Contact centers are the customer service centers of enterprises. When customers face issues with access, availability, or administering of a product, they invariably reach out to the contact centers via available channels such as voice, chat, social, and email for service and resolution. Contact centers are expected to provide consistent, seamless, effortless self-service and/or agent assist service to customers and ensure first-contact resolution. The question though is what happens when the so-called customer service centers function at below par efficiency and they need a service themselves? What are the signs which tell us that our service centers are due for a service? Here is a layman’s guide to help understand these by drawing parallels with steps involved in a car service.Contact centers, the face of customer service, sometimes need a service themselves. Here are seven warning signs
The Contact Center Garage
Engine Oil and Customer Journeys
One of the most important signs of poor customer experience (CX) is increased customer effort to avail service. When a car’s performance and mileage go down, the ride gets stiff or the car starts making abnormal noises and we know that it’s time to change the engine oil. Similarly, the trend from some of the important metrics– high handle times, high wait times, and poor CSAT reveals that the customer effort (car: engine effort) is abnormally high, it is then time to relook the customer journeys across channels to facilitate faster and easier service.
Air Filter and Agent Assist
A car accumulating dust, particles, debris, and emission of black smoke from the exhaust are signs of malfunction of the air filter. A new air filter allows clean air access to engines, thus, helping in the combustion process. Likewise, when too many interactions, tasks, and activities get accumulated at the agent side on a regular basis, it is an indication that agents (car: filters) are overworked and running with low motivation. This results in high attrition, leaving the operations inefficient. In such cases, the focus must be on improving and enabling agents with automation tools, real-time assistance, and next-best actions .
Shaking Tires and Digital Channels
Sometimes, while driving, we find tires violently shaking with a crooked steering leading to lack of control. For this, we resort to tire balancing and rotation, helping in an even distribution of weight. When there are too many customers clogging the limited interaction channels such as voice and web, we must invest in digital and distribute the interactions (car: load) to digital channels such as social, chat, video, and email. This not only improves the experience (car: performance), but also helps in long-term sustenance (car: longevity) and retention of customers.
Ignition Systems and Cloud Migration
While driving in highways, we need speed and seamless acceleration. Most of the times, if a car is not able to pick up speed or accelerate rapidly, it is due to worn-out spark plugs or ignition systems. Similarly, when enterprises are on a growth trajectory, they need all the speed they can get in delivering a great customer experience (car: freeway speed). However, most times, they are crippled due to legacy, non-supported, premises-based (car: ignition) systems. This is the right indication to migrate to new, modern, cloud-based platforms with pay-as-you-go options that provide agility (car: acceleration) and optimize maintenance cost, thus delivering value.
Car Battery and Workforce Management
When a car doesn’t start or starts too slow, it is mostly due to a degraded or defective battery. In such cases, we can only abandon the journey as it needs an immediate battery replacement. In parallel, when there are too few/no agents (car: charge) available to attend to customers on a busy hour, they simply abandon the channel. This is mostly evident from metrics such as higher-than-average wait times,IVR dropouts, and chat closures on working hours. It is an indication that the workforce management system needs an overhaul with focus on agent forecasting, staffing, and scheduling.
Car Polishing and Platform Upgrades
If the paint on the car has dimmed, has a scratch, or lost its sheen, polishing is the way to go. This helps in getting the new look back and presents the car in the best of shape. Often, enterprises run on leading contact center platforms such as Genesys and Cisco. However, they are unable to leverage next-gen technologies such as AI, bots and analytics into their customer experience mix due to older versions which do not support the latest features. Regular upgrades (car: polishing) help in embracing digital differentiation and presenting our brand and experiences in the best shape to our customers.
Car Washing and Infrastructure Support
Dusting and washing of cars are integral parts of any service. One may be having the best car in the world, but if it is not cleaned and taken care properly, it leaves a negative impression. This is precisely the reason most of us usually allot specific day(s) in a week in cleaning our cars. Likewise, a factory approach in infrastructure support and maintenance with commitment to stringent service levels and transparent reporting is critical for contact center technology operations. Missed SLAs , improper tracking, shoddy governance, and pending email responses are signs that the BAU (Business as Usual) is affected and service centers aren’t operating at their best. This impacts the CX and the goodwill earned so far.
In a nutshell, contact centers require as much care, attention, and love as we have for our cars! We take great pride in our possession and not a day goes through without us looking at our cars to make sure that everything is alright. Contact centers are the gateway to great customer experiences. Why not monitor their health and performance using the same lenses and keep them uber clean, tidy, and spotless?
HCL's Fluid Contact Center practice can enable superior CX for our clients leveraging industry solutions and leading technologies to transform traditional contact center operations into world-class experience centers with vital, competitive digital differentiation. To know more about our services, solutions, and offerings, please reach out to us to Contact.FluidCC@hcl.com.