Tag Archives: automation

3 Tech Trends & Factors That Impact Employee Experience

Who does not love a nice dinner out on a Friday night? It’s a great way to start the weekend and relax after long days at work. But then a server—clearly unmotivated—shows up, does not answer my questions, and gets my order wrong. What was supposed to be a relaxing evening turns out to be a stressful disappointment. Even if the food ends up being good, or even delicious, the moment is ruined. And if it was my first time at this restaurant, I would not come back, ever. 

Sounds familiar? I am sure many of you can relate. 

Well, the experience in a contact center is no different than the one in the restaurant. At a time when all products are similar and switching services happens seamlessly, the customer experience can make it or break it. This means the people on the front line of your company are key to your success, whether you like it or not. Consequently, it is in your best interest to motivate them, so that they represent your business in the best way possible. 

In other words, satisfaction of your employees has a direct impact on your customers’ loyalty, and therefore on your revenue and profits. While leadership, employee engagement, and other HR related measures obviously play a big role, the importance of technology in the workplace is steadily increasing. The primary reason is a steady increase of demands, and technology helps employees work more efficiently to meet their goals. It’s as simple as that. 

What are the key technological factors and influences that improve the employee experience (EX) and as a result make a company more successful? 

1. Automation

Automation is still one of the most important factors. Unfortunately, many companies are not fully leveraging it.  

Painful, repetitive tasks such as copying and pasting data between multiple systems are the result of these shortcomings. It is one of those common productivity roadblocks that is increasingly frustrating in an environment where performance is rigorously measured.  

Building integrations between multiple systems allows automation and is essential to improving the EX.  

For instance, a common scenario is the handling of an order or return between Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software and an Order Management system (OMS). If agents have to create an order by copying all customer details and product line items between the two systems, they can become extremely frustrated over time. Adding a button that does all that work with one click, where the agents only have to validate the order before booking it, makes a big difference. 

2. User Experience

“It’s all about saving clicks” is what people say when talking about automation. But automation is not the only means to save “clicks” for the user. An often overseen factor is the user experience (UX).  

With the high level of configurability and customizability of today’s applications, such as a CRM software, it matters what agents see on the screen. This is all about showing the right information in the right place at the right time. Button locations, dialogs, and wizards are just some of the tools that can improve system usability, and consequently employees’ satisfaction. Even the look and feel plays an important role, since the users are spending several hours a day looking at the software.  

UX has been crucial for product development, but it is often neglected when building systems for internal users. For example, screen pops are a common feature utilized in any contact center. If an agent only sees the service record for the customer’s current incident, it is certainly helpful. But, if the system is configured to show key customer information (besides just the name), for example, recent history and other related information (such as the products the customer owns) – all on one screen, the agent can operate much faster and provide better service, leading therefore to reduced handle time. 

3. Artificial Intelligence

Last but not least, the power of artificial intelligence (AI) offers a huge potential to improve EX. This is a real game changer because AI is not meant to improve how users do things, but what they are doing.  

This is significant because every employee can now be a rockstar sales person or a customer service champion. In an environment that thrives on success metrics, such as sales numbers and service level agreements (SLA), this can help each individual meet or even exceed their goals.  

Lead scoring is a great example. If a sales representative handles 50 leads a day out of a pool of several hundred, success depends on converting those leads into real opportunities. Based on historical data, lead scoring algorithms will help choose leads that have a higher chance of converting into a sale. This will not change the number of leads the agent will call, but it will improve the number of sales during a day.  

It will make the agent successful, and there is no better motivator than success. If people feel empowered and effective, they are more willing to face obstacles in their way. 

But keep in mind that AI is still an emerging technology. It needs to gain trust from business users and technology experts alike. Rolling out features to smaller groups first can be helpful in collecting valuable data, thus proving the positive impact of AI. Building a success story is key to getting acceptance. 

Evaluate and Apply Technology Properly

From my experience working with contact centers, I know that a great employee experience is driven by productivity. A productive and rewarding day can boost your employees’ happiness and engagement, leading to an even better performance in the future.  

Technology is a key ingredient in nurturing this successful experience, and it is crucial to make it a standard, not an exception. However, it is important to understand that there is no silver bullet. There should be an evaluation first – to understand the greatest weaknesses and how the technology can help resolve them. 

Technology can only reach its full potential when applied properly. Often, business users describe their needs by providing a solution to the problem. Unfortunately, their solution does not include a full understanding of features and dependencies within the systems they are using. So in short, IT and business users should work closely together to come up with the best implementation. 

With technology evolving so quickly, the journey is the reward. 

If you need help with business challenges, choosing the right solution for your pain points, or evaluating specific technology – Aria is here to help!

We offer expert services on the Salesforce platform and can help you customize your crm to fit your needs. We also have many omni-channel desktop products, including our newest product Legato which includes a robust softphone and integrates Salesforce with Amazon Connect Voice so your agents can see everything on one screen. Contact us today to learn more or visit us at booth 2226 during Enterprise Connect Orlando.

Cloud + Automation: The Future of the Contact Center Infrastructure

Technology fuels so many aspects of businesses today, that it is now the lifeblood of the organization. CIOs and Infrastructure leaders must own the design for the full eco-system to deliver an infrastructure that can be the foundation for the business.

Evolved infrastructure trends

Infrastructure powers everything and therefore is the foundation of every customer experience. For CIOs and Infrastructure leaders this means they must focus on the technology, systems, and processes to win, serve, and retain customers.  But new and emerging technology has changed traditional infrastructure and infrastructure design must now be looked at in a new way.

1.Cloud services

It’s true, infrastructure now comes in more forms than ever including the always expanding family of cloud services. But even though cloud has certainly changed the game, we must embrace it!

Instead of trying to control what happens within these technologies, CIOs should focus on governing how their organization should use services, such as cloud, and the best way to integrate these services into technology, systems, and processes.

When looking at cloud services, it’s helpful to consider the 3 main types, and analyze where these fit in the transformation strategy:

IaaS (Infrastructure-as-a-Service) – organizations keep pre-owned or custom software, but save on hardware infrastructure costs

SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) – organizations migrate a business application to the cloud, doing away with the app infrastructure completely

PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service) – offers organizations many infrastructure options, from acting as cloud based “glue” between existing systems, or a way to more quickly build your own cloud app without starting from scratch

2.Automation

Automation has become extremely powerful and created a changing environment when it comes to traditional infrastructure. Embracing automation gives organizations the agility to change, speed of execution, security, and dependability that delights customers.

For example, by integrating CRMs such as Salesforce with other systems, organizations can centralize data and eliminate silos that impact customer and employee experience. As the company grows, this type of infrastructure can also scale providing the organization with the agility it needs to adapt to changing customer demands.

How to start the infrastructure transformation journey?

In Forrester’s Infrastructure Transformation Playbook, they define 4 phases that Infrastructure teams should consider when approaching their transformation. In our view, these 4 phases can be described in the following manner:

First, you need to discover how you will transform your infrastructure to service design which includes thinking about the role that cloud services might play in your organization especially if you have existing on-premise systems.

After that, you’ll plan your transformation path, which should not only include your timeline and steps, but also the purpose for doing the transformation.

This brings you to phase 3, implementation, which will likely be the longest of the 4 phases.

And finally, the last phase is where you’ll optimize service experiences by continually measuring and refining. Once you’ve reached this phase, you can benchmark your progress against your competition and, depending on where you fall, determine the area to look at next.

To learn more, download the complimentary January 2018 Forrester report where the above phases are discussed: “Master Automation & Software To Transform Your Infrastructure”.