In our last blog, we revealed how customers crave speed, convenience and emotional empathy when interacting with their favorite brands, a paradox that threatens the status quo of today’s contact center. These double-edged customer expectations also present a unique opportunity to empower agents and enhance CX. In this blog, we throw the spotlight on technology and how to use it effectively, adding the human touch to digital interactions.
Just as customer expectations reflect a stark contrast of needs and wants, there are conflicting views about how technology supports agents in the contact center. While 45% of agents say they have the right technology and just 9% say technology is holding them back, 40% of agents claim ‘lack of tools’ is the most common reason they are unable to solve a customer’s problem mainly because the right customer data is not available to them to provide a fast and personalized response. It’s a tug-of-war between what works and what doesn’t and what agents think they need versus what they actually have.
Interestingly, although omnichannel speed and in-depth human connections may at first appear to be polar opposites, they share 3 top challenges — channels are not unified, there is insufficient or unsuccessful use of automation and Artificial Intelligence (AI) and systems don’t collect enough data about customer and agent behavior including sentiment scores.
Contact centers can adopt technology strategies to help humanize their digital-first customer interactions. Here is our 3-point checklist:
The most successful contact centers are using analytics in meaningful ways. This includes identifying in real-time where bottlenecks and friction points are hindering CX or utilizing valuable customer insights to deliver a better, smarter, more predictive service. Meanwhile, they are turning to analytics-fueled forecasting and dynamic scheduling tools to anticipate volume more accurately and rapidly adjust their operations in real time – putting the right agents, with the right skills, in the right place, at the right time.
Theory is great but nothing beats following the lead of real-life successes. Take US roadside assistance company AAA Northeast. Using speech analytics the organization identified call types, which uncovered inconsistencies in interactions with members who were calling for help when stuck on the highway. Meanwhile, desktop analytics showed agents were not using the Global Positioning System (GPS) locator tool as often as they should, relying instead on asking members questions to establish their location. This analytics intelligence guided the organization to ramp up agent training on the GPS toolkit. As a result, AAA Northeast’s contact center leaders were able to increase awareness and clarity regarding safety procedures, reduce Average Handle Time (AHT) and improve the customer experience.
In our next blog, find out how to become a cloud-smart contact center with a 3-pronged approach to resolving complexity. For more ideas and inspiration, download the report here: “Embracing double-edged customer expectations: Navigating the complexities of rising demands and digital-first customer experiences.”