Happy Call Center Agent

In addition to providing an important human touchpoint for their customers, contact center agents also fulfill critical ‘integration’ functions to ensure that business processes run across disparate systems and technologies. Often, they have to pull-together data of differing types from multiple sources and distill it into something the caller can understand. Not surprisingly, the need to do this at speed, while dealing with the client can lead to variable outcomes.

Contact Center Agents’ Productivity Challenges  

Now, let’s discuss in more detail the top 4 challenges that contact center agents face.  Then we’ll see how they impact performance and customer satisfaction and operational costs.    

  • Context Switching  

Understanding the customer intent, relevant products, existing services, support issues, prior contacts (etc) while at the same time looking for a resolution, requires both skill and ‘application-dexterity’. Thus, it’s incredibly difficult to manage customer expectations if the IT tools are not completely aligned to the likely customer-journeys. 

  • Handling Time Delays 

Dealing with a customer query will often involve a certain amount of Q&A. Often, this dialog will require exploration within and across many un-synchronized applications. Each may require to locate and review different records before establishing a 360-degree view of the situation. This will adversely impact average handling time (AHT).  

  • Error Rates 

As they need to act fast and work with many systems, agents are prone to making mistakes. These can include ‘mechanical’ errors due to copy/paste or making incorrect assumptions if sufficient information is not available. As a result, agents may need to transfer calls to specialists in other departments or send follow-up information to the customer – all of which will increases overall AHT and impact first-contact-resolution. 

  • Data Availability  

Agents need to compile information and come up with a customer response based on their intent or enquiry. According to Contact Babel’s report, 53% of the respondents say they use 3 or more systems within a single call. Therefore, it’s almost impossible to be efficient, effective, and customer oriented. What often makes the situation even worse is when the critical data is scattered across legacy and new systems – which may not use the same search-key for the same customer. 

Moreover, these issues create increased operational costs for contact centers. As Contact Babel’s research shows, the ‘Annual cost of navigating between screens & applications within a call’ reaches £5.77 bn in total for call centers of all sizes and verticals! 

Technology Advances and Contact Center Agents 

We could assume that technology advances had made the work at contact centers easier as they continue to implement more and more systems. Tools including CRM, analytics and customer experience analytics platforms provide a better understanding of where the client comes from, what they were looking for, how they got to the website, and their history of purchases and requests. This should make the agent’s work easier, right?

Well, in reality they made it harder. Modern SaaS-based tools are often not aware of the end-to-end process and can make the user-experience even more fragmented. Smaller task-oriented apps are not able to understand the end to end process. Hence, they require integration even more than the monolithic apps then went before them. In many cases they simply add to the desktop complexity.  This leads to the above-described challenges and impacts negatively the customer experience. 

Unfortunately, comprehensive, agent/client focused solutions for contact centers are not that easy to implement! Most enterprises are constrained by their reliance on legacy systems as well as those developed by third parties. Leaders often feel like they must completely rewrite legacy applications in order to be able to integrate all systems. Thus, they end up with analysis paralysis at the sheer magnitude of the task ahead.  

What Now?

Many other questions arise like: How will systems talk to each other if they are written in different programming languages? How will the interface look if they all have a different UI? The answers of these questions point towards so expensive initiative that most managers don’t even consider engaging in. What if there was an easy way to achieve this? 

The Solution 

Contact centres are long overdue a technology-led remedy that addresses the needs of the end-users. The opportunity for improving quantifiable business outcomes and customer satisfaction is huge! We just need to remove that user to IT friction. Enter Glue42. 

How Does Glue42 Help Contact Centers?

If the systems in contact centers work together, in one streamlined workflow, the agent will become more productive, confident, and efficient. When a customer calls with a problem, the agent should immediately see all the relevant information from across the different systems their history, NPS scores, earlier requests, current support tickets and so on. This is how the call center agent’s desktop will look after implementing Glue42! Each workspace contains various systems that share the same UI.   

Contact Center Desktop After Glue42

An integration platform like Glue42 can help companies overcome all these daily challenges. Moreover, it can provide a better experience for contact center agents and customers by creating custom workspaces. Glue42 integrates legacy apps with new applications, regardless of the language they are written in. Therefore, it enables reuse and extending the life of your IT real estate.  

How It Works?

Agents (or IT teams) can “glue” together various systems and create custom workflows. The Glue42 workspaces are security compliant, helping agents to share application data, manage screen real estate, and dramatically reduce the error rates by minimizing the rekeying of information and manual work. 

This way all systems work together to provide the optimal user experience for the agent and the best journey for the customer. A single screen displays the necessary information with a single query in the Glue42 unified search. Such optimized workflow can reduce the average handling time by 30%! 

Conclusion 

Building a relationship with customers greatly depends on your customer support team. Thus, by investing in a solution that makes your agents’ work easier, you get happier clients. The customer will receive fewer questions, faster and more accurate responses, and a friendlier, less distracted voice. Once contact center agents can provide a better customer journey, the positive feedback and customer satisfaction will increase. 

It’s time to remember contact center agents and reap all the benefits that modern technology solutions provide for your organization!