Agent desktops: How to have your cake and eat it
The iPhone X has arrived — 10 years since Apple launched its first iconic handset. Today, contact centers should learn a simple truth from the device's runaway success: It's possible to have your cake and eat it.
When the Steve Jobs strode onto the stage at the Moscone Center in San Francisco in 2007, he didn't just delight one audience. The iPhone would let you call friends, play music and watch movies — on a single screen. Consumers could have it all in one place and slip seamlessly between channels, rather than switching awkwardly between a variety of clunky gadgets that filled their pockets.
Cameras were added, face-time become possible, the games got better, social media proved unstoppable and today the number of iOS apps now exceeds two million. Since 2007, around 1.2 billion iPhones have been sold.
But this isn't a blog about the wonders of Apple. It's about what might have been — and what still could be — for the humble desktop used by thousands of agents in contact centers across the US.
The costs of desktop disunity
While smart-phone consumers today have their cake and eat it — with everything they want on a single screen — the past decade has been a different story for contact center agents. They've spent years switching between systems to answer customer enquiries. These can include their CTI, ACD and CRM, plus other technologies as well as social media channels, email and knowledge banks.
This can lead to wasted hours, agent attrition, lost sales and significant costs. In fact, it seems ironic that organizations have been falling over themselves to create omni-channel experiences for their customers, while it's so different behind the scenes — and their agents have had to run the gauntlet of numerous logins and multiple screens.
However, a new guide from Eckoh points the way forward — to a world where you can have your cake and eat it. With the right solution, agents can instantly find information to answer customers enquiries as quickly as they can look up the weather or check Facebook on their iPhones.
Everything on-tap, right here
What contact centers really need is something iPhone-esque — a unified desktop solution for agents that really captures the have-your-cake-and-eat-it philosophy. In other words, you can get instant access to everything on the same screen via a single login.
The right solution also needs to be scalable, quick to deploy, simple to maintain and easy to change. A web-based application would be the obvious choice.
But what are the immediate gains for contact centers? Three stand out:
#1: Resource savings
Supporting a single desktop system is far cheaper than employing an army of engineers to keep three or more desktops operating per agents. There are time-savings for agents too. Using three screens to find relevant data or knowledge-base articles could consume 15% of an agent’s time. In the US, 15% of wasted time at a 300-seat contact center would equate to $1.57million each year in unnecessary costs. 
#2: Reduced agent turnover costs
Over three quarters of organizations say agent retention znow a top challenge — and 37% report that agent dissatisfaction was caused by having to access multiple systems to resolve interactions(2). The high costs of contact center agent turnover could amount to around 25-30% of each agent’s salary per year. Satisfied agents perform better and deliver a better experience to your customers. And that means greater loyalty, higher sales and increased revenues.
#3: Greater operational efficiency
If a unified desktop is powered by a thin client solution, then organizations can bypass the cost and complexity of installs and upgrades for each desktop. Instead, employees always have the latest versions and the best functionality at their fingertips. That's what today's iPhone users expect, so why not give your agents the best as well?
Wondering what the key ingredients should be for the ultimate unified desktop solution to benefit your agents, customers and your bottom line? If so, then get your free copy of Eckoh's new guide: ‘Can you have your cake and eat it?'.
 Aberdeen Group Mar 2016
 Ventana Research 2017
 3CLogic.com – Blog: the-top-4-biggest-challenges-for-contact-centers-in-2016
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