Category Archives: Routing

How To Organize Support For Your Contact Center Applications

As contact centers become more complex and expand to support more channels like web chat and social, it’s important to organize support for contact center applications in a way that allows teams to design consistent customer experiences.

Most contact centers organize support around siloed applications, having one team that supports the voice channel and a separate team that supports social channels, like Facebook. But when support is organized this way and spread across multiple application-specific teams, gaps in support are created and must be fixed as they can affect both the efficiency and effectiveness of the contact center.

Organizing support by functional skills not by application silos

Instead of organizing support by contact center application silos and having multiple application specific teams, contact centers should try the approach of organizing support around functional skill sets.

Seen in Figure 2 below from the Forrester report “Mind the Gap When Organizing to Support Contact Center Applications”, by looking at functional skill sets like agent desktop that can span a group of applications, contact centers can gain leverage.

contact-center-applications

One team to support queuing-and-routing

Companies that don’t have one complete solution for their contact center, are supporting queuing and routing for digital channels like web chat and social through their website teams and ACD, IVR, and CTI support for the voice channel usually has its own team. Having this legacy telecom silo, creates a gap in support and makes it difficult for both teams to design consistent customer experiences.

Merging these teams to support queuing and routing contact center applications, means they will be working on the same customer experience design goals and requirements, which results in more consistent experiences across all channels.

Another reason why it’s important to do this now is there are emerging trends like AI matched routing that will likely force this organizational shift eventually (Future-Proof Your Customer Service: Build An AI-Infused Cognitive Contact Center, Forrester Research, February 2018). This new way of routing is different from skills-based routing in that through AI, agent matching is done in real-time and based more on attributes such as:

  • Agent performance histories
  • Skill development priorities
  • Customer histories

AI matched routing needs to look at the experience customers have on all channels so to implement this and other emerging trends, it’s essential for queuing and routing to be one team.

One team to support the agent desktop

[easy-tweet tweet=”Agents can have 10 to 30 applications open simultaneously.” template=”light”]But to reduce employee and customer frustration, improve handle time, and lower training expenses, agents need the right tools and an agent desktop that shows them a 360˚ view of the customer on one screen, should that be the goal.

In order to not add to the list of agent applications, contact centers should be selective about what ends up on the agent desktop, and they should monitor agent use to further refine the user interface (Design Your Contact Center To Be Customer-Centric, Forrester Research, August 2017). The best way to do this is to have one team that supports the agent desktop, instead of a bunch of separate teams supporting different contact center applications agents use.

Organizing support for the agent desktop in this way will focus efforts on usability and developing a more in-depth knowledge of all applications appearing on the agent desktop. Making it easier for agents to engage with customers has many benefits for the contact center, including:

  • Reducing agent turnover and increase efficiency
  • Increase customer satisfaction scores
  • Increase revenue

[easy-tweet tweet=”Companies with agent desktop optimization programs enjoy 44% greater customer retention rates. ” template=”light”]The first step to driving these results is to have one team that supports the agent desktop to optimize the user interface and help improve customer engagement (Design Your Contact Center To Be Customer-Centric, Forrester Research, August 2017).

Contact center operations to support CC data analysis

Business analysts in contact centers are faced with the challenge of navigating through many reporting systems. Having data stored in disparate systems is a major pain point for contact center managers too – as they need manually consolidate reports to be able to forecast and schedule.

Since expertise of data structures and databases frequently resides within business technology rather than in the contact center itself, this causes a gap in the effectiveness that analytics can bring to the contact center. To remedy this, organizations should move contact center data analysis from the business technology to the contact center business unit itself.

Contact centers are awash with data, but there is still a struggle to integrate it and drive process management (Design Your Contact Center To Be Customer-Centric, Forrester Research, August 2017). Having contact center operations support data analysis for the contact center can help the organization understand the data analysis needs of the contact center, resolve any data visibility pain points that contact center operations managers experience, and help run the contact center more effectively and efficiently.

A few things organizations need to do is:

  • Understand how subtle changes in historical data can affect WFM

WFM teams depend on historical data but they also need to know of any anomalies or shifts in that data over time. Business Intelligence (BI) teams should assist WFM teams in analyzing these shifts and helping them determine if system upgrades or database changes in a certain timeframe caused any anomalies.

