By Mark Smith
What do we call a “call center” today? Is it really a call center anymore or is it a vital part of the customer journey? Today, more than ever we have more ways to communicate with family, friends, and companies we do business with. Gone are the days of picking up the phone, waiting on hold listening to elevator music (some of it was okay), and being transferred 10 times to get something done. We demanded change as technology afforded us more options to get things done. The emergence of these new technologies: cloud-based contact centers, workforce optimization, advanced automation, and artificial intelligence are the driving forces behind turning call centers into experience centers.
If you haven’t started your transformation by now, do it and use these three ways to build a world class experience center.
1. Know the new workforce
Ask yourself and your leadership how familiar you/they are with how agents want to work today. One of the biggest mistakes I see traditional call centers make is assuming they know what’s best for the agents. A 2017 study by Saddletree Research stated Millennials are the nation’s largest living generation at 75.4 million and by 2030 will represent 75% of the workforce. What we often overlook is figuring out how this massive pool of exceptionally technology minded people want to work.
Create a focus group with your agents and ask them how they communicate with companies they do business with. Understand what ideas they have about how to best optimize their skills like chat, email, and social media. Embrace the cell phone at the desk (I’ll duck to avoid what you just threw at me) and find ways to make it valuable to their daily routine.
Millennials and I think most of us outside this category want a few basic things in our work life:
- Focus on maintaining a work/life balance and providing flexibility
- Collaborate and create teams to work on projects that stimulate and inspire
- Embrace the tech savvy nature of today’s world—make the cell phone work for you
- Incorporate instant recognition and gamification wherever you can
2. Up your performance management game
More data, big data, too much data, not enough data: it seems we hear or say those words/phrases all too often these days. It’s true that companies today have access to more data than ever before, but it does not mean we are using it in the right ways to drive the behavior we want. Data can be a powerful tool when used correctly or a crippling one when over thought. In relation to experience centers the ones that are truly successful have figured out how to harness the data they have, to improve the customer journey.
It’s important to create the reports that management wants to see on a monthly or quarterly basis, and I bet you have a team of people that do just that. Charts, graphs, KPIs, and trends will all make their …read more
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