Managing Agents in the Omnichannel Contact Center
The omnichannel approach to communications and customer service is becoming ubiquitous, as customers demand more satisfactory interactions as well as control over how and when they communicate. This can be a major benefit but also a challenge in the contact center, especially if agents have been trained to communicate primarily by phone.
There are a few simple guidelines contact centers and managers can follow to ensure their agents are managing multi-channel customer interactions as efficiently and effectively as possible. Managers throughout the world recently gave some tips to Call Centre Helper about the best ways to manage the contact center workforce and ensure all channels of communication are running smoothly.
One of the universal tips is to ensure agents are not being overloaded from too many channels. And that means limiting the number of simultaneous Web chats an agent can participate in. By setting a limit to four chats or less, managers can ensure their agents are able to provide top quality service to each customer as well as pay attention to the details of each individual chat. Agents who were hired for their superior phone skills should also be given an opportunity to try other channels of interaction, giving them a chance to prove themselves in additional areas and add much needed support during peak contact times.
Social media is becoming one of the most important ways to engage with customers and it can be difficult to keep up on the various platforms in a timely manner. By auto-forwarding social media posts and comments to agents as emails, managers can ensure they are being addressed in a timely manner and also don’t have to devote specific resources just to social media, spreading the workload across agents who have downtime and are able to address the posts.
A key bit of workforce management advice in the multi-channel communications realm is to ensure agents have a consistent tone and style across all channels. Managers need to ensure agents are properly representing their brands and projecting core businesses goals throughout all mediums of communication. Agents should also be encouraged and trained to use a flexible style in addressing and supporting individual customer needs. Managers can also implement systems designed to unify the customer service experience throughout the organization. Collaboration tools and a single dashboard or interface for managing multi-channel customer interactions can go a long way toward improving agent productivity and keeping customers satisfied.
Edited by Alicia Young