How to Eliminate Wasted Time in the Contact Center

    With volumes increasing across all of the contact center’s communications channels, improving agent efficiency and quality will be a high priority for businesses over the next several years. While meeting this challenge may be easier said than done, today’s managers have more options than ever before – from better use of analytics to the deployment of state-of-the-art tools -- to help their teams work more efficiently and effectively.

    The trick, of course, is to strategically deploy both human and technology resources to streamline customer engagement. Technologies such as unified communications create opportunities to significantly reduce call time while still delivering exceptional customer experiences.

    This is especially evident with an integrated contact center solution. Managers can weave features such as intelligent routing, Interactive Voice Response (IVR), and real-time and historical reporting into a simple yet sophisticated process that yields significant time savings.

    Take these steps to optimize agent workflow:

    1.  Analyze Call Data

    Contact center managers are a lot like air traffic controllers. An integrated dashboard helps them see the big picture, allowing them to monitor call volumes as well as individual agent performance. By analyzing call data in real time, managers can take quick action to re-route callers, eliminate bottlenecks and keep agents’ queues moving.

    2.  Coach Agents in Real Time

    Research shows that employee satisfaction and engagement are essential for faster call resolution and better customer experience. That’s why three-quarters of respondents in Deloitte’s 2015 Global Contact Center Survey say they regularly measure employee satisfaction. When contact center managers closely monitor calls and provide real-time coaching, they can train agents more quickly. This results in both better employee morale and shorter calls.

    3.  Enable Self-Service

    Self-service is one of the best ways to save time in the contact center. In the Deloitte survey, 83% of respondents said they expect the volume of simple inquiries via web self-service to grow. When basic information is easy for customers to find on a company’s website or through an IVR, agents spend less time fielding calls about simple questions. That means they have more time to resolve more complicated queries.

    4.  Embrace Multi-Channel Engagement

    As customers seek to connect in a variety of channels, agents can find it more challenging to resolve questions quickly. But when the contact center solution is fully integrated with your communications solution, engagement times can actually be reduced. A consolidated approach makes it easier for agents to communicate both externally and internally using voice, web chat, email and instant messaging. They can work with several customers simultaneously, while waiting for internal experts to provide answers. This saves time and improves the customer experience.

    5.  Integrate Customer Intelligence

    The more an agent knows about a customer, the better – and faster – they can resolve issues. That’s why many businesses opt to have their CRM integrated with their contact center solution. Agents get a 360-degree view of the caller, and with full access to the customer’s information and history, they know when the customer last called and why, what products they’ve purchased and can review their history of prior resolutions. Less time is spent gathering background information, and a path to resolution can be determined more quickly.

    Eliminating wasted time in the contact center requires the right blend of tools and strategy. By making strategic use of integrated contact center technology along with business intelligence, companies will find many opportunities to improve efficiency and productivity.

    Learn more about ShoreTel’s contact center solutions here.