Is your contact centre tech a help or a hindrance?

Is your tech an aid or a nuisance to your contact centre agents? Enhancing communication, or creating barriers?

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It’s becoming more and more evident that customer service expectations have soared over recent years. Combine that with customers being less able to get in contact with agents due to an increase in calls and you can just feel the frustration! According to a recent study, for over 60% of customers, pandemic-related behavioural changes and expectations, such as online shopping and online customer service will stick, meaning businesses need to adapt to the new, more demanding world of supporting our customers.

At the heart of this are the contact centre agents who work daily to try and make customers’ experiences seamless and enjoyable – but they need support from their management team and from their tech to make that happen. Luckily, there have been a lot of developments in contact centre technology over recent years, focusing on making agents’ lives easier and improving customer experiences; improvements such as enhanced automation, easier integration into business apps and CRM systems, and artificial intelligence (AI) into various service channels like chatbots and social media. But, while the idea of AI may sound enticing, it’s important to balance how much tech and automation is introduced into your contact centre, as this could be counterproductive, making your customers frustrated and creating a stressful environment for your agents.

So, is your contact centre solution creating more opportunities, or barriers for your customers?

Here are three things to make sure you avoid when looking to implement new contact centre technology:

pwc survey

1. Contact centre solutions that are difficult to use

Imagine if you had to understand how to fly a plane just to go on holiday. Your main aim as a contact centre is providing the best service to your customers, not trying to navigate a system that is way too complex to understand.

When looking for the right solution, look for systems that are easy to use, offer a smooth and seamless journey between your different channels and that are easy for your customers to interact with. For example, the provision of integrated and intuitive self-service platforms for customers to help find answers including a portal to manage their own account or a knowledgebase to easily find out more information. However, when introducing self-service try not to automate everything – just as planes still need pilots, your contact centres still need people to talk to your customers.

According to PWC’s Future of Customer Experience Survey, customers value efficiency in customer service, so giving agents a platform to allow them to manage their customer calls, emails, and socials from one place is majorly beneficial at many stages of the service they offer to customers, as well as benefitting you internally. Agents can see current and past conversations, without having to dig through inboxes or asking colleagues for information, creating a smoother customer experience, increasing efficiency and improving customer satisfaction. Also, having an easy-to-use platform will allow for quicker and more straightforward training of new agents, speeding up your onboarding process.

2. Customer channels and systems that aren’t connected

As mentioned previously, having a disjointed contact centre can create frustrations for both customers and agents, making for a stressful environment, which in turn results in poor customer service from tired agents. Remember, your agents are what makes your contact centre, so making sure they are happy with the tech they’re using day to day will increase their job satisfaction, productivity, and overall happiness.

To support this, an omnichannel, integrated system is the answer. If your channels aren’t properly integrated to allow for a single view across all service channels, this can cause more harm than help. Disconnected channels can cause issues for customers who want to be able to move from webchat, to email, to a call with an agent without losing progress or having to explain the issue over and over again. And it can cause unnecessary rework and angst for your agents having to switch between systems for the necessary information with which to help the customer.

By integrating your CRM and other customer systems with your communication setup, the customer’s full account history and details are available to help the agent deal with the matter at hand.

3. Your solution isn’t flexible

Businesses change so quickly nowadays – whether it’s through growth, seasonality, or a change in strategic direction, system flexibility is one of the most important considerations when looking to implement a new technology. Your contact centre is no different. The way we service customers will continue to flex and change so an inflexible solution is not an option – it would cause intolerable issues when needing to scale teams, implement new communication channels or looking to integrate with new systems.

So, make sure you choose a solution that will work with you as you see your business develop and grow over the coming years – a cloud contact centre that’s built to allow for ongoing changes within your feature requirements and agent license needs. One that can allow you to scale your capability as needed and has lots of features and future innovations that will help create a less demanding working environment for your agents. After all, happy agents means happy customers.

Find the right balance to help your contact centre

As automation and integrated technologies become more intelligent and advanced, it can be difficult to separate the useful features from the ones that aren’t right for your business. From experience, we know that not all automation can help your agents and customers. When looking for a new solution, try not to buy and implement new tech just because it’s new and exciting, but really look at your current system and try to assess if the tech you’re looking to implement will complement your existing systems and work alongside it seamlessly to help your business deliver more. If you feel that the tech will offer your agents the opportunities to work more effectively, get it; or if you think your customers will become frustrated, steer clear from it.

Speak to us about how we can work with you to discover which contact centre solution is right for your business.