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Article : Omni-Agents – Fact or Fiction

#contactcenterworld, @Calabrio

Omni-Agents – Fact or Fiction

Tommy Palomäki of Teleopti outlines the challenges and offers three tips for scheduling multi-skilled agents.

Omnichannel has been a buzzword for a few years now as modern consumers demand a consistent, satisfying and effortless experience, every time, whatever the device or communications channel. On the one hand, this has put increasing pressure on contact center agents to be experts in everything – verbal communication, a linguist, gifted email writer, snappy Tweeter and vibrant video agent. On the other hand, managers have welcomed the whole concept of multi-skilling as a cure-all for today’s epidemic of ‘do more with less’ culture, allowing them to deliver greater workforce flexibility, maximize agent skills and lower staffing costs all in one go.

It might come as a surprise to discover that the latest research from Call Centre Helper reveals an actual decline in the number of contact centres multi-skilling their advisors, dropping from 90.5% in 2015, to 80.4% in 2017. Therefore, the big question is - in asking agents to do it all and contact centers to have it all, are we searching for the impossible?


Are we expecting too much of our agents?

Of course, today’s technology makes it possible to schedule agents for both blended and dedicated contact centre environments. However, if you then expect agents to provide the same excellent service across all channels, you’ll likely encounter some challenges:

  • One size does not fit all - while text and email often involve similar content and require the same style of dialogue, dealing with social media or the most challenging of all, switching between voice calls to Web Chat or other social media requires a completely different tone and approach altogether. Adding multiple support channels simply adds complexity. While we might be able to ask agents to handle emails between calls, or work emails between chats, it’s unlikely you’ll find agents who can consistently do chats and calls at the same time with the same proficiency.

  • Blending for response – in a blended environment the problem with routing is that channels invariably uses different platforms and is often assigned different priorities and Service Level Agreements (SLAs). This makes it difficult to track and predict service levels on an equitable basis across the entire contact centre.

  • Juggling too many plates – this is exactly the case when we expect agents to handle all channels at once - sooner or later one of the plates is going to break with a detrimental impact on customer service. Can we expect an agent to be in the middle of a Web Chat conversation but have to put that conversation on hold when a voice call comes through? By the time they go back to the Web Chat, their train of thought is lost possibly along with the customer, irritated by being abandoned and left waiting in the virtual ether.


Top Three Tips for Scheduling Multi-Skilled Agents
Whether you choose a blended or dedicated contact center approach to serve your super-connected customers and support your agents, make sure you rely on the latest Workforce Management (WFM) software to smooth the path to success. If you have time to do little else, focus on the following three areas:

  1. Accurate forecasting whatever the channel – it always amazes me how many contact centers still plan for voice and then fit everything else around it. Try and forecast for all types of channel as accurately as possible.

  2. Optimize schedules real-time management provided by WFM means team leaders can modify schedules to accommodate unplanned changes or seasonal peaks and troughs. They can automatically compare actual agent status with their schedules to make informed decisions and necessary improvements quickly. Historic data then allows them to predict, create and search future schedules effortlessly to ensure the right-skilled agents are in place to deliver an exceptional multi-channel customer experience at all times.

  3. Consider what’s best for agents and the customer – every contact center is unique so establish what works best for yours. While blended is generally better for small teams and dedicated is better as teams grow, it’s worth experimenting. Don’t ignore the hard evidence. If call center statistics demonstrate that the majority of enquiries are voice-based or your organization handles sensitive or highly emotive issues, don’t force customers to abandon traditional engagement methods in favor of the latest Web Chat or social media. If necessary, use your WFM to switch agents to different channels at different times of the day depending on customer demand.

Finally, don’t forget your agents! Help them multi-skill more easily by giving them the tools to do their job. For example, the ability to access, share and input into dynamic knowledge bases boosts performance and fosters team collaboration.

The reality is that contact centers need to evolve into customer experience hubs where no one agent is expected to do it all. Instead, it’s often easier to assign agents with different tasks at different times of the day to ensure the best possible experience for agents and for customers. Combine this with the right WFM technology and utilize it in the right way to maximize agent skills and boost customer satisfaction, whatever the channel.

Tommy Palomäki is Customer Success Manager at Teleopti

#contactcenterworld, @Calabrio

About Tommy Palomäki:
Tommy Palomäki, held positions as a resource planner and customer service manager before joining Teleopti in 2012 as a WFM consultant and project Manager. Tommy has experience of implementing WFM solutions in large and small contact centers across different industries including finance, private companies and government agencies.

About Calabrio:
Company LogoCalabrio, a customer experience intelligence company, enriches human interactions with its analytics-driven workforce engagement management (WEM) suite. In 2019, Calabrio acquired Workforce Management (WFM) vendor Teleopti combining the best of both Teleopti WFM and Calabrio WFM into a single WFM solution fully integrated within the Calabrio ONE suite. The new Calabrio ONE empowers agents and management alike with a smarter approach. Through AI-driven analytics, Calabrio uncovers important customer behaviour, sentiment and reveals vital insights from contact centres worldwide.
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Today's Tip of the Day - Motivation & Charity Work

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

Published: Tuesday, May 22, 2018

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2021 Buyers Guide Inbound Call Handling Services


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)


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.


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.

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.

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...
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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

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.

OpsTel Services

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


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
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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

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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