Making Sure Agents Stick to the Script
Contact centers struggling to get agents to handle every call exactly according to plan have typically resorted to one-on-one training -- but that's a time-consuming and costly process that fails to address the ever-pressing issue of agent turnover. Even worse, experts say, it doesn't always work.
KomBea, a contact center solutions provider based in American Fork, Utah, has found an alternative that it says is "turning the live agent call-handling game on its head." Kombea's ProtoCall solution is an agent-assisted service that combines a prebuilt call flow with prerecorded audio files that agents control through their keyboard via a graphical user interface. As the customer or agent make choices during the call, available options are eliminated from the call flow to reduce errors or duplication. Agents can blend in their live voice if the call needs to go outside the process flow.
With ProtoCall, agents handle each call in similar fashion, opening and closing the call correctly, asking the right questions in the right order, providing all the right information to callers, getting all the right information from them, and performing the right cross-sell/upsell every time. And because ProtoCall uses prerecorded audio files, agent accents -- even in outsourced contact centers overseas -- become a nonissue.
Dennis Adsit, vice president of business development at KomBea, says the solution is all about "trying to standardize what the agent is saying and doing during each call. The core challenge in call centers has been the same for the past 40 years: getting agents to do what we want," he says. "Because the agent is pressing keys on a keyboard, we know exactly what he is doing."
Speech recognition is incorporated into the solution for the collection of customer information and a text-to-speech engine is in place to read back the information collected for verification. An integrated reporting module allows managers to instantly get agent-level results on every call and drill into and listen to call recordings as .WAV files.
The technology, which has been in development for the past four years, has been heavily tested and was found to improve first-call resolutions, reduce the number of call-backs, reduce talk time, reduce the number of customer escalations, ensure regulatory compliance, and increase customer satisfaction. As an added benefit, "ProtoCall has an effect on agent turnover because the agents are less stressed," Adsit says. And when turnover does occur, "it reduces the crippling effect because you can get new agents up to speed quickly," he adds.
The solution is available for a per-seat fee of $895. An on-demand, per-minute pricing structure is also available. To see a screen shot of KomBea's new offering, please click here.