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Article : Contact Centers Prepare for Change and Growth in 2021

#contactcenterworld, @inContact

Author: Gayathri (G3) Krishnamurthy, Product Marketing Director, NICE inContact

I'm sure most of us want to bury the year 2020 and never think or talk about it again. The pandemic lockdowns altered the business landscape as consumers changed their buying habits, businesses pivoted to survive, and so many companies permanently shut their doors.

It's tempting to put 2020 behind us and move on, but before you permanently put it out of mind, you should consider some of the critical lessons learned about the past year and use the information to guide your 2021 contact center investments.

An effective look back needs to include answering the question, "Were we as prepared as we could have been for the impacts of the pandemic?" Granted, it would have been difficult to predict this particular scenario, so maybe reword the previous question to, "Is our business prepared to handle the unexpected?"

Part of business continuity is ensuring all functions in your organization, especially the contact center, are resilient, flexible and agile. This will ensure your organization can respond better to any crisis, regardless of the specifics. In 2021, contact centers should invest in their own resiliency by increasing agent support, implementing digital channels and embracing the potential of AI-powered bots.

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Investing in Agents Becomes More Critical

Your agents are your greatest assets, playing a critical role in satisfying customers. You probably sent them home to work at the beginning of the lockdowns and many may still be there. Have you made remote agents part of your permanent operational model like many other contact centers?

The transition, while needed, was not perfect for many. Agents stoically handled technology glitches, changing plans, and not having everything they needed to do their jobs. But enough time has passed that these initial bumps should be smoothed away. At-home agents should have necessary tools and still feel like they’re part of a team.

To make sure your agents are cared for and positioned for success, consider the following investments. Prior to the pandemic, some organizations had embraced a remote agent model, but many others had only dabbled in it and still others had work from home (WFH) pilots on their long-range road maps. The pandemic forced the hands of the more reluctant contact centers and those future pilots became immediate, full-scale implementations.

It turns out that contact centers (and many agents) really like the remote agent model. In fact, the 2020 Customer Experience (CX) Transformation Benchmark revealed that 70 percent of contact centers expect they will continue to have agents work from home after the outbreak.

A key to making this model work is providing at-home agents with access to all the applications they use when they are on-site at the contact center facility. This can include their agent desktop, CRM, knowledge base, performance dashboards, quality monitoring tools, scheduling applications, and more. If these are all in the cloud, giving agents access is quick and straightforward, especially compared to making on-premises software available to remote workers.

Go the Digital Way for Channels

Your customers want to interact with you on digital channels. Are you meeting those expectations? NICE inContact consumer research has shown that 90 percent of consumers say they are more willing to do business with a company that provides more ways to communicate. Further, digital channels like email and chat have strong preference scores and others are gaining ground, especially among Millennials and Gen Z.

There's an imperative for digital-first customer service that many contact center leaders recognize. In fact, digital channels are gaining favor among decision-makers, with chat and SMS experiencing the highest YOY increases as preferred interaction channels. But these gains aren't just limited to agent-assisted digital channels. Self-service digital channels are also experiencing gains, led by mobile apps.

Customer demand isn't the only reason to implement digital channels. There are also very practical reasons to go digital – it can help contact centers manage demand and provide more agility as part of business continuity plans. Most digital channels, unlike voice interactions, don't require real-time responses. This means agents can respond to, for example, emails when phone volume slows down.

This characteristic was particularly helpful at the start of the pandemic when phone volume and wait times were high – customers who couldn't get through on the phone could send an email or a message on Facebook Messenger and eventually receive a response without having to wait in a long phone queue.

Time to Go Cloud

Digital investments are all critical, but they need to be implemented on the right platform to ensure maximum success. In fact, 66 percent of contact centers who are not using cloud today are planning to accelerate their move to the cloud as a result of the pandemic. They recognize the flexibility cloud-based solutions provide.

A cloud platform allows agents to onboard quickly and seamlessly work from home. Additionally, when your contact center software is in the cloud, adding and integrating new digital channels is a snap. And the open nature of cloud platforms makes integration of AI capabilities much easier compared to on-premises solutions.

Start 2021 off right with a decision to invest in agents, digital channels, bots, and a cloud platform to ensure your contact center is prepared for the unexpected.

#contactcenterworld, @inContact


About NICE inContact:
Company LogoNICE inContact works with organizations of all sizes to create customer experiences that create deeper brand loyalty and relationships that last. With NICE inContact CXoneTM, a cloud customer experience platform, we combine Customer Analytics, Omnichannel Routing, Workforce Optimization, Automation and Artificial Intelligence, all on an Open Cloud Foundation to help any company transform every single customer interaction.
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Today's Tip of the Day - Channel Selection

Read today's tip or listen to it on podcast.

Published: Friday, January 29, 2021

Printer Friendly Version Printer friendly version

2021 Buyers Guide Inbound Call Handling Services

 
1.) 
2Ring

2Ring Gadgets for Cisco Finesse
2Ring Gadgets for Cisco Finesse, offered in three bundles (standard, enhanced, premium), empowers supervisors and enables agents to become more efficient.

