inc.

CXA iCoach
As a leading expert in contact center business practices, DALBAR recognizes the challenge of consistently delivering exceptional customer experiences with the sudden shift to remote teams. Our self-evaluation and coaching solution for remote representatives and virtual contact centers will let you meet these challenges head on. DALBAR's CXA iCoach solution, combines our proprietary criteria and over 40 years of industry research. It allows Contact Center Managers and Quality Teams to continue to improve and provide a better customer experience even when they aren't at a physical location.
PH: 617-723-6400


CallGuard Remote
A flexible way to take secure, PCI DSS compliant payments from home or remote locations. It’s quick to deploy needs no changes to processes or systems.
CallGuard Remote prevents agents from seeing, hearing or recording card details so, the agent, their screen, and any call recordings are removed from the scope of PCI DSS. This simple approach means the customer effectively types their own payment information into the agent’s payment screen, but with the card details being shielded from the agent’s view. It’s simple, and highly effective.
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MattsenKumar LLC

Virtual Contact Center Solutions
Our virtual contact center services help our clients to run their customer support processes (phone, chat, and email) remotely. Our well trained remote agents can help them deliver the best experience for their customers irrespective of the channels. With our data security measures, engaged workforce, and the right reporting tools, our clients are guaranteed with a satisfied customer base.
PH: +91 99026 10044

MFE International

Oracle LIVE Experience
Live Experience offers HD voice, video, Screen sharing and annotations for customer mobile users. Agents interacted with users using desktops or mobile. Applications are for Financial Services, Retail, Travel and Hospitality, Digital Services, Utilities, Coporate IT where remote HD video, screen share or annotation is needed for a great customer experience.

Orion Learning Services Inc.

Learning & Development
Learning & Development - For Remote Workers
Learning & Development for Remote Agents, Supervisors, Managers and Administration/Support Staff

Orion Learning is a global leader in providing accredited learning and development solutions for organizations globally. We offer call/contact center certification programs for Agents, Supervisors and Managers, business certifications and examinations for wide range of topics including project management, change management and service management, leadership soft skills and a full suite of assessment tools which can be used for recruitment, talent management, succession planning and coaching/mentoring. We deliver our solutions to global community and all of our solutions are delivered digitally.
PH: 1-416-992-5158


VADS Indonesia Remote Agent Solutions helps your company with various features that can make it easier for you and your company to stay productive, can be accessed anywhere because it uses cloud-based licenses so that it can help you and your business activities run smoothly.The features that keep your company activities running and productive.
PH: 0217991445

View more from FCR

Recent Blog Posts:
When Friendly Customer Service is SecondaryFebruary 20, 2019 5:00 AM
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FCR Solutions Spotlight: 5 Contact Center Tech Upgrades to Consider in 2019January 11, 2019 5:00 AM
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