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Article : How to Make Contact Center Agents into Superheroes

#contactcenterworld, @teamhgs

Author: Chris DeLambo, SVP of Business Development, Customer Experience Transformation, HGS

Whether you're a diehard Marvel fan or you pledge fealty to D.C., everybody likes a superhero. Not only do they always save the day, but many are also multi-talented, with a range of useful skills they can deploy as needed.

Contact centers, too, can have superheroes. They’re known as universal agents, or super agents. Like superheroes, these agents are versatile, multifaceted employees. And they have a superpower every contact center needs: They ensure happier customers and keep costs down through faster resolution rates.

Many contact centers, however, are still operating under the old model: regular agents working in silos.

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The Challenges of the Contact Center

Many contact centers hire and train people for one specific role: customer service, billing, tech support, sales, customer retention, and so forth. Customers contacting a brand are routed to the appropriate department, and must wait for the first available agent trained to handle their specific need, rather than immediately speaking to any available agent.

The availability of more communications channels has further complicated things. Multichannel communications are good for the customer on one level, because they can contact a brand through their preferred medium: voice call, email, webchat, SMS/MMS message, in-app messaging, social media and so on.

But on the other hand, having so many channels can lead to longer wait times for customers if agents are only trained on, or assigned to, one or two channels. One particular day may bring a rush of webchat queries, but not many customers calling or messaging. Some agents may sit idle — while still costing money — while others tackle the webchat queries, one at a time.

These longer response and resolution times translate into lower customer satisfaction levels and costly inefficiencies. And with so many types of customer inquiries, and so many channels through which to address them, contact centers have to hire more people to have enough agents for every niche, which likewise increases costs.

The Super Agent to the Rescue

Enter the concept of the super agent, or universal agent, who wears many hats, and all of them well. These agents can handle more than one type of customer contact driver, or even all contact drivers. They’re comfortable with technology, can communicate effectively, and boast razor-sharp problem-solving skills.

Best of all, they’re able to multitask, quickly switching not only between different brain-work tasks, but also between different communications channels, without missing a beat.

Turning a regular agent into a super agent isn’t as easy as handing them a mask and cape. For starters, it takes the right kind of person to be able to do all of this. Contact centers must reconsider what metrics they are using in their screening and hiring processes to find people who are, or can be trained to be, a skilled generalist.

Once you’ve hired the right people, you have to set them up for success. Agents must be trained to navigate any customer queries that come their way — not just one or two contact drivers — and given the right tools.

That includes an omnipotent knowledge management platform that is rigorously maintained and continuously updated, because even the most experienced, highly trained agent sometimes comes across a situation that stumps them. Knowledge management also can also boost the customer experience: If agents know they have a tool that can assist them when they’re stymied, they will be more confident and collected when interacting with customers.

Of course, that’s just the human side of a super agent. There’s another component: technology.

Technology for the Win

Human agents cost a contact center money, but they’re 100% necessary. However, they are not necessary in 100% of interactions.

Many customer queries are fairly basic: What is your return policy? How can I sign up for a loyalty card? What accessories are compatible with my recent purchase? All of these can be easily handled by a bot trained via machine learning. They can even be answered by the customer themselves, through an automated self-service center that has been optimally designed to guide a customer toward the right resolution. Both of these options require some initial investment, but provide an ROI that reduces overall costs.

More complex queries need the human touch, but technology can be useful in those instances, too. Contact centers can tie artificial intelligence (AI) into a cloud-based knowledge management platform to improve resolution rates, even for difficult queries. As an agent types keywords into a search bar, the AI serves up the right information, much faster than an agent manually searching. This is good for both the customer, in terms of their time and satisfaction, and the contact center, in terms of costs and efficiency.

Contact centers can also add an AI with natural language processing (NLP) to a cloud-based phone system. The AI "hears" the customer’s query as the customer speaks it into the phone, and instantly populates the agent’s screen with the resolution. The agent only needs to deliver the answer and personalize the interaction.

Bots and Brains Together

There will always be tricky customer situations or difficult phone calls that even the most advanced AI of our time cannot handle, and that’s why a contact center also needs super agents, or universal agents.

