The Digital Contact Center Workplace
Illustration by Jared Fanning

How can you identify the digital opportunities that exist for your team? Think about how your staff communicates and collaborates (focus on the need, not the technology). Consider tools that can facilitate knowledge-sharing, problem-solving and feedback across the enterprise.

The following are just three examples of processes where digital technology can be leveraged for the benefit of employees and the business.

eLearning
Schools have been adopting BYOD programs, why not contact centers? Digital content, such as streaming video, podcasts, ebooks and digital libraries can be instantly updated, and trainees find multimedia content to be a highly engaging learning tool.

It’s a good place to start since most companies today have transitioned to eLearning modules for moving content and making people aware of changes in policies, processes and products, says Vikram Mago, Director–Customer Service & Support in the Business Services Unit of Capgemini, the global strategy and transformation consulting organization of the Capgemini Group.

Collaboration
As customers increasingly opt first for self-service and text-based channels to resolve basic issues, agents are now taking on more complex problems—ones that may not exist within the center’s knowledge base.

Providing agents with real-time collaboration capabilities can help to break down the walls between the contact center and the rest of the enterprise, says Arnab Mishra, vice president, BroadSoft Contact Center.

BroadSoft’s Unified Communications and Collaboration solution provides frontline agents with quick access to subject-matter experts in other areas of the organization outside of the contact center, such as marketing, product development, etc. Instant Messaging and Presence (IM&P) allows agents to quickly check the presence status of their coworkers and decide how best to communicate. They can then reach out to the SME and use desktop and file sharing applications to work together to resolve a customer’s problem.

“This type of workflow where you have collaboration outside of the contact center within the enterprise to solve a customer issue is something that has been talked about for a long time but never actually delivered,” Mishra says. In addition to one-to-one collaboration, a team collaboration tool allows agents to post questions within the application. Coworkers and SMEs who are subscribed to the page can provide information, documents or other content to help the agent to answer the customer’s questions.

Besides providing support to frontline agents, collaboration between the center and the rest of the enterprise can help large distributed enterprises to quickly identify problems with products, services and processes. “Businesses often find out that something is broken when the call center begins to get phone calls about it,” Mishra says. “Those issues can be surfaced much more quickly so that resolution can take place at the system level—as opposed to having agents get inundated with calls and trying to solve it within the contact center.”

Staff Scheduling
Applying the virtual assistant concept to workforce management can empower agents with the ability to manage their schedules on their mobile devices, as Paul Stockford points out in his October Pipeline column, I, Chatbot: “One of Aspect’s first chatbot releases is Mila, a chatbot that functions as a contact center agent’s personal assistant. Aspect Mila lets agents use conversational chat to accomplish basic workforce optimization tasks such as schedule requests, time off requests, etc.”

The application also allows agents to view schedules, check their available vacation time, and view bulletin board messages. On the supervisor side, Aspect Mila provides mobile access to key stats such as such as number of agents out of adherence, current call volumes, average handle time, service level, etc.

Create an Apps Hub

How can businesses manage the apps and digital technology available for employees? Mago recommends creating an Apps Hub. “That is the place where you have all of the applications that reside within the infrastructure, and which follow the organization’s approval and compliance protocols,” he says.

An apps hub will help to build awareness of the tools at their disposal—employees can quickly see which apps they can access, as well as any new apps that have gone through the vetting process. Companies can also post links to download apps, along with descriptions and features for each.

Finally, it’s important to include a section where employees can post comments, feedback and issues so that they’re involved in driving the digital transformation.

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