It feels like just yesterday we were standing on stage in Orlando announcing the 1st annual Aspect Contact Center Benchmark (if you missed it here’s the press release). We are now 5 months into our 2nd year of collecting data from our customers and prospects and have some early insights and trends to share. We are again focusing on five areas we believe are critical to enable a thriving customer experience center: agent engagement, agent roles and responsibilities, customer experience, workforce management, and interaction management. Once we finish collecting the data, we will review it and build a perspective to help our customers and prospects answer 3 questions:
- How do I prioritize effort and investment in customer experience?
- How do I get more from my agents?
- How do I manage all this change?
What is the data telling us so far? Below we’ve shared three pieces of insight that we were able to gather from our initial responses.
Insight #1- Building a Customer Friendly IVR:
Companies continue to feel that, with their current IVR, they do not have the ability to help drive the desired customer experience. Less than half of the respondents felt that their IVR was providing a good customer experience.
What We Think:
IVR experiences vary by design, a good containment rate for one industry might not be desirable or realistic for another one. For example, a contact center that deals with a lot of complex customer issues may use an IVR, primarily, to help get callers to the right representative while a center with simple(r) tasks that can be easily automated may benefit from a fully automated journey with the use of a live agent only in “outside of the norm” cases. The key is identifying your customers desired experience and then balancing the right level of IVR automation goals to execute against.
Insight #2 – Developing the agent culture
With the number hovering around ¾ again in year two, there is little movement in companies measuring whether their agents feel a sense of purpose and connections.
What We Think:
Our data has shown that happy agents lead to happy customers. Ensuring organizational goals are aligned and understood, starting from the top and cascading to the call center and to agents, positions the organization to provide the level of customer service they wish to deliver to their customers. When agents feel valued, have responsibility, and can work autonomously they feel more of a sense of purpose and commitment to their job. Companies can provide this type of work environment through proper coaching, gamification, and rewards and recognition for a job well done.
Insight #3 – Optimizing your Workforce Management Investments
There has been a significant increase in companies that have a dedicated workforce management team accountable for forecasting, planning, and real-time management.
What We Think:
Since we are seeing this trend in the right direction, we will focus our advice on how to optimize workforce management teams. We often see organizations with dedicated Workforce Management teams struggle with integration to business planning and processes.
We suggest you:
- Be proactive, where possible, with adjusting forecasts and schedules
- Focus on continuous improvements
- Communicate goals that include business strategy as well as software optimization
- Collaborate with leadership outside WFM
- Build credibility
There is a significant opportunity to break down barriers and move towards full strategic and operational collaboration.
While these are all early results we are starting to get clarity into the areas that companies are struggling to align people, business process and technology to their desired business outcomes. The survey will remain open until April 15, 2018. If you haven’t taken participated, simply click here. The survey takes roughly 15 minutes to complete. Once we get your results we will develop a customized report and you will receive a copy of our 2017 Contact Center Benchmark Report.
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