Taking the Busy Signals Out of the Contact Center Experience: Automation Helps Managers Get Dialed In
Dialing into a contact center is something we’ve all done. We know the drill. We’ve all “pressed 0” to speak with an agent. We’ve all listened to the hold music. We’ve all heard the recorded voice tell us that our call is important. And we all know that when we connect with a skilled and knowledgeable person to manage our call, it makes a real difference in our experience.
But how does the agent gain that skill and knowledge? And how can contact centers do a better job of making sure that every agent can deliver the same great results?
The answer to those questions starts with the team leads, supervisors, and operations and quality assurance (QA) managers who guide and coach those agents. And automation has emerged as one of the most important tools to help them be more efficient and effective in their jobs.
So many agents, so much training, so little time
Here’s how. Picture a contact center with hundreds of agents on the phone speaking with callers. Many contact centers use post-call analytics tools to understand how to improve customer interactions. They want to know why some calls fail and leave customers dissatisfied.
Now, let’s put ourselves in the shoes of Sue, a QA manager at the contact center.
Part of Sue’s job is to review the report from the post-call analytics system to decide how her team of agents can improve. Say that a recent report flagged potential issues with 200 of the contact center’s 1,000 agents. Sue spends about two hours reviewing the report to decide on next steps for those agents. Then, she has to sign in to the center’s learning management system (LMS) to assign training to each agent. The process takes about two minutes per agent. Next, Sue has to sign in to the workforce management (WFM) system to block out training times. That takes up another two minutes per agent. And finally, Sue schedules QA meetings in Microsoft Outlook to review recent calls, training, and follow-up actions. That eats up another minute per agent.
So, two hours to review the report and the five minutes spent per agent to schedule training and meetings adds up to more than 18 hours of Sue’s week. She simply can’t afford to spend that much time on the task. Instead, she has to focus on a much smaller sample of agents and hope for the best. As a result, Sue’s company faces a constantly growing backlog of agent training needs. Callers go underserved. Their experience suffers. Their satisfaction drops.
Freeing managers to make an impact
Imagine the same process with a software robot doing a lot of the searching, scheduling, keying, and clicking that Sue was doing. The robot takes the results from the post-call analytics system and assigns agents training in the LMS. It blocks out time in each agent’s schedule in the WFM system. And it creates reminders for the agents and sends them links to more information. If the robot runs into any issues that need human intervention, it can notify Sue. The robot also sets up agent meetings with Sue for more in-depth coaching on issues. And each day, a UiPath app gives Sue all the details for the day’s appointments, drawn from the different systems she used to access individually. She can find links to the call recordings for each agent, the results of the agent’s training, and coaching points for upcoming appointments.
Here’s where automation starts to build momentum.
Sue can spend more time coaching more agents, and less time on administrative tasks. More agents get the training they need. Call quality improves. Caller satisfaction goes up. And automation can make a contact center manager’s job easier in other ways as well:
Recruiting – Scanning resumes for minimum skill and experience requirements and helping applicants find roles, submit applications, and schedule interviews
Employee onboarding – Provisioning access to all the systems and technology an agent needs on day one, training new hires on the apps they’ll use, the processes they’ll follow, and the most efficient ways to help callers
A lot of the discussion about contact center automation focuses on agents and their job. After all, it’s the agent that speaks with the caller. Enriching that one-on-one interaction is important, but it isn’t the only priority.
Using automation to streamline and simplify the jobs of managers and supervisors can drive the systemic change that has a broader impact. It can free the organization’s leaders to use the skills and experience they’ve accumulated to greater effect.
Better experiences pay off—for everyone
For a long time, business leaders treated the contact center as a cost center. They prioritized shorter call times at the expense of the customer experience. Today, more businesses see the long-term value in a higher quality customer experience.
In one survey, 90% of respondents said that a good experience with a contact center strengthens their loyalty. But good experiences don’t just happen. They take preparation and skill. And by using automation to help managers help agents, contact centers can turn each call into an opportunity to build a lasting relationship.
Want to learn more about how automation can help you deliver better contact center experiences—to callers and employees? Get your complimentary copy of our white paper, "Think 'Automation First' to Deliver Exceptional Customer Experiences."