Rapid change in the contact industry may seem overwhelming but a great place to start 2020 is with people, partners and technology. That’s the message from Thomas Rødseth as we welcome in a new decade.
With so much happening in the contact centre world, the thought of planning ahead can be daunting and 2019 has been no ordinary year. It’s been one of immense transformation, for example take Artificial Intelligence (AI). As the industry cuts through the jargon and dispels the myths, we are seeing more organisations embrace AI to serve customers and agents. Innovative Robotic Process Automation (RPA) tools such as chat bots are carving out a great opportunity for contact centres to reduce live assistant responses, leading to huge savings in time and support costs. With the power to boost agent and customer satisfaction in one go, automation is an agent’s best friend by dealing with routine customer enquiries round-the-clock to improve customer experience (CX) and strengthen brand loyalty. Leaving agents to handle more complex interactions.
This year also saw the launch of Puzzel’s new agent application to remove desktop clutter and to present agents with the right information, without switching screens or resorting to pop-ups. This single view of customer conversations accelerates an agent’s ability to improve CX all in one place and improves employee engagement into the bargain.
Top 3 predictions for 2020
These are exciting times full of seismic shifts at every turn and for a clearer vision, here are Puzzel’s favourite predictions for 2020:
1. Agent wellbeing will take centre stage – when Puzzel conducted its recent survey of 100 contact centre professionals, an overriding sentiment was that agents are key to delivering a high standard of customer experience. Happy staff who feel valued are quite simply, better performers. As a result, we believe that organisations will take greater and more proactive steps to improve agent wellbeing. These will include clearer communication of expectations, goals and vision coupled with a concerted effort to involve agents in departmental decision-making. Contact centre leaders will have an even more significant role to play. They will need to be approachable but lead by example, encouraging collaborative knowledge sharing while making the time to understand the challenges that their agents face and helping out if necessary.
2. Smart companies will create collaborative partner eco-systems – cultural wellbeing will extend to the way organisations work with partners. There will be a definite shift from volume to collaborative working. Rather than recruit 100s of new channel partners forward-thinking companies will truly engage with partners that complement their services. It’s a practical approach that will give companies the freedom to generate new revenue streams in their own way while effectively protecting margins and ensuring their offering stands apart from the competition. This new collaborative partner eco-system model will provide everything organisations need to build a contact centre where employees, their customers and the business flourish.
3. Technology for the hybrid workforce – contact centres are already seeking to blend the best that man and machine have to offer to drive operational efficiencies and customer engagement. As the trend for combining agent intelligence with automation continues, the focus will be on building a hybrid workforce. For example, the latest application of Chatbots maximises AI learning from the contact centre and other parts of the business, to provide agents with the real-time knowledge they need to resolve customer interactions. This new breed of Virtual Personal Assistants or ‘bot buddies’ will give employees an opportunity to boost their performance and grow their careers.
It’s time to plan for the year ahead. Why not use these 3 predictions as a sounding board to prepare for your best contact centre ever? Draw inspiration from Puzzel’s virtual library of blogs and white papers. For a good all-rounder on contact centre efficiency and effectiveness, download “How to overcome the barriers to five-star service”.