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Industry Research : The Contact Centre agent of the Future is a Skilled Problem Solver

#contactcenterworld, @atmospherecomms

The need for individuals working in contact centres who have the right personable skills, can manage stress and are excellent problem solvers cannot be overemphasised. South Africa’s national lockdown and continued social distancing requirements due to the COVID-19 pandemic is creating a further necessity for consumers to engage with contact centres more regularly, and the agents in these organisations will have to adapt quickly to the ‘new normal’ and require excellent strong problem-solving skills.

A recent survey carried out by business process outsourcing (BPO) solutions provider, Merchants, looked to gain insights into the experiences of South African people in relation to contact centres. Of the respondent sample, aged between 18 and 50+, 62% said they preferred to speak to a person when contacting a business or service provider as opposed to using digital channels or other touchpoints. In the last month, 63% of respondents had contacted their bank, 50% had contacted their mobile service provider and 41% had contacted their internet service provider.

"There has certainly been a spike in the number of calls coming through to contact centres worldwide in the last few months, as consumers seek to make faceless contact with their service providers in seek of support, information or assistance. When contacting a business or service provider, the contact centre agent is seen as a direct link to the business. It does not matter to the consumer whether they are directly employed by the business in question or by a BPO provider – they are a direct representation of the business the consumer seeks to contact. As the needs of consumers change and evolve, the contact centre will need to do the same – focusing on the agents first," says Mathew Conn, Group CRO at Merchants.

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In terms of their experiences with contact centres, one of the biggest frustrations amongst respondents was having to contact a business multiple times to resolve a query. Similarly, for those who had had a positive experience with a call centre, 72% said this was due to the agent solving their problem, while 69% said the agent was friendly. It is no surprise then that when asked that the most important trait is in a contact centre agent, the top result was ‘problem-solving ability’.

"South African contact centre agents are known for their problem-solving ability, and I believe this is what puts the country at the forefront of becoming the next BPO destination of choice as businesses look to outsource into multiple regions," says Conn. "While human elements like empathy, humour and patience remain important in the contact centre, problem-solving will always be the priority for the consumer."

The second most important trait, according to the local survey, was personality, followed by knowledge of products and services. "While technology is able to do fulfil many roles and automate most end-to-end processes, the contact centre will always be an environment where the human element is critical – and I believe this is going to become even more important as we move into the ‘new normal’ and faceless interactions between businesses and their consumers continues to increase," says Conn.

Businesses and BPO providers alike will need to focus on hiring, training and upskilling agents specifically around problem-solving as they look to provide the best possible CX in order to hold on to market share in an increasingly competitive environment.

"There is no doubt that the contact centre agent of the future is a problem solver first," concludes Conn.

#contactcenterworld, @atmospherecomms

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Today's Tip of the Day - Do You Really Look After Your Best Customers?

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

Published: Monday, August 3, 2020

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2020 Buyers Guide Recording

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.
PH: +1 512-872-7565


Microsoft Teams Cloud Recording Service
Geomant offers a fully managed recording service for those organisations who need to address compliance or quality management while working on Teams. The Service utilises Verint’s market leading recording technology and is hosted by Geomant in Microsoft Azure. Our managed service approach is unique in that it allows organisations to benefit from advanced recording features, all while being free from any technical infrastructure or maintenance requirements that come with a traditional on-premises set up.
PH: 01789 387900

Lieber & Associates

Recording System Consulting
L&A provides vendor-independent consulting services to select, contract for, test, and implement contact center recording systems. The firm's consultants specialize in contact center I.T. and have several decades of experience each with all major and many smaller makers of phone and call recording systems.
PH: +1-773-325-0608


Oreka TR
Oreka TR total recorder includes all of the call recording capabilities you will need, at about half the cost of competing for call recorder solutions, including screen recording, mobile phone recording, live monitoring, on-demand recording, multi-tenancy, multi-site recording, audit trail, call exporting, retention management, auto-tagging (for speech analytics and phrase spotting) and so much more.
PH: 3109672003

PCS Software

Call recording solution fully integrate to all main pbx solutions.
PH: +55 11 3075-2933

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