Work Smarter, Not Harder: The Contact Center Efficiency Guide 

Unpack five tactics to bolster contact center efficiency 

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Work Smarter, Not Harder The Contact Center Efficiency Guide - CX Today News

Last Edited: June 1, 2023

Rebekah Carter

Today’s contact centers are under a lot of pressure. They are dealing with higher customer expectations and evolving technology and are forced to transform during budget cuts and financial turmoil. It’s not an easy time for the CX world.  

To overcome the challenges of rising inflation, business leaders are searching for ways to “do more with less”. According to McKinsey, optimizing business operations and minimizing inefficiencies may be the key to staying one step ahead in this landscape.  

In other words, instead of looking for ways to reduce investment in customer service solutions, companies should search for opportunities to expand their existing resources. 

Creating a more efficient contact center not only reduces operational costs but can also lead to better customer experiences, higher levels of retention, and reduced burnout among staff members. The question is, how do companies create a more efficient contact center? 

1. Monitor Metrics Connected to Efficiency

The first step in any business transformation is setting the right goals. The only way for companies to ensure their strategies have a measurable impact on their efficiency levels is to determine how efficiency can be monitored and tracked in the contact center.  

Implementing analytical and reporting tools which provide insights into valuable metrics can help to accelerate companies towards their goals. For instance, monitoring “Average Handling Time” or AHT can help organizations to determine whether employees are taking too long to manage customer queries and where exactly they’re facing bottlenecks. Agents will likely spend longer searching for information if a contact center system can’t connect other tools like CRMs and service desks.  

Tracking First Call Resolution (FCR) rates can be helpful too. The metric provides insight into how effectively agents can resolve issues when they’re presented to them by customers. If an agent doesn’t have the proper training or tools to handle a call or calls aren’t routed to agents based on their skill level and knowledge, FCR rates can begin to drop.  

2. Streamline the Omnichannel Contact Center

Many contact center agents need help maintaining efficiency in the modern landscape because they need to monitor various conversations and queries from different channels.  Indeed, 74 percent of customers are using three or more channels to communicate with businesses. 

While serving customers on their preferred channels can help to improve satisfaction scores, it can also lead to complexity and confusion for team members.  

Companies can’t just implement various disconnected tools to serve clients across different channels; they need to produce an all-in-one ecosystem where agents can monitor every conversation in one place. The right contact center technology will empower agents to deliver more streamlined and personalized services, regardless of where they interact with customers.  

An omnichannel contact center will also allow agents to move customer conversations across various channels with a few clicks of a mouse. Doing so, can help agents solve tricky queries quickly.  

Leaders should also have similar capabilities to shift contacts between channels – before the agent conversation – to best meet demand. Yet, this comes with a warning.  

“It should not just be about voice deflection to digital, it’s about using all channels together for the right job,” says Ben Booth, CEO of MaxContact.  

“If your voice queues are high, but webchat is low, divert voice to chat instead. BUT vice versa, make them work together and for the right reasons.”

Leading tools can even leverage integrations with knowledgebases, CRM tools, and other solutions to provide agents instant access to the information they need to solve issues. Additionally, many leading CCaaS solutions also come with solutions for intelligent routing to ensure customers are connected to the agent best suited to their queries first-time around.  

3. Leverage the Power of Automation

Investing in innovative new technology is one of the best ways for any business to unlock more significant levels of efficiency in the contact center. Automation tools are becoming an increasingly popular option for various use cases. Intelligent automation tools allow companies to create self-service environments where customers can quickly find answers to their questions without waiting in a queue to speak to contact center agents.  

This reduces the pressure on team members and ensures they have more time to focus on the challenges that require their expertise and empathy. Automated bots can even surface information for agents rapidly during a conversation, providing contextual insights into the customer’s needs and their previous interactions with the brand.  

Even the outbound contact center can benefit from the power of automation. Automatic dialling tools can improve agent productivity by up to 300 percent compared to manual dialling – as per Call Center Helper.  

Intelligent solutions can even dial multiple numbers simultaneously, filtering out unanswered calls and ensuring agents are ready to pick up a new conversation whenever they finish speaking to a previous customer.  

4. Train and Guide Employees

As customer expectations evolve and contact centers become more complex, agents must be upskilled, reskilled, and supported to deliver the best customer experiences. Providing the right training and guidance ensures agents can act as efficiently as possible in the workplace. It can even improve business talent retention levels, reducing the need to hire new staff.  

Conversational scripting is one of the simplest ways to provide employees with guidance when they need it most. Creating scripts for employees to follow when handling different kinds of calls can help companies reduce average handling times, improve customer experience, and simplify employee workflows.  

The correct scripts can provide simple direction and guidance to employees whenever needed without requiring a supervisor or manager to jump into a conversation to offer guidance. Companies can even update their scripting strategies using information from previous customer conversations.  

5. Leverage Workforce Management Tools

Finally, part of running an effective and efficient contact center is ensuring all resources throughout the landscape are being leveraged correctly. Smart workforce management tools assist businesses in balancing resources with demand, reducing operational costs, and maximizing productivity.  

The right platform will allow business leaders to examine the interactions in the contact center daily and use intelligent analysis to ensure the correct number of staff can handle caller queries at any time. These tools can even help to reduce efficiency-damaging issues like over-staffing and under-staffing.  

Workforce management tools also provide companies with behind-the-scenes insights into their employees’ workflows, so they can pinpoint potential bottlenecks that might be preventing teams from unlocking their true potential.  

To learn more about the technologies highlighted within this article, visit: 

AutomationCCaaSOmni-channelWorkforce ManagementWorkforce Optimization

Brands mentioned in this article.


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