With digital transformation in full flight, the central focus amongst virtually every manager is employing solutions that drive efficiency. While this focus has worked for some time, the relationship between employees and technology is more complicated than it would seem.

Development in technology has empowered growth in every corner of our society, and in ways we would have never been able to imagine. Software and hardware have enabled operations to dramatically improve, ensuring employees complete simple and administratively cumbersome tasks faster than ever. While investing in technology and software development has enabled contact centres to grow faster than ever, investing in people is equally as important to keep staff engaged and productive.

Changing Consumer Landscape

Strong growth in the e-commerce sector and lockdowns worldwide have been the primary driver for increased contact centre customer service demand. During the pandemic, e-commerce has grown by 77% year on year, and the trend looks to remain constant for years to come. While technology has helped large scale organisations boost revenue streams, the increased demand for products and services correlates with a surge in demand for better customer service.

As the demand for contact centre customer service has skyrocketed so too has the subsequent need for online assistance; something companies may have otherwise performed in-person pre-pandemic. As a result, wait times for customer service, dispatch times, and processing times of queries continues to climb. Due to this, many contact centre managers are looking at the best ways to keep staff engaged and optimised in both front and back office.

No Customer Support ROI

You can’t put a price on customer service. While many studies have attempted to estimate the price of customer service and its direct impact on sales revenue, they always fall short of a conclusive result. There are hundreds of variables that change the impact of customer service on a business’s branding and revenue performance. As a result, when companies look to cut costs and consolidate their expenses, customer service is often one of the first areas they turn to.

Successful companies have realised the value of strong customer service and invest heavily in it to ensure that staff have the skills and technology they need to do the best job possible.

Where Costs Amount

It’s easy to cut costs and simply downscale your customer service model, but business leaders need to be aware that there comes a point when underfunding and trying to cut costs out of customer service can work against their business goals.

By underfunding a contact centre, agent turnover is likely to be higher, training costs increase, customer satisfaction scores fall, and many other KPIs may not be met. Recruitment and training costs can cost up to three times more than an annual salary. The evidence supports that high agent retention is crucial to contact centre profitability and business growth.

Use Technology In The Right Way

Many contact centres turn to technology to improve their performance and implement an IVR to route the calls to the correctly skilled agent. A complicated and hard to use menu however can significantly impact customer service scores. Situations like these commonly add even more work for the agent, slow down the processes, and damage customer relationships.

A better way to manage your agents when workload ramps up is to remember that they are human at the end of the day, and they can’t always run at 100%. Technology should be implemented that will assist them to do their job rather than make it more complicated.

Well implemented IVR systems, intelligent automation to help with real time changes to schedules, and good workforce management solutions can all increase efficiency without increasing the load on an agent.

Intelligent automation is like having a virtual manager for every agent. The ‘virtual manager’ can monitor handling time, breaks and off phone time as well as queue performance to make quick management decisions and help staff perform better. A good workforce management tool lets staff view their schedules remotely, apply for leave and swap shifts as well as view their day to day performance to ensure they meet their KPIs.

The Relationship Between Technology and Human

Creating a successful contact centre involves using your technology to leverage the humanity of your organisation. Technology will always be trying to get more and more out of your staff however the more you consider the lives of your employees, the more successful your customer service operation will be.

While it’s easy to say that you should build solutions around your labour’s needs and existing capabilities, creating such systems and processes is far from easy. An in-depth understanding on how customer service agents work is crucial to building a contact centre designed to last. Call Design and their team of experienced professionals provide consulting and training on how to optimise your contact centre. If you are looking to improve the service you provide to your customers, get in contact with one of our professionals today.