For contact centres 2020 has certainly been a challenging time. As the pandemic took hold, many organisations were forced to transition agents to home working and as we continue to operate in uncertain times, contact centre managers are starting to look at how they turn a temporary fix into a more sustainable way of operating in the new virtual world.
Call recording is not new, it has been around for years and during this time, contact centres have extended the value that capturing customer interactions offers in the areas of automating compliance, managing quality and gaining insight into their customers needs and preferences. With many agents now working from home, I truly believe that the role of interaction recording and analytics is more critical than ever before.
Why Is Recording Critical?
When you have all of your agents in the same room, life is a lot easier. You can walk around and understand what is going on. You can listen to conversations with customers gaining a perspective on what demands your contact centre is facing and how well your agents are performing.
Virtual working has removed contact centre managers and supervisors from the centre of your operation, conversations are taking place ‘out of ear shot’ and at the same time the needs, expectations and preferences of your customers are constantly changing.
How do you hear the voice of the customer, how do you spot the agents that are struggling and need help and how do you ensure that every conversation is ethical and compliant?
Whereas many organisations recorded calls to achieve the tick in the box, the challenges that have been forced upon us by the pandemic is demonstrating the value that can be gained by capturing interactions and unlocking the gems in each conversation.
Agent Performance, Quality & Vulnerability
Now is not the time to drop your guard in terms of ensuring quality. Customers still expect the best possible experience and you need to know that your agents are able to deliver this. I personally feel that during these times contact centres need to be reviewing and assessing more interactions rather than less.
This starts by capturing every interaction and then utilising the smart tools available to automatically flag those calls to supervisors that should be reviewed. Are agents able to operate at home, is their working environment acceptable, are they delivering the quality of service you need and are there any areas where they are struggling?
We also need to be very conscious that everyone, including contact centre agents are under tremendous work and personal pressures at the moment. When you don’t see them every day, it is difficult to spot warning signs and we should be utilising the technology available to identify and flag those potential indicators of agent vulnerability.
We Cannot Ignore Business Risk
Customers need to feel they can trust your organisation and that they are protected by the various legislation around privacy, financial compliance and payment card transactions. With remote agents, contact centres need to pay more, not less, attention to compliance. Recording calls ensures that you have an accurate record of the conversations and transactions taking place, analysing these recordings will enable you to proactively manage compliance and ensure that the best practices inside your contact centre are being maintained with agents working remotely.
This is particularly important for those organisations that are taking payment card details from customers and these should be looking at utilising every tool possible to ensure PCI DSS best practice.
Contact centre managers often instinctively know the trends in their operation; they hear it from agents, they witness it in customer conversations and they see it in their KPIs. But these informal sensors have been removed at the time when understanding customers is more important than ever before. Contact centres are seeing significant changes in customer demands and preferences, more customers are becoming vulnerable and with economic uncertainty, churn will increase.
Speech and Interaction analytics provides contact centre managers and the business with the sensors they need to keep close to the operation and customers. It can highlight trends and provide immediate insight into what is happening, enabling action to be taken before it impacts business. It enables for indicators of vulnerability or signs of churn to be spotted and automatically actioned and it allows you to navigate your way through unpredictable waters.
Now Is Not The Time To Forget Call Recording
It is fully appreciated that contact centre managers have a lot on their plate right now. However, ensuring you gain the benefits of call recording should not be a challenge. For those organisations whose centre-based recording platform is not able to record home-based workers, it is possible to quickly switch to a cloud-based platform. For those smaller contact centres that previously did not record, then deploying a solution can be quick, easy and deliver immediate benefit.
Now more than any other time, recording is critical for contact centres, delivering the all-important visibility for managers and supervisors and enabling organisations to become smart in the way they listen and respond to their customers and employees.
Chris Berry is the managing director of Liquid Voice, a leading provider of interaction capture and analytics solutions that is helping many organisations to continue to deliver the best possible service to its customers in these difficult times. You can reach out directly to Chris by email [email protected] or find out more on our website liquidvoice.com.