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Article : Don’t Drop the Omni-Channel Baton and Win the CX Relay Race

#contactcenterworld, @Calabrio

Author: Jim Davies, Chief Experience Officer, Calabrio

Managing the hand-over from bot to agent is like taking part in a relay race. Here are 3 winning strategies for a seamless customer experience that are guaranteed to take you over the finish line in a record-setting way.

The ability for customers to self-serve successfully is increasing steadily, in line with technological advances, but there is a long way to go before we can even begin to contemplate an exclusive reliance on such tools. Meanwhile, leading research organisations are consistent in their opinion and predictions that the number of agents worldwide will not change dramatically over the next few years which means agents and bots need to coexist for the foreseeable future.

Realistically, I believe the challenge for most contact centres will be managing the transition from self-service to assisted service, when an agent takes over from a bot’s failed attempt to resolve the customer interaction. It reminds me of a relay race where one of the runners is a chatbot and passes the ‘experience baton’ onto an agent to complete the final leg and win the race.

The ‘Experience Baton’ Challenge

With this image in mind, I foresee 4 likely scenarios in the relay race and yet only one promises the record-breaking outcome everyone is looking for:

The Chatbot Stumbles

In this scenario, the agent doesn’t even get to speak to the customer because the chatbot has failed so dismally, that the customer abandons the interaction. We can all recite horror stories where chatbots send us around in infinite loops with seemingly no ability or interest in actually helping us with even the simplest tasks. The trouble is these kinds of frustrating experiences are bad for business because they are a key driver of brand defection. While many people will give you a second chance, an astonishing 3 in 5 consumers say they’ve switched brands due to negative contact centre experiences.

Dropping the Baton

In this scenario, the chatbot runs a good leg. It has collected the necessary information and perhaps even partially resolved the customer issue, but can’t quite make it to the finish line therefore needs to hand over to an agent. This is when things go wrong. During the hand-over between chatbot and agent, the ‘experience baton’ is dropped and the agent is left fumbling around trying to pick it up. This manifests itself through questions such as "Who are you?" and "Why are you calling?" These are topics known by the chatbot but not passed on to the agent, resulting in high levels of frustration when customers have to repeat themselves.

The Agent Stumbles

In this scenario, the chatbot successfully hands over the baton to an agent but on the sprint to the finish line, the agent stumbles. There could be a few reasons for this—stress, disengagement, fatigue, process complexity, information availability or system limitations but the result is the same, a poor customer experience.

The Winning Team

In this final scenario, the ‘experience baton’ is handed over seamlessly and the agent sprints to the finish line. The customer is satisfied and the agent has lived up to their role of brand guardian with the power to influence corporate perception, customer loyalty and company profits.

So how does your contact centre measure up? Generate a gut-feel score between 1 and 10 for each of these 4 scenarios then prioritize the lowest scoring scenario to help bots and agents strengthen their grip on the ‘experience baton’.

In my longer blog in the The CX Lab I discuss ways to win the CX relay including tight integration, AI driven customer self-service and adopting a strong Workforce Engagement Management (WEM) framework.

By using the right tactics and with regular practice, you will soon reach Olympic standards. Nurture your agents and invest in effective self-service platforms that transfer vital contextual customer information to the front line when needed, then you can sit back in the stands and raise a toast to running a successful contact centre race. 

#contactcenterworld, @Calabrio

About Jim Davies:
Jim Davies is Chief Experience Officer at Calabrio

About Calabrio:
Company LogoThe digital foundation of a customer-centric contact center, the Calabrio ONE suite helps enrich and understand human interactions, empowering your contact center as a brand guardian. We maximize agent performance, exceed customer expectations, and boost workforce efficiency using connected data, AI-fueled analytics, automated workforce management and personalized coaching. Only Calabrio ONE unites WFO, agent engagement and business intelligence solutions into a true-cloud, fully integrated suite that adapts to your business.
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Today's Tip of the Day - 0 - 100% Rollout Can Hurt

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

Published: Wednesday, June 14, 2023

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2024 Buyers Guide IVR

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eGain SmartIVR
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PEC Telecom

Virtual Phone Numbers (DID) and Business VoIP Phone Service
Whether a customer is running a Call Center business, an IVR system to take phone orders or a voice mail service bureau, he still needs inbound lines and access numbers (DIDs). These lines and DIDs give customers the ability to call in and use the service. Traditionally, these lines and DIDs were obtained through the local telephone company (i.e. Verizon, AT&T or Time Warner) and a company could only purchase numbers with area codes in the region the system resided. With VoIP, this has changed.

DID Live is an IP DID service that allows you to accept incoming calls via VoIP as an alternative to standard digital or analog lines. The service provides the same quality of sound you expect from...
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Voice Self Service
Voice self-service can reduce cost and improve customer satisfaction. As with every system implementation, it is not the software, but the implementation that will define the success of the project. This also holds true for self-service implementations. Pointel follows a unique and proven process to implement voice self service. This process has been fine-tuned through years of experience implementing contact center and self-service applications. Pointel can design and develop solutions that will meet and exceed our client’s voice application needs. With several years of experience in Genesys GVP(Genesys Voice Platform) implementation and integration, Pointel can provide an integrated voice...
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