We often see these topics written about separately, but not very often dealt with together. So are they two sides of the same coin or is there something incompatible in trying to marry objectives based on each of them?
To understand this let's have a look at how Sytel addresses each issue in its own software.
At the heart of this topic is the idea that depending upon agent skills, Softdial Contact Center (SCC) allocates agents to particular media queues and then moves them around, as necessary, to deal with SLAs in other queues and optimize agent usage. SCC has total access to all agent and queue states and can perform this blending activity automatically, no matter what the media type of the session is, for example chat or voice. No need for the supervisor to get involved. Their job is simply one of ensuring that SSC knows what skills agents have and then setting appropriate SLAs per queue.
In this way SCC can optimise the utilization of all agents in the contact center. This might mean, for example, that agents dealing with an email queue might be moved to deal with a spike on an inbound voice queue. This kind of thinking was heresy a few years ago, in large part because software simply just didn't work like this. But SCC does. And so too do people, with smartphones now making us all omnichannel proficient.
Managing the Customer Experience
Our view of the customer experience is that from the very first point of contact, we build up a view of the customer, of all his interactions via contact center sessions and combine this with other accessible external information, for example from a CRM. SCC then uses and updates this information continually to understand the needs of the customer, as they engage and re-engage via whatever media type may be chosen. So a voice call from a customer on one day might be followed by an email on the following day. Not only should the agent handling the email be aware of the voice call but should be able to access it as transcribed text.
If you like, this is Omnichannel on steroids. The customer can make contact any time they like, on any media channel and SCC not just knows their identity, but has their history at its fingertips!
But this still lacks something.
A Marriage between Agents and Customers?
A great customer experience isn't just a matter of well-trained agents and tracking customer history. It is also very much about matching customers with appropriate agents. For example Ted bought an insurance policy from agent Eileen six months. He wants an upgrade, with extended cover. So what happens? Well all the things we talk about under the Customer Experience apply, but wouldn't it be great if we could put Ted back in touch with Eileen?
The fact is that people are more likely to buy from someone they have had a positive experience with than just any random agent. No need to do a survey, it is common sense. So SCC goes the extra mile to do its best to get Ted hooked up with Eileen.
In our drive for agent optimisation, Eileen may have been whisked off to help manage another queue, and may not be able to easily and quickly respond to Ted. So what to do? Well, we can try passing the Ted session to another agent or give him the option to wait for Eileen, or perhaps better still be contacted by her at a later time using a media type of his choosing.
So in SCC we aim always to put Eileen and Ted together and even when it's not immediately possible, we still work hard to give Ted the very best options available.
If you would like to learn more about how SCC enables the activities described in this brief article just write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to show you.