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3 Ways to Win the Technology Tug-of-War

In our last blog, we revealed how customers crave speed, convenience, and emotional empathy when interacting with their favorite brands. This is 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. The time is now to win the tug-of-war with contact center technology. In this blog, we throw the spotlight on technology and how to use it effectively, adding the human touch to digital interactions.

The Technology Tug-of-War

Just as customer expectations reflect a stark contrast of needs and wants, there are conflicting views about how contact center technology supports agents in the contact center. In fact, 45% of agents say they have the right technology and just 9% say technology is holding them back. On top of that, 40% of agents claim ‘lack of tools’ is the most common reason they are unable to solve a customer’s problem.

This is 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.

Same Objectives, Same Challenges

Although omnichannel speed and in-depth human connections may appear to be polar opposites, they share 3 top challenges:

  • Nonunified channels
  • Insufficient or unsuccessful use of automation
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) and systems don’t collect enough data about customer and agent behavior ( including sentiment scores)

3 Ways to Win the Technology Tug-of-War

Contact centers can adopt technology strategies to help humanize their digital-first customer interactions. Here is our 3-point checklist:

1. Break Down Data Silos

The reality is most contact centers still have heavily siloed data systems and customer data. Nearly half of all contact centers say their biggest technology challenge is that channels are not unified. This leaves them with sub-par customer visibility.

In addition, companies identify a disconnect between the IT and contact center teams as their biggest technology pain point. Seek out contact center technology platforms that allow agents to see and track their customers across all channels and touchpoints. This 360° visibility delivers the connection that defines a true omnichannel experience.

It empowers agents with the context and background to deliver exceptional service. Plus, it improves the customer’s experience by anticipating their future needs.

2. Accelerate the Use of Intelligent Automation

Many customers enjoy the speedy benefits of self-service tools such as chatbots. In fact, most contact centers have now deployed some form of automation of this type. Using intelligent automation effectively empowers agents with more time and emotional energy.

They can then tackle even the most complex and demanding customer interactions. However, more investment in self-service and AI is still required by customer service teams as contact center technology changes.

3. Put Analytics Into Action

Organizations know that analytics tools have tremendous potential and yet, many are not leveraging their full capabilities. For example, 2 in 5 contact centers say they could not use analytics to see customer issues or predict customer behavior. Meanwhile, 1 in 3 contact centers said they’re not yet doing any voice-of-the-customer (VOC) analytics.

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. It also means utilizing valuable customer insights to deliver a better, smarter, more predictive service.

Meanwhile, contact centers are turning to analytics-fueled forecasting and dynamic scheduling tools to anticipate volume more accurately. This allows them to rapidly adjust their operations in real time. With this contact center technology, they can now put the right agents with the right skills in the right place and time.

Learn From the Winners

Nothing beats following the lead of real-life successes. Take US roadside assistance company AAA Northeast. Using speech analytics the organization identified call types. These 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. Instead, they relied 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. This reduced average handle time (AHT) and improved the customer experience.

Stay On-Top of the Latest Contact Center Technology

In our next blog, find out how to become cloud-smart with the latest in contact center technology. You’ll learn the 3 step 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.”

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