But combining smart technology with humans who have been trained and set up for success is an ideal scenario for a contact center. This model cuts costs and drives efficiencies while helping customers get their issues resolved faster — ultimately resulting in higher customer satisfaction and a better customer experience

#contactcenterworld, @teamhgs

 


About Hinduja Global Solutions Ltd.:
Company LogoHGS is a global provider in consumer engagement, digital CX, and business process management (BPM).
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Today's Tip of the Day - Scripting

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

Published: Monday, December 21, 2020

Printer Friendly Version Printer friendly version

2022 Buyers Guide Telecoms

 
1.) 
Cloud IT Services GmbH

Dialfire
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:

2.) 
Cloudonix

Cloudonix’s smart voice calls enable frictionless experiences that drive better customer care and faster sales by merging voice and data into a complete service context. Cloudonix add Cloud capabilities to your existing on premise Call Center enabling your agents to work from anywhere in the world. Security, Privacy and more – rapidly deployed and cost effective without replacing your existing systems or retraining your team.

3.) 
Connectica Solutions, LLC

PBX On The Cloud
We provide complete Cloud-based PBX/Phone Systems, including predictive and progressive dialers, phone lines in more than 75 countries and low cost international rates.
We specialize in the US and Latin American market.

4.) 
DiRAD Technologies

AI Powered Contact Center Provider, AI Chat & Voicebot, Enterprise Telephony
Take advantage of the latest customer service innovations with Contact Center, Virtual Assistant, and Interactive Voice solutions for accessible, 24×7 services across multiple channels.

5.) 
Layer One Technologies

Layer One Technologies provides information and communication technology (ICT) services to businesses in the greater Charlotte area. Whatever your cabling needs, we have you covered.

6.) 
Megacall

VOIP services
Stay in contact quickly and easily with your international offices through Megacall.

Megacall will fulfill all your telecommunication requirements and on top of that go the extra mile and surprise you with new possibilities for your business, speed to action your requests and keeping within your budget.

📞 Virtual Switchboard
🔌 SIP trunk
🔢 Virtual number
📠 Call Center Solutions

7.) 
NetSapiens

SNAPsolution
Our SNAPsolution – UC and Collaboration tools – can be quickly deployed so you can realize your ROI just as quick. netsapiens offers a comprehensive suite of unified communications (UC) & Contact Center (CC) feature-sets to service providers. Custom-built to provide our partners with unprecedented levels of flexibility, customization, and ease of use.

netsapiens allows you to control your margins in order to improve your ROI. As a provider of a facilities-based solution, you are able to personally choose your origination, termination, hardware costs, etc. to fit your budget. We also allow you to strategically price your product for a maximum return on your investment by charging on a conc...
(read more)

8.) 
Nuxiba Technologies

CenterWare
Build a strong business presence and improve customer relationships!

Offer custom-tailored solutions throughout your sales cycles and customer interactions and assess service levels and control corporate goal achievement through reports and statistics.

Obtain detailed reports based on relevant activity in your contact center, access our quality module to assess calls and performance, apply surveys, develop scripts, record conversations, and more!

Schedule a live demo or request a quote today!

9.) 
PRILINK

Demarc Network Traffic Monitor
A lightweight Network Traffic Monitor that privides real-time traffic alerts and tracks all IP and SIP endpoints at Demarc. It analyzes mirrored SIP Trunk and Internet traffic in real-time and compiles Network Traffic Analytics (NTA) for all endpoints giving daily network traffic telemetry, most active endpoint summary, endpoint search table and more.

10.) 
Scopserv Integrated Services

ScopTEL IP PBX
The ScopTel IP PBX solution is a distributed software application
that can be installed on both virtual and physical servers, thus
offering a multitude of architectural designs from premise-based
servers to a centralized data center (DC) hosted WAN
environment. The application is distributed as an ISO which
includes the customized Linux operating system

11.) 
Televergence

Long Distance and Toll Free Specialists for Contact Centers
Televergence is a facilities based US Nationwide High volume/High Capacity Inbound and Outbound VoIP Carrier for Contact Centers. We specialize in termination (outbound) and origination (toll free and local DID) for the contact center. We have a technical staff that is up to date on the majority of platforms in use today, including asterisk and Vicci dial, as well as many of the currently in use software platforms.
Contact Centers generally see cost reduction and containment when using Televergence as their contact center telecom carrier. Televergence is the only active US VoIP carrier certified by the Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), which enables our services to qualify for meeting corporations Supplier Diversity Needs.

12.) 
The Phone Number Testing Company

Phone Number Testing and Validation
Bulk testing and validation of UK Landline and mobile numbers, with a growing list of other coutries where we can test.

If you own a large customer or business prospect sales database, our service helps you to quickly and accurately cleanse all the dead records, by identifying all the dead phone numbers.

We offer a free no obligation test trial
 

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