  • Understand that queuing and routing changes affect reports

Changing real-time business rules can affect how data flows into analytics systems so the team that supports queuing and routing must work with the BI team so both teams understand what reports will be affected from routing changes.

  • Map and manage the many sources of truth

BI professionals should work with contact center business analysts to map existing systems and determine which reports should come from which system. For example, in scenarios were customer feedback is captured in an IVR then integrated with quality monitoring data, which system is best suited to show customer satisfaction trends? This needs to be determined for the contact center to get the right insights and make better decisions.

Configuring contact center applications drives not only the customer experience but the agent and management experience as well. How contact centers organize support results in the overall efficiency and effectiveness of the contact center.

To learn more about how to optimize operational performance of the contact center by picking the right contact center organizational model and developing a “living” RACI model, download this complimentary Forrester report https://aria2019.wpengine.com/forrester-report-support-contact-center/ 

 

The 80/20 Rule Is Dead! You Can Do More with Social Media Data

In Shifting the Paradigm of Contact Center Interaction Tracking, we spoke of a paradigm shift that needs to be considered in standard contact center metrics. For the sake of all great social experiences, let’s revisit one of the most common and basic measures of contact center success – the service level.

Relying on service level to measure customer satisfaction

Oddly enough, service level has always been somewhat of a misnomer and often wrongly applied.

Service level was created to satisfy a base driver since contact centers needed a way to quantify how well they looked after their callers. And thus was born the 80/20 rule of quantification –  where 80% of calls are answered within 20 seconds.

Makes sense, doesn’t it? Speak directly with your customers within a certain amount of time, within their threshold of patience, and everyone will be happy. Maybe not!

Service level today is so ubiquitous that hosted service providers and support organizations set their contracts to meeting service level agreements (SLAs) with financial repercussions tied directly to that service level metric.

While contact centers may have shifted those parameters over the years with a 90/10 or 70/30 ratio as the measured bar of success, it’s become tougher to generally apply that rule to customer communications.

At its fundamental level, meeting that quantified threshold does not directly equate to providing “good service” to your customer base.

What is good service? It is entirely held in the eye of the customer and how they feel about their unique individual experiences with your enterprise including how they perceive interactions with your brand. Service level was an incredibly indirect metric to equate waiting with dissatisfaction but that is not the only factor.

Measuring customer satisfaction – back then and now

Years ago, in the voice-only world, where the 80/20 rule was created, this metric along with mailed surveys from the marketing department would be the standard to gage customer satisfaction. However, both were separate entities that had virtually no correlation other than to say: “You can’t blame us that survey scores are low. We’re answering the phones quickly”.

Survey tools today have come a long way to capturing that customer feeling. However, the tendency of customers is to only complete a survey if their experience was negative and they feel the need to report a behavior or unsatisfied outcome.

This is a reactive process with lengthy delays before action can be taken. The damage often has already been done and their likelihood to recommend (Net Promoter Score- NPS) has been reduced. Historically a negative customer experience would simply make interesting conversation over coffee.

Today is a brave new world where technology affords us a better chance to gain visibility into the fundamental definitions of good customer service.

But with the advent of social media, it’s important to start looking at social media data, since social has become the means to vent and report poor experiences with businesses or otherwise. Folks do like to complain! This pseudo-friendship world increases the audience that will hear about any shortcomings your business may have. The ability to “share” and “retweet” grows that audience exponentially if the reader is moved by the initial statement.

Fixing customer experience before it is too late

That just means that today you simply must get it right because everyone will hear about it if you don’t.  Unfortunately, that ideal is unachievable; perfection is unrealistic; and mistakes will undoubtedly be made. So, the question becomes, how can I mitigate the risk associated to bad customer experiences being broadcast throughout social media?

Leveraging social media data

Today we have the technology to view and access social media data through social media interfaces. A targeted push to collect social media profiles (via Twitter “follow”-ships” or Facebook likes, to name a couple examples) allows you then to collect and use social influence as a decision-making parameter when prioritizing their incoming interactions.

Those with a larger social network may have a higher priority to satisfy to hopefully leverage a “post” about positive experience as grass roots marketing or to lessen the broadcast impact of a possible negative experience. It is then up to the business to balance customer value and social influence in that prioritization.

