Challenges Facing Today’s Customer Service Leaders

As a customer service leader, you are focused on maintaining motivated, engaged staff 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.

agents working in call center looking serious

Your job as a customer service leader can sometimes leave you feeling like you’re serving two masters. Your top priorities are retaining quality contact center agents and store associates while 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 employees happy and engaged

Creating a positive employee experience is one of the most important parts of your job. Qualified, successful customer service representatives 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 service reps increase customer satisfaction.


In a recent survey, 71% of contact center directors cited system and tool inefficiencies as the top cause of their employees’ workplace related stress. Thankfully, 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 case management software means agents don’t have to spend time memorizing product and company information—they always have fingertip access to the answers they need.

The same knowledgebase can be accessed from individual store locations, dealerships, and franchises, ensuring all company representatives can deliver accurate information to customers regardless of their location.

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.

Even more service efficiency can be gained from implementing customer self-service, deflecting calls and emails. Today’s consumers actually prefer to find their own answers; calling or emailing Customer Service is a last resort. Adding self-service functionality to your website and mobile app can deflect 15% of phone calls and emails from your contact center (and that’s a conservative estimate). With self-service handling the most repetitive customer questions, your agents are freed up to handle more complex cases with the care and attention they need.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 you—on all of your data—giving 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 deflect contacts, 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.


What that means is that customer service leaders like you 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 Fits In

Using Astute Agent 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. Astute Agent 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. Astute Agent 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 self-service. Astute Bot provides the digital self-service options your customers want, delivering instant, accurate answers while deflecting contacts from the call center. Aside from offering only knowledge management system that doesn’t require you to author a knowledgebase from scratch, Astute’s patented NLP technology can understand the context of what customers are asking to serve up the correct response.

Customer data QA. 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.