Alain Mowad

What Upcoming Technology Could Mean for Your Contact Center

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canstockphoto10078529Contact centers are evolving at a rapid pace with new technologies being introduced all the time. Integrating these new solutions and tools into your existing contact center processes can not only offer the ability to provide heightened levels of customer service, they may also reduce your bottom line. Here are a few of the best of the new technologies to consider.

Smart Agent Desktops
Information is pivotal to your service agents’ success. Most likely, you’re already using a variety of applications that are integrated into your contact center’s processes specifically to collect, store, and share vital information. Yet, these applications often operate within their own silo and don’t work together. Because of the lack of fluidity between applications, there can certainly be a negative effect on productivity and customer experience. In other words, applications that are designed to save you time and money end up costing you time and money!

Smart agent desktops are now helping contact centers to bridge applications to create a 360 degree view of the customer, along with streamlining processes to gain better insight and provide heightened levels of customer service. With contact center agents on your frontlines, this relatively new technology can dramatically improve their ability to handle inquiries quicker and more accurately.

Natural Language Search Engines
Your callers are increasingly expecting that they can receive service across a variety of channels and modalities. This requires a unified contact center architecture that can track and combine customer interactions, as well as offer advanced automation and self-service capabilities.

One of the most promising advances in contact center technology is creating a multichannel contact center that offers natural language processing and speech recognition that can be applied to every channel to minimize the human effort and maximize the level of service. This includes a channel normalization engine to compile contacts into a common format, an intent determination engine to facilitate parsing and classification of contacts, and an emotion detection engine to identify negative and positive language, as well as a routing engine which serves as a sophisticated tree for getting customers to the right contact center departments and representatives.

Performance Management Solutions
Because of their critical roles, contact center agents’ performance must be monitored on an on-going basis. The faster agents receive feedback, the more likely they are to be able to improve their performance and ultimately the customer’s experience. Performance management solutions are now available to aggregate real-time performance data and trend information in a single location for agents, as well as contact center managers and direct supervisors.

Performance can be delivered as continuous alerts and notifications with many of the new performance management solutions that are now available. As well, data for each metric and performance driver can be accessed to provide opportunities for ranking and competition to facilitate high performance on a team-wide level.

Workforce Management Software
How well are you scheduling your agents? Do you have a comprehensive system that takes into account breaks, training, vacations, and sick leave? The latest workforce management software has the ability to automate the process of hiring and scheduling agents to ensure that customer calls are handled at an optimal service level. This software is undoubtedly necessary for inbound contact centers, particularly those with more than 100 agents or for those that are operating from multiple sites or have many interaction types.

Conversation Bridge
Customers want information and service from a variety of channels including mobile apps, web, chat, social media, email, text, and set-top boxes. If they are not able to get the help they need, they will ultimately dial into a contact center with the expectation of speaking with a live representative.

The challenge is accessing the information customers have already provided on other channels when they do call an agent for help. VHT Conversation Bridge has solved this challenge with a solution that captures information from non-voice interactions and provides it to a live agent when a callback occurs.

The benefits of Conversation Bridge are substantial. The solution not only reduces a customer’s need for repeating their question or problem, it enables them to request a callback from the channel they are using. This results in improved agent productivity, faster resolutions, and ultimately greater customer satisfaction.

IVVR
The IVR system has become the workhorse technology of nearly every contact center. Many telecom experts predict that its next advancement will be with video. IVVR (also known as video IVR) is the next step in speech or touch-tone IVR. By adding real-time video streaming accessible on mobile devices, more complex information can be displayed to provide a higher level of automation than what is currently available in voice-only systems.

Just as every facet of technology is advancing, so are contact center solutions. And, these advancements have the ability to reduce costs while also improving how your customers engage with your company.


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