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Challenges Facing Today's Contact Center Director

As a contact center director, you are focused on maintaining motivated, engaged agents while keeping costs in check by running an efficient ship. Although that feels like a delicate balancing act, the right technology can address both issues.

Your job as a contact center director can sometimes leave you feeling like you’re serving two masters. Your top priorities are retaining quality agents and controlling costs, and making progress in one area can seem to cause setbacks in the other. It’s understandable—if cost-cutting isn’t done thoughtfully, just a rumor about it can damage employee morale. So you work hard to find the right balance that will keep your department running smoothly and ensure you’re hitting your numbers.

Keeping top agents happy and engaged

Creating a positive agent experience is one of the most important parts of a contact center director’s job. Qualified, successful agents can be hard to find, and once you have them, you do everything in your power to keep them—not just to avoid turnover costs, but because you recognize that happy and engaged agents increase customer satisfaction.

ORGANIZATIONS THAT ENGAGE BOTH THEIR CUSTOMERS AND THEIR EMPLOYEES EXPERIENCE A 240% BOOST IN PERFORMANCE-RELATED BUSINESS OUTCOMES. -GALLUP

In a recent survey, 71% of contact center directors cited system and tool inefficiencies as the top cause of their employees' workplace related stressThankfully, technology can eliminate those inefficiencies to let agents focus on the customer, not the software, which frees them up to do what they love—helping people. A CRM system that allows agents to work across channels in a single, intuitive interface keeps frustrations low and job satisfaction high.

Maximizing efficiency without sacrificing effectiveness

Varying by industry, the average agent needs two to eight weeks of training to reach 50% productivity. Of course training is important, but what if you could reduce the time it takes and increase productivity at the same time? It's easier than you might think, as long as agents have the right tools:

  • A knowledge management system that's built in to your CRM software means agents don't have to spend time memorizing product and company information—they always have fingertip access to the answers they need.
  • In-context guidance can be tailored to agents' experience level, which keeps even the newest employees moving swiftly through cases without using stiff, unnatural scripts.

Another time-intensive task with room for optimization is reviewing cases for accuracy. Most contact centers manually spot check only about 5% of their CRM data. They review cases one-by-one, which means they’re fixing the same mistakes over and over again and missing actionable trends. Does that sound familiar? Chances are you either feel like you spend too much time each day checking verbatims, or you have a nagging worry that you’re not checking them thoroughly enough. You’re taking time away from other responsibilities, or you’re passing along data that you’re not completely comfortable with. Smart systems can do these checks for youon all of your datagiving you peace of mind and time back in your day.

Finding the right technology

Those two responsibilities—creating an effective agent experience and maximizing efficiency—might seem to be at odds with each other. But when you look closely, you can see a common thread: technology. The same tools that can decrease talk time and improve FCR can also improve employee morale. After all, agents want to help customers as quickly and thoroughly as possible too. When they get frustrated, it’s usually because technology is making their job more difficult.

71% OF CONTACT CENTER DIRECTORS ATTRIBUTE AGENTS’ WORK-RELATED STRESS TO INEFFICIENT SYSTEMS AND TOOLS. -ICMI

What that means is that contact center directors can have the biggest impact if they focus on finding the right technology that solves their top problems: lengthy trainings, manual QA, long call times, low FCR, and unhappy agents.

Where Astute Solutions Fits In

Using Astute’s ePowerCenter CRM, contact center agents can resolve customer issues more quickly and effectively than ever before. The software shortens training time, shows a unified customer view, and provides everything agents need to improve loyalty in a single, integrated interface.

Single agent desktop

Agents can see comprehensive customer information, interaction history, and other context on one screen. And they can engage with consumers on any channel without the annoyance of switching applications. This streamlined workflow means new agents have fewer systems to learn, which can significantly reduce training time.

In-context guidance

ePowerCenter guides agents through providing personalized interactions, which leads to increased retention and conversions. The software recommends steps that anticipate the customer’s next move, based on the reason for the call, customer history, and other context. This feature is particularly powerful for new agents: It can reduce training time and decrease supervisor escalations by as much as 49%.

Intelligent data entry

Dynamic field configuration allows the system to only gather information pertinent to the specific type of interaction or issue. Along with data entry shortcuts like “type down” functionality and name and address matching, it reduces call handling time, speeds up on-the-job training, and improves data quality.

Integrated knowledge management

Without leaving the CRM, agents can search the same knowledgebase as customers, giving them fingertip access to the information they need to provide accurate and consistent answers without having to memorize anything.

Automated email interactions

ePowerCenter pre-populates a case based on the details of a customer email. Then, it automatically creates a response email for the agent to approve. When agents are given suggested reply content, their email efficiency can increase by as much as 400%.

Customer data QA

Available as part of ePowerCenter or as a standalone product, Astute Verbatim audits 100% of your CRM case data to identify quality issues, and can automatically fix inaccurate product and reason codes. Intelligent analytics help you drill down to the root cause of errors, such as training weaknesses and under-performing agents.

Astute knows how to help contact center directors win. Schedule a personalized demo.