Volatile. Uncertain. Complex. Ambiguous. “VUCA” can be any day that ends in “y” in today’s call centers, especially with the continued impact of COVID-19. As the pandemic hit, call center leaders scrambled to transition customer service agents to remote work, with as many as 80 percent now working from home (WFH). Couple that change with a massive spike in demand for support services, and it’s clear that a reliance on rigid traditional policies and a “one size fits all” model of call center communication will be as successful as trying to turn an ocean liner on a dime.
It’s easy to fall prey to “change is the only constant,” with the only answer being “keep up!” But savvy contact centers have pivoted from the manual, on-premise tools that can’t scale or reach every agent to workplace experience platforms that offer cloud-based or a hybrid of cloud and on-premise security. This can open the way to workplace experience platforms that create and manage all the signage and screens available connected to an organization —digital signage, desktops, mobile devices — and the benefits that can create for call center agents.
See the Way Forward
In his book Visual Leadership, executive and leadership coach Todd Cherches recommends the power of visual thinking to counter VUCA at every turn. Think about targeted content and data sent to digital signage, desktops, and especially mobile devices. Any screen an agent connects to can deliver the personalized visual data or communication that promotes calm, informs with certainty, simplifies complexity and eliminates ambiguity.
Messaging across these screens can be a tremendous omnichannel solution, when implemented through a unifying communications platform purpose-built to create, manage and scale these experiences. The right message to the right agent at the right time imagines many positive opportunities:
- Sending employees specific information about customers to enable better service
- Providing real-time product and service info, for faster resolution of issues
- Customizing messages based on roles or teams, to encourage multidisciplinary, coordinated, and efficient service to customers
- Capturing ideas and feedback from customer-facing staff that can lead to innovation and improvements in service
The Power of Personalized Data
Achieving goals and KPIs is possible if you can be certain that your agents are consistent in their delivery of great customer experience. From average time-in-queue to average calls-per-agent, to call resolution rate—digital signage on any screen allows agents in any location to stay aware of their own or their team’s collective performance, assessing performance at a glance.
Supervisors and managers benefit from their own prioritized screen displays. Their screens can be targeted to display the progress across various lines of businesses, communicating pain points for managers to develop solutions to issues that hamper customer service. Replacing end-of-day, end-of-week, end-of-month reports with real-time delivery of trends to a manager’s screen allows for meaningful intervention during critical situations, and better forecasts to drive greater efficiency.
With the right mix of relevant content and data delivered to their screens, supervisors and managers can make critical, in-the-moment decisions — from rerouting calls due to a drop in service levels, to pulling an agent to affect immediate coaching, to highlighting and celebrating the success of an individual or group.
An effective workplace experience platform will make it easy to create the clear, impactful data displays to be sent to the right screens at the right time. Well-designed data visualization makes it much easier to see demand, measure peaks and troughs, understand events and circumstances that are impacting productivity, and help to determine whether you need less or more agents.
The New Motivating Factor
Just like customers, agents should have a preference on how they like to be communicated with: email, chat, app, video, display screens, or a text message. A workplace experience platform can create, manage and cater to that preference, with the right motivating messages to the right screen of preference, giving agents structure and agility — anywhere in your hybrid organization.
- Display live performance stats and incentives to renew zeal and fire up teamwork
- Deliver customized coaching and resources geared toward making particular groups or individuals more successful
- Offer 2-way communication that listens to agents’ concerns and provides emotional support — especially critical in WFH situations
- Send personalized feedback and content to reinforce that agents are valued and their individual performance matters
Using their screens to demonstrate you authentically care about your agents as professionals and people will generate trust, loyalty and engagement — further generating the customer satisfaction your call center is after. A strong digital workplace experience creates a strong employee experience — which, in turn, helps to drive better customer service and higher quality experiences for customers. The customer’s opinion of your company hinges on how well your call center team is able to help them.
Press 1 to Speak to the Future
At one point, asking a business owner about their call center technology might elicit a yawn. Today, though, the changes forced by the world at large means these centers have the potential to adopt the legit, leading-edge tech that puts them at the forefront of workplace experience and workforce empowerment. A workplace experience platform that empowers visual communication for your employees can be the huge competitive advantage your call center needs.
Tomorrow always arrives sooner than we think. It’s time to invest in tools that not only ensure business continuity, they promote future business growth. The time to visualize the next evolution of your call center is now