Contact centers must simplify procedures to ensure success

    The contact center has undergone a number of transformations in the last several years, especially as the business phone system began to evolve and make its way to the cloud. Managing a contact center, however, is extremely complex, and decision-makers need to find a way to balance employee efficiency and customer experience. If executives place too much emphasis on one and not enough on the other, the agency will be forced to deal with severe problems, including lost customers and unsatisfied workers.

    A recent report by Call Centre Clinic highlighted the many challenges associated with today's contact center, noting that most consumers want organizations to follow several simple rules: Know an individual when he or she calls, help that person resolve their issues and remember those problems for future encounters. Although these demands sound relatively easy, a contact center that lacks the proper tools will find meeting these goals rather difficult.

    Automating routine tasks is one of the simplest ways to reduce a contact center's complexity, Call Centre Clinic noted. To do so, organizations should consider implementing an interactive voice response system, social media tool or other self-service portal that customers can use on their own. With these solutions in place, contact center agents can focus on more challenging client problems and consumers can navigate their own simple-to-solve issues without wasting their time or that of a company representative.

    Simplify, simplify, simplify

    Contact center managers need to focus on one thing above all others going into 2013: simplifying operations in any way possible. In many cases, agents are forced to deal with a number of different web, on-site and hosted applications, Call Centre Clinic noted. This often leads to inefficient workplaces, as representatives need to toggle between platforms to meet a myriad of customer demands. The answer to this predicament is consolidation.

    By providing contact center agents with a single platform to access multiple tools, companies can dramatically improve their ability to resolve customer queries. By adopting an advanced unified communications system, organizations can provide workers with instant messaging, VoIP services, video conferencing and a number of other applications within a single interface.

    A separate report by Call Centre Helper highlighted the use of unified communications in the contact center, noting the technology's use of multi-channel collaboration can substantially enhance operations. Unified communications can also help agencies improve their disaster recovery capabilities by giving individuals the ability to access the solutions from virtually anywhere. As a result, organizations can support remote working in the wake of an emergency.

    As consumers continue use advanced mobile and social resources in their everyday lives, contact centers will be forced to keep up. By embracing innovative technologies and developing robust user policies, firms can improve their odds of meeting customer demands without inadvertently putting too much pressure on internal practices.

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