Blog Post

Don’t Waste My Time: Meeting Customer and Agent Demands

Make no mistake: technology has fundamentally changed the nature of customer interactions.

Today’s customers are better informed and more empowered than ever before. Not only do they expect speed and accuracy from their contact center interactions – they demand it. Fail to provide satisfactory service and they can (and will) hit the social airways with instant feedback about your company and your brand.

As a result, many organizations have increased their focus on the customer experience, but improvements don’t come easily. Contact centers face increasing pressure to do more with less.  They are constantly charged with operating faster, smarter and cheaper.

At the same time – while trying to meet the increasing demands of customers and the enterprise – a third stakeholder, the agents, play a major role in the success or failure of a company’s overall customer satisfaction program.

In order to be effective, agents must have the training and coaching they need to perform their jobs better and successfully interact and engage with customers. But as we all know, in the contact center, time is a scarce resource.

Where can you find the time to give agents what they need so that they can give your customers the experience they expect and deserve?

The truth is, this time already exists and you are already paying for it! Research shows that the average agent spends 49 minutes of every day sitting idle, waiting for the next call. The problem is that this time comes in 2-3 minute increments, which isn’t enough for agents to complete any meaningful activity.

In the past, a static approach to intraday management has not allowed centers to respond to unexpected changes in call volume in real time. The process is manual, with an agent’s day filled with scheduled time for either handling calls or various off-phone activities, as well as a sizeable chunk of unproductive downtime throughout the day as call volume fluctuates.

The most successful centers are taking a new approach to better utilize their time. Idle time is aggregated across the entire agent workforce, creating larger, more usable blocks for agents to complete the critical training and coaching they need as well as insert some variety into their day.

New intraday management technology is transforming agent idle time into active wait time for agents to complete prioritized activities that improve their performance and productivity. When call volume increases again, they are directed to answering calls so service levels are not negatively impacted.

By finding and utilizing time more efficiently, contact centers are able to better serve agents, enterprises and, most importantly, customers without wasting anyone’s time.

RELATED RESOURCE: Hear me discuss “Transforming Agent Efficiency and Customer Satisfaction” at ICMI ACCE 2013.

This article was originally posted on the ICMI Customer Management blog.

About the author

John Englund

John is a copywriter at Intradiem. He has a background in print and broadcast journalism and digital marketing with emphasis on technology.

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