Contact Center Pipeline August 2022 August 2022 - Page 36

AGENT EXPERIENCE

ILLUSTRATION PROVIDED BY ALISA _ RUT ADOBE STOCK

HOW TO CREATE A BRIGHTER FUTURE FOR AGENTS GUIDING PRINCIPLES FOR LEADING CHANGE IN THE CONTACT CENTER .

BY TOM GOODMANSON , CALABRIO

The customer experience ( CX ) world has been flipped on its head over the last two years . What we saw happen within contact centers at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic was simultaneously too much and too little of everything .

There were too many people trying to contact customer service and support agents to understand if they would get reimbursed for their canceled / changed flights , hotel rooms , or concert tickets .
There were also too few channels available and too few agents prepared to handle the influx in customer interactions . In some cases , this led to 10-hour wait times before customers could connect with human agents .
Agents , in turn , had to deal with uncertain situations and customers who were frustrated and angry before they even started their interactions .
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Brands were forced to quickly adapt , with many adopting omnichannel approaches to reduce the wait and / or response times for customers , implementing more chat , email , and even self-service options for customers .
RETHINKING THE CONTACT CENTER
Approximately 45 % of respondents in a survey of independent businesses said they added new channels to their businesses during the pandemic , and , very significantly , 80 % said they plan to keep them . This means there are now more channels than ever before for contact centers and their agents to manage and maintain with customers .
The contact center has changed , and we need to change with it . We need to rethink how we ’ re supporting our contact centers , both from a workforce and infrastructure perspective .
It means we need to reprioritize the contact center and shift how we view it — not just as a CX avenue — but the CX champion .
What if we equipped CX agents with the same tools and training we do salespeople ? What if the contact center was treated as the rightful brand guardian ?
What does the contact center look like with better , modern technologies like artificial intelligence ( AI ) and automated analytics , and how would this approach benefit organizations and agents at large ?
It is time to ask and answer these questions , and it is time for leaders to act on them .
When they do , they not only stand to build stronger businesses , but to better lead and support brighter futures for the workforce .