Published: July 16, 2015 | Comments
No matter how small or large a company’s contact center ecosystem, it relies on the human factor to succeed. On a global scale, the stakes are sometimes even higher.
In this digital era, companies recognize that technology not only serves the larger goal of connecting businesses with their customers, but also introduces efficiencies for finding the best ways to align with customer needs. In the contact center, customer service and contact center leaders can build a world-class contact center by understanding global workforce trends and equipping agents with the right tools and strategies for feeling empowered in their workday.
Here are four key planning strategies to keep in mind:
Planning for millenials: Millennials are the largest segment of today’s workforce. They are more apt to change jobs, move abroad for work, and look for positions that provide them more than good pay and security. These considerations spill over into every single industry, and the contact center is no exception.
To remain involved in their work, millennials look for flexibility in their work and the chance to be productive than reactive. For instance, if a company launches a special deal and customers are having trouble obtaining the deal through online channels, they will try to contact customer service, and millennial call center agents will want the flexibility to respond. Tools, like intraday automation, provide customizable technology that can allocate contact center resources channels experiencing high customer demand in real-time.
This real-time response is in contrast to the archaic method of scheduling agents to offer service in a silo that lead business resources inefficiencies with time and money. As customers have evolved to demand omni-channel service, millennials prefer to address customer questions or issues moment-to-moment.
Personalize the workday: Millennials expect their workday to inherently relate to their career development. The value of a company to a potential employee increases when they know training and coaching tasks serve their career growth daily. Instead of scheduling training upfront, there are solutions enabling employees to receive ongoing training. For instance, when experiencing downtime, intraday automation technology prompts agents to start an instructional video. Or if the contact center has too many agents on staff and a low volume of demand, automated tools send a prompt to those agents eligible to leave early. In contrast, agents looking to work over time can receive alerts when additional hours are available. Overall, staff receives regular training, and they get more freedom and flexibility with their schedules.
Balance technology and connectivity: The emergence of social and mobile channels enables an unprecedented level of connectivity, and delivering this level of connectivity during this digital era demands that global contact centers stay responsive, not reactive. Consider each country, language and culture by preparing an approach that addresses multi-channel and social media customer service levels in various segments. Keep agents well prepared and knowledgeable about the differences and similarities they may encounter, and equip them with technology that is useful to them to do their jobs without such tool overloading that their learning curve of systems overshadows the content they are required to deliver. Look for ways to automate tasks and activities that streamline the way they interact with those systems. Remember that even in the digital age, human interaction, at the customer and employee level is your trump card. Automating otherwise manual processes and activities for your managers and supervisors gives them more time for strategic tasks and face time with agents.
Maintain agility: The 24/7 global clock requires switching gears at a moment’s notice. If a US-based contact center services customers of a cruise line in Europe, success depends on extended hours and multiple contact centers enabled to address numerous regions. Technology that automates the process bolsters the workforce’s ability to interact with the customer and provide a more consistent customer experience
Fortunately for contact center leaders, new technology solutions enable contact centers to unify siloed tools and operations. And from a tactical standpoint, they can use data to trigger real-time workforce adjustments throughout the day. These automated actions are far more effective and responsive to business conditions than traditional, manual efforts. Plus, solutions like intraday automation cut costs and downtime by creating a responsive workforce and reducing financial strains, such as needless overtime or training.
”Traditional” contact centers were incapable of responding to the mountains of data coming at them. Now, the technology-armed global approach can cut costs and improve the profitability of the entire contact center. After all, a one percent jump in productivity across an entire global workforce is far more valuable to CIOs and operational leaders than improvements in one region. This productivity can be achieved by following workforce trends and delivering technology that standardizes a global workforce to handle customers anywhere at anytime.