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Building a bridge between the office and contact centre...

Wed 2 Jul 2014
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Avoiding the 'I'll call you back' twilight zone is possible.

Agile Integration's Paddy Neill provides some pointers on connecting back office and contact centre in a meaningful way.

Leveraging the considerable resources of both the contact centre and the back office specialists to improve customer service has proven problematic in the past.

The use of disparate communications systems, siloed customer information, the low visibility of non-contact centre workloads and dissimilar work processes all reduce the ability of a business to make their experts available to the customer.

High first-call resolution remains one of the top measures of success for most contact centres. But achieving it often depends on connecting customers through the contact centre with subject matter experts (SME) within the business.

If you can’t get those SMEs on the line, ‘I’ll call you back’ is often the only option and it’s a twilight zone nobody likes.

There is also the obvious fact that those in the wider enterprise are not contact centre staff: they have their own jobs to do, and if they were put within constant reach of frontline agents, their productivity would suffer.

But you can connect the back office with the contact centre in a meaningful way. A number of components can now be put in place to build this bridge:

• Presence aggregation

Now, instead of an agent sending an email and hoping for a response, they can now see who is available and on which communication channel.

Whether the SME is at their desk, in the field on a mobile device, or even at home but on call, the agent can immediately access the knowledge they need.

If the SME isn’t to be disturbed, the system tells the agent that too, so only those who are available and can help are contacted.

• 1-Customer view

By integrating the communications platform with CRM, a single view of the customer’s profile and activity can move with the interaction out of the contact centre and into the enterprise, ensuring a consistent customer experience from end to end, irrespective of the channel used.

• Application and process optimisation

In the same way that contact centre activities are typically highly visible and well managed, the desktop activity of enterprise specialists can now be made visible for reporting and optimising.

• Resource forecasting and scheduling

By adding contextually relevant guidance to users and workforce management tools for forecasting and scheduling, enterprisewide resources can be harnessed to offer improved efficiency and customer experience.

Towards a better customer experience

The introduction of effective, transversal presence and the extension of contact centre practices are drivers which have been around for a long time but which are once more gaining ascendance.

Along with these drivers is the re-emergence of the concept of a ‘single view of the customer’, now more possible than ever, thanks to advances in not only in technology, but also its maturity, and a commensurate focus on the customer experience.

That’s because the highest reason for customers leaving a business is, unsurprisingly, because of a poor experience rather than any shortcoming in the content, solutions or services provided.

Avoid that possibility by equipping agents with the tools to immediately gain a full view of the customer when they come into your contact centre, while also delivering the ability to connect them in the shortest possible time with the correct person within the business.

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