Hybrid contact centres: A source of happiness or headaches in 2022?
2022 promises to be yet another year of change and unknowns for contact centre managers, staff and end users as working practices and consumer behaviours continue to be fluid. While we have all now been operating in these conditions long enough to be expected to deliver consistent, efficient customer service, for many contact centre managers and staff, there remain a number of challenges.
In this blog, I want to explore some of these challenges, their impact, and how implementing the right tech stack can help resolve them.
1: Physically distanced managers feeling a loss of control
We’ve spoken to many contact centre managers recently who have been pining for a return to the office. The “good old days” of having banks of agents sharing wallboards, coffee breaks and camaraderie feel a distant memory. In traditional contact centres managers could easily and immediately judge how busy staff were, how they adhered to compliance requirement, and whether or not they needed support: A quick walk of the room was often enough to get that information .
But walks of the room are, at least for now, a thing of the past. Getting that ‘feel’ has become a lot more complicated for managers. For agents, meanwhile, many of the natural support mechanisms (the shared coffee breaks, raising a hand, simply leaning over to the colleague next to them) have been ripped away, meaning that quality and agent happiness can easily slip.
2: Channel shift forcing operational change
Alongside the physical and geographical changes in the workings of our contact centres, there has also been an evolution in how customers are engaging with the contact centre. This as a trend is no surprise – channel shift has been slowly happening for years. However, the rapid uptake of messaging channels (live chat, WhatsApp, Messager) and, in the B2B market, Microsoft Teams, provides additional challenges for management in terms of ensuring delivery of a consistent and consistently good customer experience. It also presents a challenge in ensuring that communications across all channels remain compliant with regulatory demands and internal processes, and that the recording, storage and retrieval of these interactions remains consistent.
3: Hasty cloud migrations risking compliance
Yes, I know – “Journey to the cloud” – you’ll have heard it before… but in all seriousness, ensuring the right steps are taken, and the right factors considered during your cloud journey can make or break your Contact Centre solution. And it’s surprising how many contact centre migrations aren’t done with a full understanding of what needs to be migrated and how.
In fact, dare we say the migration of live calls and interactions is the easy bit. Where many organisations get a nasty surprise is when they look beyond the here and now, to the dusty server full of historic interactions that no-one’s dared touch until now.
A simple lift and shift to your new cloud environment is rarely possible: Legacy data is invariably messy: while moving from a current on-premise solution to a new cloud platform might be relatively simple, what trips many organisations up is in migrating older legacy data – and data from multiple platforms – in a way that’s meaningful. Different data sets, different formats, recordings that pre-date modern platforms and modern legislation all need to be investigated, reformatted and made compliant before they can be of value.
So where does that leave us? I don’t want this blog to be all doom and gloom. In many ways, the current operating environment offers us an opportunity to revisit some of the behaviours and processes that have become the norm over many, many years of geographically fixed contact centres. There are alternative approaches, and those approaches, once adopted, have the potential to be of great value to contact centre teams, customers, and the wider business.
And Liquid Voice is at the forefront of helping businesses implement exactly these kinds of approaches. Our cloud analytics and recording solutions are fully platform agnostic, working across contact centre and back-office communications channels to provide a Single-Pane-of-Glass view of every interaction your customers have with your business, irrespective of where your teams are located or what channel they are communicating on.
This enables contact centre managers and the wider business to truly get visibility of the conversations agents are having, understand customer sentiment, and ensure that regulatory and internal scripting policies are adhered to. It also ensures managers can identify which agents are their star performers and which need a little more help.
Where Liquid Voice really come into our own, though is in extending that single pane of glass beyond the live data: From extracting the data from your legacy recordings (no matter the format or the manufacturer of your old platform) we are then able to identify and redact sensitive information in line with current legislation / industry best practice, encrypt it, and consolidate it into a single, easily referenceable chronology of events.
To understand more about Legacy Recording in the context of moving to the cloud, click here: