“Changing Face of Contact Centers” Series Part 1: Channels, Big Data and Managing the Workforce

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We’re all familiar with customer service centers. The 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. availability. The hard-to-understand call quality. The endless interactive voice response prompts telling you to “press 1 for sales, press 2 for service…” and on and on and on.

Traditional call centers may be an endangered species and to that we say, “We’re ready, bring on the change!” Windstream is focused on helping businesses of all sizes think about their contact centers in ways that will revolutionize how customer service is delivered and received. We’re so excited about these new centers that we can’t say it all in one blog post—so welcome to the first installment of “The Changing Face of Contact Centers”—a five-part series, sharing a handful of our ideas.

In today’s instant fulfillment society, customer demands and expectations far outpace the actual service they often receive. Many organizations fail to meet their customers’ demands due to lack of understanding of the costs and resources required to meet them. Unfortunately, the lack of response leaves businesses with disgruntled customers and a knowledge gap regarding their customers’ true needs—a BIG “no-no” for any successful business.

This first installment in the contact center series focuses on the concept of “big data” and how workforce management can help businesses increase customer satisfaction and truly understand what their own customers want and need.

The benefit of “big data”

Imagine the number of phone calls that an average contact center receives in a day. Each call, or interaction, generates data that can be aggregated into customer analytics. These analytics can include keyword monitoring (for example, how many times the words “disappointed” or “unhappy” were used during a specific period), call quality issues, call volume by day and time, or other trends that provide overall metrics on customer issues and satisfaction levels.

By implementing big data analytics into daily processes of your contact center, you’re given real-time views into virtually any point of the interactions, helping you make decisions on potential directional shifts in either products or customer service. And of course, this is a huge competitive advantage. You’re able to make immediate modifications to marketing campaigns, assess success rates, and implement changes without having to wait days or weeks for data.

Workforce management

Contact centers are most effective when their customer service representatives are armed with the appropriate tools to be successful. In an April 2012 study conducted by Forrester Consulting and commissioned by Avaya, 60% of organizations responded that giving customer service agents a single view of the information they need, when they need it was their number one priority.  Additionally, respondents stated other priorities as scheduling the right agents in the right queues and streamlined call routing.  All of these are keys to delivering exceptional customer service

By utilizing advanced workforce management, organizations can take advantage of increased communication channels and lower wait times to satisfy customer requests. To date, only 8% of organizations realize these benefits. Although the benefits are clear, most companies are hesitant to make the necessary investments. A contact center that is equipped with workforce management is an affordable way to improve and manage complex workflows and empower the workforce to be successful—ultimately resulting in better customer service and increased ROI.

Click here for more on how contact centers from Windstream can benefit your organization with a “Day in the Life” assessment of your business operations.

And stay tuned for the next installment of “The Changing Face of Contact Centers.” We’ve got more on the way.