Is the Only Contact Center Solution to Handle Calls Through an Agent?

With more than 5% of the world’s working population today now proving call or contact center solutions, the challenge in automation of calls is of growing importance.

The Value of Automation

Call volumes are increasing; the cost of handling a call in the call center is increasing: and the cost of maintaining, managing and training the people is increasing too.

Never has the necessity to automate as many calls as possible, and as practicable, been as great as it is today. Businesses are focused on saving money and reducing call center costs, largely through managing their largest bill, the labor costs. Call centers needs to handle routine calls more cost-effectively to allow their most capable and expensive call center agents to handle calls where they can add the most value.

Customer Challenge - Is the only way to handle these calls through an agent?

There is a perception that the only way to provide the “best customer service”in a contact center is through a customer service agent. However, this is not how, the contact center is organized because it is not cost-effective to have sufficient agents engaged in the contact center all the time to handle the peak volume of calls received. In all but a very few contact center the number of agents employed at any given time is deliberately less than the maximum number of agents needed to handle the peak.

This is to fit cost-effectively in to the call profile of the contact center where there are typically 2 peaks, normally one in the morning and another one in the early afternoon…which automatically creates peaks which means hold times for the caller? The question is when does waiting for an agent equal poor customer service, and the answer depends on why the customer called and their personal opinion.

However it is inevitable that for most people waiting to transact their business on the telephone any avoidable delay is very desirable. The challenge is in managing the very expensive and valuable agent resources so that their time is best used, focussed on handling calls where they can add the maximum value and avoiding them spending their time handling simple transactions like reading back information posted on their PC screens.

Benefit

The way to do this is to use automation to automate these simple calls, and activities allowing the contact center agents to focus on the activities and calls requiring their understanding, knowledge and problem solving skill-sets. The real challenge is understanding which tasks can be effectively automated in such a way that they deliver the service, fast, simple and easy for the customer to use.

Solution

To do that you need long term practitioners in delivering automation.

That's our expertise at Eckoh

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Posted by eckoh at 11:43 AM on Jan 29, 2012

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