that bridge between customers and agents will be impossible.
When your customers call, email, text or otherwise make contact with you, they are crossing a bridge. Your organization has the information they need – somewhere – and they’re hoping you can provide it to them in a speedy and accurate way. The contact center is the bridge. How well that bridge is built will determine whether your organization offers great customer service or lousy customer service.
If you’re not providing agents will all the information they need to handle customer issues in an easy-to-find place, or if you’re not empowering them properly to cope with customer issues, then you’ve failed at building the bridge correctly, and your business will suffer. It can be argued, then, that great customer service starts with agents, not customers. Supplying your consumers with the information they need about your service is an important consideration, so too are the employees that field the calls, according to a recent article by Kyley Del Bosque writing for Business2Community.
“Therefore, having an effective unified communications system in place will prevent information stalling anywhere in your company, and offer swift means of contact through instant messaging, email, voicemail and video conferencing,” wrote Del Bosque.
For communications to be “swift,” you need to ensure that you have the right agents with the right skills in the right place at the right time. For this reason, a contact center infrastructure built on workforce management and workforce optimization is essential for great customer service. This is especially important in 2017, when customers have lost patience with being told they are “valued” while being kept on hold interminably. Research conducted by Google (News - Alert) and NewVoiceMedia found that only 27 percent of customers will wait up to a minute on hold, and 32 percent will refuse to be put on hold at all. The days when customers would wait patiently for you to be ready for them? They are gone, gone, gone.
Del Bosque noted that for many businesses, the only solution would be to fill offices with more staff and more phones, spiking the cost to run the company and the accompanying price of equipment. This simply isn’t possible, since budgets are trimmer than ever. Using solutions such as workforce management, however, companies can ensure their staff levels precisely match their needs using state-of-the-art forecasting tools. Contact center solutions such as workforce management must be accurate, available across locations (in other words, cloud-based) and flexible if you want to avoid “slamming” your agents.
“Keeping employees in the dark about a problem will only add to the confusion and exacerbate a negative situation; give your call center operators the answers they need, all from a centralized display and at the click of a button,” wrote Del Bosque.
It’s call center management’s job to ensure that agents have the right tools to service customers in a way that delights those customers. Without updated contact center solutions, extending that bridge between customers and agents will be impossible.