Unified agent desktops: Why it's critical you aim high

Looking for a unified agent desktop for your contact center? If so, aim high: Some tech can only blunder through the basics, while other solutions will deliver astonishing transformation.

Boosting loyalty and sales

Most organizations know they need to deliver more when it comes to customer engagement. Only when they outshine the competition and delight their audience will they win greater loyalty and stronger sales.

But what's standing in the way of making it happen? According to research, more than one third (35.4%) of professionals believe that technology not being joined up is their biggest barrier to operating their dream contact center.*

A unified agent desktop is often viewed as one of the big answers. And this is true. Having multiple customer service applications brought together in a single interface makes it easier for agents to deal with customer enquiries and requests.

But here's the thing ... some desktops are massively more 'joined up' than others. Some will only take you a small step towards your goals, while others will lift engagement to new levels.

Seven differences to watch for

While a unified desktop sounds liberating for agents who've been sick of multiple screens and systems, it's important to ensure you don't simply solve one problem and then run into a host of others. You need a desktop that will keep pace with soaring customer expectations.

Here are seven features to look for when seeking a truly joined-up solution.

#1: See everything in one place
Make sure the agent desktop you choose has the flexibility to bring virtually any system together. The right desktops should be able to handle Avaya and Cisco as easily as Genesys and Aspect, while connecting with SAP, Siebel and other systems. In short, you'll want to be able to integrate with CTI, ACD and CRM products from multiple vendors to deliver a simple, highly flexible, yet powerful omni-channel desktop. It shouldn't matter what other systems you have today and tomorrow.

#2: Make customer data actionable
Your agents will need easy access to relevant information about customers who get in touch to ensure first-time resolution rather than wading through screens of obscure data. The right desktop tech will allow you to create a single presentation layer, based on what's relevant to your business. Your agents will need to see a consistent customer view across the business, from front office to back office, so they're equipped to make the right decisions quickly.

#3: Choose a browser-based desktop
Your whole agent desktop strategy should be about turning 'complex' into 'simple'. And that goes for the way your information is accessed too. A browser-based desktop means agents can be flexed up immediately on any device anywhere – all they need is a user name and password. Now you can use disparate teams and home workers more intelligently, while embracing bring your own device (BYOD).

#4: Deliver an omni-channel customer experience
By now, your agents will have a complete history of all customer interactions across multiple channels, so customers feel valued and understood immediately when they get in touch. But the best desktops will allow agents to switch from one contact channel to another to speed up resolutions. For example, agents can push details to mobile phones, interact over social media, engage in web chats, use video or arrange callbacks easily. The walls have come down.

#5: Delight your agents
Why not choose a desktop that feels as familiar to your agents as Internet shopping, social media or video games rather than something that only rocket scientists can decipher? The best systems should be intuitive and easy to use, requiring little training or agent on-boarding costs. Agents will readily embrace the new desktop if it saves them from technical glitches, clunky interfaces and application complexity. Only then can they really focus on the customer experience.

#6: Focus on return on investment
Be warned: Inferior desktops can be costly to deploy and support, causing a world of pain for agents, customers and IT departments. However, the right solutions can open up a world of savings and greater revenue. You can avoid hardware costs and reduce support to almost zero. Meanwhile, AHT (average handling time) can be reduced and first-time resolution increased, with agents freed up to focus more on sales.

#7: Get essential management information
supervisors and executives need real time insights so you can fine-tune agent performance as well as spotting potential problems within your contact center before customers notice. With the right desktop solution, management can have relevant information on their devices anywhere.

Only settle for the best
When choosing an agent desktop, don't get short-changed by vendors. There's no need to compromise when you can have it all and have it now.

Find out how you can have your cake and eat it with a cloud-based unified desktop that lowers the cost of ownership and delivers amazing customer experiences.

*Source: CallCentreHelper, Sept 2017

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Posted by eckoh at 4:12 PM on Jun 26, 2018

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