Deploying intelligent routing that listens for social media data

Waiting in a queue and missing service level targets still has impact on the overall experience. But technologies today, such as intelligent routing, leverages customer value and social influence; virtual queuing and overflow routing all exist to eliminate that wait, reducing the overall impact of a service; level metric is the be all satisfaction statistic for contact centers. Intelligent prioritization lets you dictate which customers get faster service, thus reducing negative blow back towards your brand.

Relying on Net Promoter Score to make better decisions

So, what will fill that void in the future? The clue may have been dropped in an earlier statement. Net Promoter Score (NPS) should be the metric that drives your business decisions. “How many of our clients would recommend us to a friend?”  We should make sure they all do, and keep that in mind for all our business decisions.

The technologies discussed herein all provide the ability to collect directly or indirectly data elements to produce a score at a client level or directly improve their experience.

Enable Orchestrated Routing for Customer Journeys, Mobile and More!

Although voice is still the primary channel customers use to interact with contact centers, representing 54% of all interactions handled, according to Dimension Data, digital is on track to overtake phone by end of 2016.  Your business needs to keep up with this trend of customer preferred channels by developing an awareness of each customer journey. To do so, you’ll need to migrate to automated, or orchestration-ready, routing.

If you are an on-premise Genesys customer and still on Interaction Routing Designer (IRD) driven routing strategies, but looking to enable capabilities like customer journeys, mobile, and Virtual IVR through your routing strategies—first things first—you need to move to Composer routing.

The transition to a new routing platform can be onerous. It’s important to understand whether your contact center requires the transition. If it does, consider these factors before making the move.

How Do You Know if this Transition is Right for You?

  • You and your team find it increasingly hard to alter the existing solution in a timely, effective manner. Your current system may be unable to support the requested changes or has gotten to a point where it is no longer maintainable.[su_spacer size=”10″]
  • Your team has been tasked with implementing a mobile customer service initiative. Tying customer service more closely to mobile use is a smart strategy for companies but older platforms may not support this or other modern functionality.[su_spacer size=”10″]
  • You want to integrate self and assisted service interactions. To do this, you need the convenience of a common development platform, which is not available in IRD.

Challenges with Typical Transition Approach

If we were to explore the typical transition approach, truth is, it’s easier said than done.

The transition from Genesys IRD to Composer and Orchestration Server is a platform change that requires the new application to be designed and developed from the ground up. This presents challenges:

  • Documentation on your current IRD routing is often limited or non-existent.
  • Features in place for years may work, but may not be well-understood.
  • As enhancements were added over the years, the code has become more complex.
  • Reverse engineering existing strategies is time-consuming.

[su_spacer]Ultimately, the main concern with this approach is that it’s risky and can take many months to implement. The longer the project takes, the higher the cost.

Best Practices and Considerations  for Planning a Routing Migration

Routing is the center of the universe for contact centers.  It drives most of your agent-assisted customer experience, ensures the use of agent resources are optimized and enables reporting and analytics.

Making the transition to orchestration should be planned carefully.  Here are some considerations for a successful implementation that ensures you are meeting your business needs well into the future:

  • Keep the initial Orchestration routing implementation basic and plan for enhancement phases. A routing assessment from an experienced Genesys Systems Integrator can help in developing a project roadmap.[su_spacer size=”10″]
  • Evaluate skillsets and tools available to your routing developers and administrators.
    • Do they have the open source development skills or Composer development experience from other Genesys platforms like IVR?
    • Is there adequate tools and processes in place to manage version control when changes are required to the routing solution?[su_spacer size=”10″]
  • Consider implementing a pre-built routing solution vs. a customized solution. Knowledge of new Genesys Orchestration routing components is a key input into the design of the new routing solution.

