Look for Email and Chat Automation in Multiple Languages
In the past, contact centers had “multiskilled agents,” but let’s face it: “inbound” and “outbound” were about the only two skills managers were keeping track of. Today, a manager might have dozens or even hundreds of skills to balance in the workforce management solution, including hard skills, software knowledge, product or service knowledge, soft skills and foreign languages.
While in theory, anyone can monitor and police the progress of many of these skills, foreign languages can be tricky for managers who don’t speak them. An angry customer is complaining via email or chat…in Tagalog. What’s the non-Tagalog-speaking manager going to do about it?
For starters, a good email management solution is vital for a multilingual contact center, according to a recent blog post by John Drury, sales manager at INTERACTION Europe.
“Customer emails should be routed, prioritized and tracked based on content,” he wrote. “The system should automatically acknowledge receipt of a customer e-mail, and a recommendation agent that suggests answers to questions and places them immediately on the rep’s screen.”
To do this, the email management will need to feature automation solutions for the classification and sorting of incoming emails to the multilingual call center (that work, of course, with the foreign languages you require).
“Typically, the system intelligently scans the content of a message and then classifies using keywords,” wrote Drury. “The sorting function may have a prioritization function based on customer ID, so special service for ‘best’ customers.”
You also may wish to consider a system that issues support ticket numbers for the multilingual call center that allows for internal and external customer tracking. Some systems automatically acknowledge a customer e-mail with a ticket number. The classification, sorting and routing of emails can be simplified using Internet forms at the support request stage by the customer, as opposed to a free-form message to the support email address. These forms incorporate pre-defined elements which identify the subject and nature of the support request and make them easier to handle.
For a true multilingual and multichannel contact center, you may also wish to look for a solution that can manage and automate multilingual chat. These solutions allow the contact center manager to ensure that transcripts of foreign language chats are compiled and translated. The transcripts can then be stored as a customer information element or e-mailed to another representative or a manager should a customer issue be escalated. Drury also recommends that companies look for chat bot and “anteroom” functionality, so while a foreign language customer is waiting for a representative to come online, the chat bot can welcome the customer, provide basic information and ask questions to prepare both the customer and the rep for their Web chat.
No matter how great your workforce management skills are when it comes to scheduling agents with special language skills, there will come a day when demand on them is high, and automation will go a long way toward taking the pressure off.