The complexity of queries that contact centres agents handle now is incredibly high.
Compassion is key. Efficiency is key. Targets are key. But can everything really be the number one priority?
People have unrealistic expectations from businesses when it comes to problem resolution. A disgruntled customer expects a call or contact centre agent to know all the context of their particular case – whether that be previous conversations about the current problem, general customer data, or even historic conversations from a different channel entirely.
Furthermore, when customers ring up a call centre, they usually require something, and therefore will be under a time constraint. Reactive communication is simply not good enough anymore. Agents need to be proactive with data and tech.
Unfortunately, many contact centres don’t have access to such context. Even if they do, it’s often not consolidated and is held within different platforms and databases. Additionally, this can be a compliance issue. The storage of legacy call recordings and customer data must be handled sensitively. Read more on that here.
Bringing together this contextual data is vital for human resolution. The rise of automation has helped contact centres alleviate the need to deal with the micro and allowed them to focus on the macro. Chatbots and automated responses can only answer the basic queries if at all. Realistically, AI isn’t ‘intelligent’ enough to respond to customer queries yet. This means that contact centre agents must resolve the more complex issues, and to do that they first need to comprehend the scenario.
Essentially, if you give the same contextual information to a human and a chatbot, the human will be able to solve the problem with efficiency and more emotion. Hence why we all love to get through to an operator after we’ve just been dealing with an automated robotic voice navigating us to the right place!
‘Demand reduction’ has been a focus in previous years and contact centres have worked on saving their agents for the big picture issues that require a sometimes-illogical brain.
At Liquid Voice, we believe that this isn’t upstream thinking.
Think upstream to support vulnerable customers
Contact centres shouldn’t just save their human agents for the complex issues so that they have more time to work on resolutions – they should also empower agents.
It’s likely that the number of inbound calls will increase with the Cost-of-Living crisis in Europe and the recession that many countries are currently entering.
As vulnerable customers turn to organisations that they have relationships with for help to reduce bill payments, cancel subscriptions, and sometimes just to share their problems with someone, contact centres need to be ready. It’s well-known that when customers find themselves in difficulty, many default to a phone call rather than turning to an automated live chat or other digital channels.
What role does technology play?
At Liquid Voice we recognise that technology has a key role to play in this global attempt to support both contact centre agents and vulnerable customers.
Technology can’t do it alone. Neither can humans. What really needs to happen in 2023 is a blend of synergy between human understanding and emotion with innovative technology and data.
The true way to remediate these staff-stretching queries, and start providing quicker resolutions, is to improve the efficacy of customer experience (CX) from the beginning. That requires a true understanding of the data and all of the context associated with it.