I am sure you’ve come across several resources that talked about digital channels now dominating over traditional ones.
Even though your contact center might still be in the process of deploying or optimizing these channels, customers don’t care. They want their issue addressed now, and they expect you to know everything about their journey, no matter what communication channel they use.
These new demands add a lot of pressure into what is already a hectic agent experience. Now agents need to know all about the customer’s journey, which means all interactions across multiple channels, as soon as the interaction comes in. This is a tough thing to do if systems and data are siloed.
Agent efficiency in the world of multichannel
Most agents are dealing with several disconnected systems, such as CRM, siloed voice and digital systems, and knowledge repositories, in an attempt to access customer interaction data. They need to know the history of what has been done and communicated to this customer throughout multiple channels. Finding, reading, assimilating and using information within a call or chat is very difficult and is rarely done seamlessly.
On top of having to do it efficiently, agents need to make sure they don’t deliver conflicting messages. As the hosts in a Westworld storyline might mistakenly say: “I’m only human”. Keep in mind – even if you really want your agents to be superheroes, they just aren’t.
The longer the agents look for information, the longer it takes to address customer needs, which results in agent and customer frustrations. Asking them to repeat information already provided elsewhere only adds to customer dissatisfaction.
It’s about costs too. On average, 15% of agent time is spent shifting between systems and applications. Extrapolating that over the course of a full year means significant cost to your business. Can you afford to let that continue?
Accessing customer data through one platform
Top contact center performers understand the importance of reducing the agent’s struggle, by empowering agents with easy access to all customer data on one platform.
This is primarily a technology struggle that can be addressed with unified agent technology. When telephony and other channels are integrated into CRM for omnichannel capabilities, agents can pull customer data and complete work without opening another window.
If an agent can quickly see that a customer has already reached out about a certain request via a different channel, this customer doesn’t have to repeat everything all over again, while the agent can go ahead and complete the task.
By seeing customer purchase history, agents get an opportunity to cross-sell or up-sell, or ask for feedback on product satisfaction and try to improve their experience.
From implementing projects for our clients, we saw a strong need to enable agents with such integration. So, we built a softphone capable of integrating multiple systems in a seamless way. It lets contact center professionals leverage the value of CRM, by making it the focus of their agent interactions as well as minimizing the need to leave the system to accomplish tasks.
When businesses discover a need for connecting CRM with a contact center platform, some of them start building a custom solution. A pre-built, flexible API-based integration saves a lot of time and money, compared to custom development.
Ultimately, the key to a great customer experience lies with a team of successful agents. Successful agents depend on merging of technology with people and processes, combined with training, and molded into a complete solution.
Chris Theriault has over 15 years of experience helping mid-size and large contact centers with systems analysis, design, integration, technical support, architecture and solution engineering. He has been working at Aria Solutions since 2004, passionately focusing on system modernization and efficient operations. At Aria alone, Chris has worked on over 50 customer engagement projects, transforming operations and successfully achieving project goals.
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