Is contact center conflict sabotaging your profitability?

Is your contact center hiding a dark secret: Important systems are simply refusing to share the same desktop? If so, then your agents, customers and sales will pay a heavy price.

Deep within contact centers, multiple systems are whirring away. There's your CTI, ACD and CRM, plus a selection of linked technologies. And let's not forget all the social channels that customers often prefer to use. Each knows its place in the contact center household.

But, like a dysfunctional family, systems don't sit easily together. They each demand a separate greeting and they refuse to share the same space: And no-one wants to talk about it.

When dysfunctional is 'normal'

We're being light-hearted of course. But the family analogy is apt for what's happening on agent desktops in contact centers across the US. Put simply, dysfunctional has become business-as-usual — and it could be costing your organization dearly.

While contact center systems each do an important job, sometimes they don't mix easily in one place. When agents need to switch quickly between them to answer customer issues, they face multiple logins and numerous screens.

Here are three examples of how exhausting and inefficient this can be:

#1: Wasted money

Using three screens to find relevant data or knowledgebase articles consumes 15% of an agent’s time on average. Based on average agents’ salaries, this could amount to over £1m (US = over £1.5$m) in wastage for a 300-seat contact center. Of course, this is time that agents could be using to improve customer satisfaction and to drive up sales.

#2: Wasted time

Agents at a large telecoms company have had to arrive at work at least 30 minutes early — to log into all the different systems they use. That's a massive bill for overtime with nothing to show for it.

#3: Wasted energy

A survey by Aberdeen Group in 2016 found that agents are using three screens on average. But anecdotal evidence suggests it can be far worse.

Change is coming

Even though many contact centers have stumbled on like this for years, organizations increasingly realize this scenario isn't sustainable.

For one thing, the desire to deliver omni-channel experiences for customers — that weave in social, mobile and other channels — has brought matters to a head. The prospect of more logins, more screens and more stress is horrific.

The dysfunction has also pushed contact center employees to breaking point. Researchers report that 78% of organizations say agent retention is now a top challenge — and 37% said the reason for agent dissatisfaction was the need for them to access multiple systems to resolve interactions[1].

High agent attrition means that organizations have to bear the high costs of agent turnover which could amount to around 25-30% of each agent’s salary per year.[2]

Then, of course, come the customers. In some ways, they've probably got used enquiries taking an age to resolve — resigned to the fact this is 'service-as-normal'. But imagine the boost to satisfaction levels if more issues could be answered in moments rather than minutes, because all the right information could be accessed immediately on a single screen for the agent? Agents would also be freed up to up-sell and cross-sell products.

With the right tools, it's all possible. And you don't need to rip and replace everything you have within your contact center today.

Where do you stand? Take the quiz

Have dysfunctional desktops become business-as-normal for your organization without anyone taking a stand — or figuring out how to turn things around? And do you know how much this issue could be costing you?

To find out, take a quiz offered by Eckoh. Five key questions will tease out what's happening in your contact center — and you can discover the best options for fixing any issues. You'll find the quiz and more details within a new e-book called ‘Can you have your cake and eat it?’. Get your free copy today.

[1] Ventana Research 2017
[2] - Blog: the-top-4-biggest-challenges-for-contact-centers-in-2016

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Posted by eckoh at 9:49 AM on Dec 12, 2017


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