• April 1, 2020
  • By Jeff Gallino, cofounder and CTO, CallMiner

Make the Contact Center Your Powerhouse During Uncertain Times

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Now more than ever, customer experience (CX) is every business’s last sustainable competitive advantage. Yet too many brands are falling behind the curve. According to Forrester, CX remained stagnant between 2017 and 2018, and improved a mere 0.4 percent last year. With COVID-19 currently impacting every level of every industry, companies are faced with a new set of challenges and the customer service demand is at an all-time high.

So if you thought the contact center was a thing of the past, it’s time to think again. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.

The contact center is your organization’s key to elevating its CX game, especially during these challenging times, where customers are more vulnerable than ever. With the right technology on your side, companies can optimize talent, training, and trust to leverage the contact center for success and overcome these trying circumstances.

Leverage Talent to Make an Impact

The contact center is notorious for its high turnover rate. This makes the competition and need for highly skilled, emotionally intelligent employees stronger than ever before. When you have great agents on your team who are able to let their personalities and skill sets shine, it makes a big difference in a customer’s journey with your brand—but many agents are stuck trying to collect information or handle monotonous tasks that in reality could be automated. While we continue to adjust to current uncertainties, alleviating some of that burden is critical to thwart rising employee stress levels.

Technology plays a pivotal role in overcoming this challenge. With speech analytics, simple tasks such as agent notes become automated. This allows the contact center agent the time to handle the more complex situations that require human connection, empathy, conversation, etc. Customers may not remember a brand for their excellent customer service technology, but they will remember extraordinary employees with whom they connected. Speech analytics plays a major role behind the curtains that allows your employees’ talent to make an impact.

Improve Training to Drive Efficiency

Just as continuous training enabled sixth-round pick Tom Brady to become one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time, technology can provide the foundation necessary for managers to become the Bill Belichick in creating successful and skilled agents. When it comes to driving change in customer service, it all comes down to effective training. Feedback is essential and must be consistent. That can be extremely difficult to achieve during this pandemic, where most organizations have shifted to a remote workplace—creating a communication barrier between management and staff.

Although employees may not be there physically, your agents should always know where they stand in terms of performance. Not only does speech analytics provide an accurate assessment of each agent’s performance by automatically analyzing 100 percent of their interactions, but it also removes any unfairness associated with random call selection or bias from managers.

As this data is aggregated, these invaluable insights can be used to improve operations across your organization. Some examples include:

  • Identifying the most common reasons customers call in to reveal areas, products, or services that may require attention outside of the contact center.
  • Flagging long call times, prolonged holds, and unnecessary transfers, which may suggest a gap in agent training.
  • Pinpointing actions and language that encourage customer satisfaction, which can be adopted as a best practice for all agents and drive customer loyalty.

So even as new agents enter and top performers pursue new opportunities, speech analytics will continue to deliver value for your organization.

Instilling Trust to Build Brand Loyalty

Most Americans (86 percent) agree that brands could do more to protect their information and prevent customer service fraud. As consumer privacy concerns grow stronger, establishing consumer trust is an integral part to gaining a competitive edge. Prior to actionable, real-time insights, companies had to rely on reactionary measures to address fraudsters. But any risk manager knows the best offense is a good defense and a proactive approach. Speech analytics software can be used to avoid scams through assessing the threat profile of incoming calls. It identifies and scores weighted phrases, keywords, and voice acoustics that commonly occur during incidents, and even notifies the agent of other red flags such as excessive call activity. Such methods have reduced fraud success rates by more than 99 perent at some companies.

Not only does interaction analytics serve as your agent’s crimefighting sidekick, relative insights can identify the most common issues a company is experiencing. From there, teams can pass along the information and pinpoint opportunities to improve operational efficiencies, ultimately optimizing each customer interaction.

Gartner predicts 89 percent of organizations will compete primarily on CX, which means the same CX strategy that worked in previous years will not hold up in the new decade. No companies are immune to the effects of the pandemic, but those leveraging the contact center to serve as the powerhouse of their organization will be the first to bounce back. By implementing technology that enables talent to shine through, training to make a difference, and trust to be built, your brand will be well on its way to overcome adversity through providing superior CX.

Jeff Gallino is cofounder and chief technology officer of CallMiner.

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