Published: May 15, 2014 | Comments
When it comes to selecting an IVR or ACD, most contact centers go with best of breed – the star player in sports terms. The problem with that is the star player isn’t necessarily the best team player. When systems don’t work well together agent productivity takes a hit and customer service suffers. An agent desktop can be the key that ties disparate systems together even when your star players insist on operating in silos. Here are five must-have agent desktop features that can transform customer service through integration.
Customer interaction history
Every time an agent is connected with a caller, the agent desktop should display a history of that caller’s interactions with your company. All the information from all of your systems should be available in one list of interactions with the caller – regardless of where those interactions took place. If the caller was on the website, cancelled an order, sent a tweet to customer service, wrote a product review – all of it should appear for the agent as soon as a call comes in.
Benefit: Agents can use this information to quickly deduct why a customer is calling or to reference past activity and build rapport with the customer. And because all of this information is automatically presented on the agent desktop, there is no need to dig through multiple systems. As a result, both customer service and agent productivity are improved.
A tag cloud is a visual depiction of frequently used words, typically on a website. Within the contact center, a tag cloud depicts words or concepts that come up within the context of customer calls. Agents generate tags based on their calls, and those tags that are being used more frequently appear in a different font color and size. This allows agents to quickly see what topics are trending throughout the contact center and can provide insights as to customer needs. For example, if a caller comments that a tornado is coming, the word “tornado” can be added to the tag cloud. As more agents select that word, it becomes bigger within the tag cloud. Soon, agents and supervisors can see that a tornado is affecting a significant portion of callers.
Benefit: The tag cloud allows contact center supervisors and agents to see, at-a-glance and in real-time, what is trending. As a result, they can identify the best products and services to sell, and more efficiently troubleshoot customer problems.
“How’s the weather?” is more than just small talk. It is a universal truth (we all have weather, after all) over which we bond as humans. A weather widget on the agent desktop presents the weather for the caller’s location. The agent can quickly see if the caller is in the Northeast and experiencing yet another snowfall. Or if a California-based caller is experiencing their first heavy rainfall in months.
Benefit: This little bit of information is powerful in that it gives agents a natural way to personalize a call and engage customers. It can also easily open the door to a more meaningful customer interaction.
Incentive pop ups
Incentives can be powerful tools for increasing sales and improving customer service, but they can also be a productivity drain if agents are tracking their progress on paper or – worse – logging their achievements in a separate system. Incentive pop ups inform agents of the current incentive program, their standing and where they rank amongst their peers. For example, if the first five agents to sell 10 flugelhorns in a quarter earn a $50 bonus, the incentive pop up will include many flugelhorns the agent has sold, how many agents have earned the bonus and how many agents are only two sales away from earning the bonus.
Benefit: The incentive pop up helps increase agent motivation and improve productivity. It keeps agents informed of any ongoing incentives and eliminates the need to manually track one’s progress. It also keeps the incentive front-of-mind and makes it easy for agents to participate in the program.
All the data the agent needs
All the data an agent needs at any given time should be on the current screen that is presented to the agent. For example, an agent at a bank should have on her screen buttons for each of the tasks she executes for callers. Once she knows what a customer needs, a single click should take her to a screen that includes all the information she could possibly need to execute that task. If a customer calls to stop payment on a check, the ‘stop payment’ button should take her to a list of all of that customer’s outstanding checks and the buttons to execute the stop payment.
Benefit: There’s no need to put a customer on hold or apologize for a slow system while navigating between multiple applications. Agents have all the information they need at any given time. This results in improved productivity and happier customers.
Bonus feature: Customer data pop up
Every time a caller is connected with an agent, that caller’s basic information – mailing address, phone number, account numbers, etc. – should be presented to the agent. This very simple feature is, unfortunately, missing from many agent desktops. As a result, agents must ask callers to provide information that is already in the system, or agents must go digging for the information in various systems. A customer data pop up provides this basic information so that agents can address the caller’s needs more efficiently.
All of these features can transform the way agents interact with callers and execute tasks. They may seem simple – and should appear that way to agents – but they are powerful.