More contact center leaders have begun to turn their thoughts from crisis mode to planning for next steps. Operating during a pandemic has underscored the value of frontline staff, what works and doesn’t work for contact center operations in the near- and long-term, as well as how the agent’s role is evolving. Also, Pipeline readers have shown a keen interest in topics that cover agent support, skills development and the agent experience. The following are our top 5 most-read blog posts in June.
Where Contact Centers Go from Here
Everyone is talking about the way we’re functioning now as our “new normal.” But is this current routine just a short-term patch while we work through the COVID-19 crisis, or will it change the way we operate in the future? While many policies and processes will eventually move closer to what they were before the pandemic, this crisis has given us time to reflect on the things that contact centers will have to do differently from this point.
Strategic Communication: Techniques of Best-in-Class Voice Interactions
Today’s contact centers continue to expand their channel mix beyond voice (e.g., chat, text, email, web and video) to keep up with the communication demands of their consumers and prospects. Voice traffic, while dropping in total demand, is still more than 60% of overall contact center traffic. For some industries, it remains 100%. Voice channel contacts, however, continue to grow in complexity. Subsequently, certain interactions require human capital such as critical thinking, sales skills, good judgment, and the more tricky emotions of compassion and empathy needed to resolve complex issues.
COVID-19 and the Contact Center: Horror, Heartache, Humanity and Hope
Has anyone besides me noticed how many contact center industry work-from-home (WFH) experts there suddenly are? I thought there was only one, really. That would be Michele Rowan and I wrote about her in my April column (“On-Trend: At-Home Agents”). The timing of that column was totally serendipitous. We had no idea when we were writing the column that, by the time it would be published, we’d all be working from home due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Upskilling the Contact Center: Planning for Your Agents’ Future in an Era of Uncertainty
In the midst of managing through the coronavirus pandemic, it is also vital for contact center leaders to step back and think strategically about how to position their people, channels, technology and practices for the longer term—to ensure that customers’ concerns and needs continue to be met, and that agents feel supported and have opportunities to grow their skills as their work environment evolves. Planning now will help your people and operation to emerge with increased agility and resilience to weather future storms.
Transform Your CX from Good to Great by Treating Your Agents Right
Sitting on the front lines of the contact center, agents are the personification of your brand. They provide the human-to-human connection that makes lasting impressions and supports more engaging customer experiences (CX). But, while CX continues to play an outsized role as a competitive differentiator, best-in-class contact centers are increasingly replicating the same type of customer-centricity to the agent experience. Contact centers make significant investments in process and technology to power seamless, effective engagements with customers. However, without also focusing on reduction of agent friction their ability to bring those exceptional customer experience to life can fall flat.