Supervisors are able to handle everyday tasks on their own from within Cisco Finesse: reskill agents, view detailed information about agents and customer interactions in real-time, receive alerts about important call center events (RONA, Calls in Queue, ..), send messages to agents, or even change wallboards on the fly. Be flexible to provide help when needed.

Agents gain all the features that they need to serve customers faster - repetitive tasks are automated, alerts about important call center events pop-up on top of all the appli...
(read more)

2.) 
3Fiftynine

Branches
Calls are received by the right person or department. The right corresponding information is shown to the agent which makes that appointments are handled quicker and more secure.

3.) 
Agara

Agara is an autonomous virtual voice agent powered by Real-time Voice AI. It is designed to have intelligent conversations with your customers, vendors, and partners without any assistance from human agents. It can handle a wide variety of calls including inbound customer care calls, outbound lead generation calls, appointment scheduling calls, and overdue payment recovery calls.

Agara is available for several industries including banking, insurance, retail, e-commerce, airlines, and telecom. Powered by advanced Real-time Voice AI that understands speech in real-time, automatically determines the right process to follow and guides the caller along in the process with natural conversation.

4.) 
Call Center Studio

Call Center Studio
Call Center Studio is the world’s first call center built on Google and is one of the most secure and stable systems with some of the industry’s best reporting. It is one of the most full-featured enterprise grade systems (with the most calling features, one of the best call distribution, outbound dialing features and integrations—including IVR, AI Speech Recognition, blended inbound/outbound calling and includes Google’s new Dialogflow and Speech API. Call Center Studio is the absolute easiest to use (with a 10 minute setup), and is the price performance leader with lower equipment cost and less setup time.

5.) 
Connect Assist

Contact Centre Services
We’re a specialist Contact Centre business and market leaders helping socially focused organisations deliver quality support to their clients and service users. We do this by providing 24/7 helplines, software solutions and consultancy services.

Since launching in 2006, we’ve operated at the sharp end of customer service, supporting some of society’s most vulnerable people. We’ve pioneered in our space to become a specialist in helplines, whilst using the most advanced communication and database technologies available.

Our social mission has remained a constant throughout, providing many meaningful career prospects and growth opportunities to people within our local communities and fur...
(read more)

6.) 
Jointly International Inc.

Front Office Solutions
Front office is your Company’s first line of customer interaction and serves as the mirror of your business. Focus on your core business and let our competent staff handle your various front office needs such as:

* Customer Service via chat, email or phone
* Technical Support via chat, email or phone
* Helpdesk
* Virtual Assistant/Receptionist
* Answering Service
* Lead Generation
* Appointment Setting
* Verification
* Surveys
* Debt Recover, Collections

7.) 
MattsenKumar LLC

Contact Center Outsourcing
By catering valuable, usable and enjoyable customer service, businesses can increase their CSAT Score and Customer Retention Rate. We help organizations to provide quality customer service through varied channels like email, phone and live chat. Ensuring quality after-sales support is our USP and we rely on proven approaches to ensure quality customer service.

8.) 
OpsTel Services

SPEED
The SPEED solution solves for service level issues while cost optimizing the environment with automation.

Provides an enhanced way to speed up & optimize invoking temporary agent skills configuration changes into the contact center environment.

Speed allows you to schedule both future changes & temporary changes that auto-revert back to the original state when scheduled time expires.

Speed features:

*Automated / Scheduled Temporary Agent Skills Configuration Management
*Immediate Temporary or Reoccurring Schedule Skills Configuration Changes
*Easy to Use/Operations Administration Focused
*Descriptive Monitoring Activity Dashboard
*Detailed “End to End’ Audit Trail and Performance Monitoring

9.) 
Vads

VADS Inbound Contact Center
VADS Inbound Contact Center Services provide live operators who answer incoming calls as you would yourself. A team of professional script writers is available to help you script a greeting and experience programmers will set up a time and money saving program. Our unique approach to call center services is client-focused, and takes each project’s unique needs into account to our client’s satisfaction. We offer solution as part of our service to keep you in touch with your client and drive sales.

- Customer Service
- Walk In Center
- Service Desk

10.) 
Technosys IT Management

Customer Support
Technosys IT Management Bpo, the business process Outsourcing, gives end-to-end transformative administrations for its customers over the globe. The organization's coordinated IT and BPO arrangements approach empowers it to open business esteem crosswise over ventures and administration lines, and address business challenges for its customers. Using inventive business perfection structures, progressing profitability changes, process reengineering, mechanization, and front line innovation stages, Technosys IT Management empowers its customers to accomplish their cost diminishment goals, enhance process efficiencies, upgrade viability, and convey unrivaled client encounter

11.) 
Tru29 Outsource Solutions Inc.

Front Office Solutions
Any part of your business operations that requires constant end-customer facing task is an essential part of your business.

This task requires a good customer experience results for every customer interaction. Our extensive experience in handling Front Office related tasks can help you focus on your core business while being cost-efficient at the same time.
 

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