Published: December 14, 2015 | Comments
As customers, we want to be understood—and most businesses think they do know us. In a recent eConsultancy study, 81% of companies say they have, or are close to having, a holistic view of their customers. It’s pretty impressive. That is, until you read further in the same study and see that a startlingly low 37% of consumers say they agree.
So where does the disconnect happen? Most likely, it’s at the agent desktop.
Although your company has has tons of customer data, it may be in disparate places, with your agents unable to quickly find what is needed. If a customer called previously, or sent emails and chats, you have may have records of these interactions. Your CRM system contains customer purchase history, account details, and a plethora of other information. But if all this data isn’t connected, your agents will spend their time—and your customer’s time—trying to piece together the customer’s history. And that means they won’t be able to deliver an omnichannel customer experience.
That’s bad news for business. The fact is, if it’s not easy, we look elsewhere. As consumers, we increasingly expect to receive an effortless experience. We compare the service we receive from one company to best in class service across companies of all industries. That can be a tough hurdle for businesses—or more aptly, their agents—to jump.
Sometimes companies do everything else right. They know they need to provide multiple access channels for their customers, so they add web chat, social media, video, and other channels. They realize that getting every customer to the right resource is important, and they optimize routing of all interactions.
Yet great customer service is a least common denominator. Often, the moment of truth is when the customer is connected to an agent. If the agent desktop isn’t intuitive and responsive, and doesn’t provide complete customer history, the value of all previous effort is diminished.
Does Your Contact Center Need a Desktop Revolution?
While critical to delivering an exemplary customer experience and yet often overlooked, an omnichannel desktop is essential. Simply put, the agent desktop can no longer be an afterthought. It is the control center for every agent, and is instrumental in his or her ability to delight customers.
Agents must have knowledge of the complete customer journey to understand each customer and personalize the experience accordingly. Interactions need to be holistic conversations across multiple channels, including voice, email, SMS, web chat, video, work items, and social media. Exceptional customer experience can only be delivered by agents who have the ability to manage conversations across the channels where they start, evolve, and finish.
An omnichannel desktop transforms the customer experience. It gives agents the full customer journey history and other relevant information at a glance. When a caller refers to emails sent last week, or to yesterday’s web chat session, agents see and know that history. They’re not asking customers to repeat those conversations. They’re empowered to deliver a personalized, differentiated customer experience.
Great service sometimes requires help. Empowered agents have immediate access to supervisors and to experts across the enterprise for those tough-to-handle inquiries that require assistance. When an agent can identify an available expert and easily collaborate, it means they’re more readily able to deliver first contact resolution.
Agent desktops need to be highly intuitive and have an easy-to-use interface that allows contact center agents and knowledge workers to focus on conducting business, rather than jumping between multiple applications. The right desktop includes a full suite of supporting tools—access to a knowledge center to ensure timely, accurate responses, personal and contact center metrics to help stay on target, embedded spellcheck, and other tools that ensure professional responses.
An omnichannel agent desktop contains costs: precious seconds and minutes are spent when the agent has to search for prior interactions, or the customer is forced to recap previous conversations.
Agents Are the Face of Your Business
The bottom line is your contact center agents and knowledge workers are the face of your enterprise. Agents influence customers’ perceptions; to your customers, your agents are your business.
An omnichannel desktop makes good business sense. It delivers seamless, holistic customer experiences that strengthen customer relationships. And it helps contain costs, too, by reducing interaction time.
Learn more by reading the white paper “Empower Your Contact Center Agents with an Omnichannel Desktop.”