Include the Upgrade to Orchestration as Part of a Different Project

Transitioning to orchestrated or automated routing doesn’t mean you have to obtain funding for a routing upgrade project. Likely there are other initiatives you’re already planning where you might include an upgrade to orchestration, such as:

  • A Genesys Upgrade: Upgrading your Genesys Customer Experience Platform to 8.5 or changing the hardware platform requires a full regression test. Why not upgrade routing at the same time?[su_spacer size=”10″]
  • VOIP/SIP transition or PBX Replacement: This kind of initiative requires changes to routing anyway, so consider including Genesys Orchestration and Composer Routing too.[su_spacer size=”10″]
  • Deploying new channels (email, chat, text, and others): Deploy them on Orchestration instead of IRD and only Universal Routing Server.[su_spacer size=”10″]
  • Enabling customer journeys and personalization: Deploy this solution on a platform that will best enable this customer experience initiative by including Genesys Orchestration.[su_spacer size=”10″]

Routing is a key component to delivering omnichannel customer experience. If you are planning any of these projects, consider adding the routing component and transition to Genesys Orchestration to enable modern Genesys capabilities for delivering the consistent and personalized customer experience.

Transition from IRD to Composer with SWIFT™ Routing

The process of migrating doesn’t have to be costly and long. With SWIFT™ Routing, you can complete the transition in fewer than 90 days with a cost reduction of 25% to 75%, depending on the complexity of your requirements.

SWIFT™ Routing is a pre-built and tested solution based on requirements from thousands of projects Aria Solutions has implemented. This means that risks associated with the design, development, testing, and implementation phases are much reduced. See the comparison of risk and effort between SWIFT™ Routing and the typical custom routing approach:

routing-orchestration-project-implementation
The comparison of risk and effort between SWIFT Routing and the typical custom routing approach

SWIFT™ Routing enables quick deployment and allows you to jump right into configuring your routing strategy. All features can be easily configured by any group within the organization. Compared to other solutions on the market, SWIFT™ Routing doesn’t box you in.

SWIFT™ Routing, designed with Genesys-supported capabilities within Composer, uses applications such as Genesys Administrator Extension for configuration. If you decide to add only voice now, you can easily add email and chat later on. If SWIFT™ Routing doesn’t support everything you need, the routing solution can be customized as easily as a routing solution built from scratch.

Currently, SWIFT™ Routing is available in the United States and Canada only. Visit the Genesys AppFoundry to learn more!

A New Way of Implementing the Genesys CX Platform

Robert Church, CEO of Aria Solutions, unveils a new 60-day implementation approach called SWIFT™ Premises – a complete, modernized, Genesys contact center solution that can be implemented rapidly and expanded to incorporate the omni-channel experience customers expect.

“We’ve seen a lot of companies experiencing revenue and customer satisfaction pressures, because they were looking for a new contact center solution and spending years deploying and customizing a new system, while their current systems were no longer meeting business needs and needs of their customers”, says Church.

Aria’s new solution model enables companies to make the investment based on a more efficient and thorough implementation process:

  • Deploying a modernized, enterprise-class inbound contact center foundation in 60 days
  • Learning the new solution and refining the requirements based on findings
  • Adapting to current and future needs by expanding the platform with enterprise-class capabilities[su_spacer]

The keys to this solution is its automated, but flexible deployment approach and its configuration capability, which come from Aria’s pre-tested, pre-built, and pre-validated assets: SWIFT™ Auto Attendant, SWIFT™ Routing, and SWIFT™ Real-Time Reporting. They provide options to meet various contact center requirements, speed up the deployment process, illuminate risks, and allow businesses to retain a complete control over their systems for easy maintenance and support.

In addition to Aria’s assets, SWIFT Premises includes core components, such as: SIP/Legacy PBX integration; High Availability – Dual Data Centers; Desktop and CRM integrations; WFM; Real-time Dashboard Reporting; and More.

“Many contact center implementations spend more time than desired in analysis paralysis, documenting hundreds of requirements, and customizing while learning a new system. This leads to long implementation times while in reality 80% or more of contact center requirements are the same”, says Kelly Wilson, Aria Solutions’ VP of Client Solutions.

Wilson says that Aria’s 20 years of experience in partnering with Genesys, building contact center technology and implementing complete solutions have enabled them to develop a unique implementation approach that no one else has.

Fast deployment, speed to market and adaptability are key reasons why Aria’s new solution approach is called “Swift” – one of the fastest, most agile and adaptable birds on the planet.

To learn more about this solution approach, visit https://aria2019.wpengine.com/swift-solutions/swift-premises/