One of the most important areas where contact centre technology can intervene is to help agents to do their jobs more effectively. Agent assist technologies are on the rise, and include scripting and workflow tools, knowledge bases, as well as automated AI systems that use conversational analytics to monitor conversations and suggest next best actions.
These technologies are all about improving the agent experience, to enable them to be more effective at their jobs. Studies have found that higher levels of agent job satisfaction result in higher levels of customer satisfaction. The results of a study by MetricNet show an astonishingly clear correlation:
Data Source: ICMI Employee Engagement in the Contact Center
Particularly during these difficult times, when both customers and employees are being buffeted by the tides of change, anything we can do to improve the comfort and capability of agents will help them provide a better service to customers.
We should also see lower attrition and higher employee engagement, both of which are known drivers of performance and quality.
Remote work isn’t remotely easy
According to the 2020/21 Australian Contact Centre Industry Best Practice Report, just 7% of contact centre employees worked remotely in the pre-COVID era. But that figure has shot up in the wake of COVID-19, with around 58% of staff working from home.
Contact centre work is inherently complicated. To help a customer, a frontline agent has to understand what the problem is, apply their product and process knowledge to find a solution, and finally negotiate their way through multiple complex workflows and processes to take the appropriate actions.
The shift to remote work for many has also seen a change in the requirements of the job. The technology and solutions of the pre-COVID era no longer sufficiently cover the needs of a remote contact centre employee. Access to superiors, peers, and data is harder to obtain, which leads to a decrease in knowledge transfer and support for frontline team members. New staff become easily disengaged, and managers are inundated with support requests.
While there are plenty of CX self-service and helpdesk technologies that customers can use, deploying similar technologies to help contact centre employees has too often been an after-thought. There’s an urgent need for a modern CX solution to suit the age of remote work.
Introducing: Support Cell.
Support Cell provides real-time support to frontline team members and comprehensive contact centre analytics, so both remote and on-site workers can attain superior levels of customer service without constant managerial support.
How does Support Cell work?
Industry reports show that only 50% of contact centres use a knowledge management tool, and some 61% have no customer service vision – a statement or guiding philosophy that defines the type and quality of customer service that employees need to deliver.
We wanted to make knowledge readily available at each agent’s fingertips, and also support them to deliver in real-time the CX vision. As such, Support Cell has two components that act to reinforce knowledge and drive CX in the appropriate direction.
Frontline team members are given direct access to a team of specialists, who can offer support with customer-specific queries and provide live coaching, all in real time.
The constant cycle of data collection is pooled into one knowledge base for team members to access easily, which in turn enhances CX by improving response times.
On the back of that, Support Cell uses real-time analytics to convert that collated data into insights. This can be used to identify individual and group training gaps and understand what needs to be improved or done differently.
Who can benefit from Support Cell?
The nature of Support Cell ensures great benefits across all levels of the contact centre, from management right through to customers.
Customers are, of course, a contact centre’s main point of focus. Not only are customer queries resolved quicker, but the quality of interactions improve, as employees have access to a wider pool of knowledge and training.
Since August 2021, over 100,000 customer queries have passed through Support Cell. As the database was built up, the first call resolution rate increased by 12.5%. This demonstrates how Support Cell grants contact centre employees enhanced capabilities to resolve issues – which ultimately leads to increased customer satisfaction.
2. Frontline Team Members
Team members reap huge benefits from the real-time analytics that Support Cell provides. They have streamlined access to specialists, who are trained to resolve any difficult queries, issues, and escalations that may arise. This on-demand support is invaluable for frontline workers and new employees, and many have reported feeling much better supported with the software from Support Cell.
Additionally, team members feel more confident in their jobs. A confident team is a high-quality team. This has been reflected in the results data during Support Cell’s trial run. This test was conducted using a small group of agents who handled around 3,200 queries a week. The case closure rate was an outstanding 99.8%.
3. Team Leaders
Before Support Cell, team leaders reported an overwhelming number of requests for help. However, implementing Support Cell has alleviated the stress on team leaders, as employees are much better supported by the helpdesk and the knowledge database.
Team leaders and management now have more time for one-on-one coaching, and can dedicate themselves to more focused, long-term training. They can now address more targeted issues and escalation calls, which helps to improve resolution rates.
What’s more, Support Cell offers team leaders access to a user-friendly dashboard that displays any knowledge gaps or outstanding issues. Managers find themselves becoming more organised, which in turn streamlines business operations within the contact centre.
With Support Cell, everything feeds back into data and insights. Clients benefit immensely from the visibility of real-time data to improve their processes and increase customer satisfaction from improving metrics such as average handling time and first call resolution. Ultimately this leads to higher customer retention.
Smart analytics for smart businesses
The contact centre is, as we know, the intelligent, data collection hub of any business with a large customer base. Every customer interaction is valuable and potentially contains rich information and feedback for the company.
So much of this valuable data can potentially be lost with ineffective and complex working-from-home procedures. Support Cell gathers all the important analytics together for contact centres to utilise in training programmes, support strategies, and customer service. The benefits extend company-wide, and are felt by customers, clients, new employees, seasoned team leaders, upper management, and even stakeholders.
By securely collecting real-time data and analytics into one platform, Support Cell changes the way employees can address and resolve customer queries. This game-changing software and helpdesk model offers up the potential for massive growth and unparalleled customer service.
As companies continue to look for ways to optimise their processes to new work environments, Support Cell gives contact centres a unique way to adapt to the world of remote work, while increasing customer satisfaction.
TSA are Australia’s market leading specialists in CX Consultancy and Contact Centre Services. We are passionate about revolutionising the way brands connect with Australians. How? By combining our local expertise with the most sophisticated customer experience technology on earth, and delivering with an expert team of customer service consultants who know exactly how to help brands care for their customers.