In previous years, the contact center was seen as an operational necessity, an important but non-strategic wing of an organization. That has changed.
Customer experience (CX) is now understood to be among the most powerful differentiators for businesses today. Contact centers, and the technologies enabling them, now feature prominently in strategic decision making.
Many organizations know their current system for engaging with customers could be improved, but with new technologies, new vendors and new jargon seeming to appear every day, it’s difficult to determine the best place to start.
This blog will introduce four common contact center challenges you may be facing and show how four organizations overcame them.
Silos are one of the great challenges facing contact centers today. A “silo” refers to a technology that is disconnected from the others.
Different departments acquire technology (billing system, dispatch system, WFM, etc.) based vendor strength, but they are not tied together, which hinders the ability to create smooth transitions between departments to support an end-to-end process. Data becomes siloed as the customer view is carved up between these systems. There is no master customer “system of record.”
The impact on the enterprise? Agents are forced to play the role of integrator, using multiple screens and numerous applications to resolve customer requests. Customer metrics sink due to the complexity of support. Agent turnover increases. Management lacks actionable insights into contact center events and trends. Maintenance costs rise, and rise, over time.
If technology silos are hurting your CX, the need for change is clear. The best course forward may not be.
Technology silos and process silos — you can have one, but you usually have both. Technology silos often lead to process silos.
See how SMART Technologies successfully overcame siloed systems and achieved a flawless customer experience without impacting their day-to-day operations.
Another common challenge facing contact centers is the use of inflexible, on-premise systems. Often requiring continual hardware upgrades and “quick fixes” to remain functional, these systems are the underlying cause of many of the silos mentioned above.
They also cause a heavy drain on the IT department’s resources, as more time is spent managing complexity than thinking strategically about where technology can create an advantage.
Many organizations dealing with inflexible infrastructure understand the benefits of migrating to a modern cloud contact center: minimum required investment to deploy, maintain and support; ease of managing multichannel communications; improved employee performance and CX; and the ability to adapt to changing business needs.
But there’s a natural resistance to change that stems from the fear of disrupting day-to-day operations.
See how a medical technology company with strict parameters seamlessly transitioned from an an end-of-life system to Salesforce to reduce maintenance and support costs, achieve unprecedented agent visibility and experience a 5X increase in order processing.
Introducing & Managing Multiple Channels
Customers demand more connected experiences than ever before. They expect to be able to communicate with you digitally, and expect you to provide a consistent journey across all touchpoints, whether they’re engaging in a web chat, texting or speaking to a representative by phone.
Many contact centers avoid adding digital channels because their legacy infrastructure won’t support it, and they don’t want to add new siloes to an already complex system. Others add digital channels, but struggle to integrate their data into the agent desktop so agents lack context and information on prior interactions.
Another difficulty related to managing multiple channels is integrating it properly with WFM systems, which makes it difficult to effectively forecast, plan and schedule agents across channels.
The end result of all these challenges — whether it’s a lack of channels or channels being poorly stitched together — is that you run the risk of customers churning to competitors that offer more consistent and personalized experiences.
See how a publicly traded financial services company with limited customer care channels and disconnected legacy technology turned their customer experience into an asset by introducing digital channels, modernizing their systems and optimizing the agent desktop.
Lack of Contact Center Visibility
Another harmful side effect of complex, siloed contact centers is that they hinder an organization’s ability to spot and resolve problems. Delivering consistent CX is a challenge; it’s near impossible if you can’t identify areas that need improvement.
Lacking a modern infrastructure, many organizations necessarily turn to the IT department to identify and fix problems with agents or operations, as they are the only ones with the technical know-how to navigate the system and manually analyze the log files. But dedicating IT resources to solve non-IT issues isn’t a sustainable solution.
See how a Fortune 500 transportation logistics company with the challenges above leveraged an operational analytics application to sift through massive amounts of data in minutes to identify and resolve issues, improve agent performance and achieve unprecedented visibility into their contact center operations.
About Aria Solutions
Aria Solutions is a customer engagement center solutions company that helps some of the world’s biggest organizations achieve unified customer engagement centers free of silos.
Over the past 22 years we have empowered 550,000 agents and completed over 1,200 successful projects, collaborating with our customers to help them achieve their business goals and find better ways to serve their customers.
Thanks for reading!
Noel Roberts serves as Aria Solutions’ Chief Technology Officer and VP of Marketing. He co-founded Aria with Robert Church in 1997. Prior to Aria, Noel founded Synapse, a software development company where he provided senior software development expertise in telecom peripheral equipment and computer telephony systems. At Aria, a big part of his role involves helping enterprise-size contact centers with full assessments, business, IT and CX strategy, roadmap development, and technology and vendor evaluation and selection. In his leisure time, Noel likes traveling and going to the rustic lake cabin with his family, reading about science and tech, and playing with new tech gadgets.
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