contact center

This post is part of Talkdesk’s live-blogging series for Dreamforce 2017. To see all of Talkdesk’s Dreamforce 2017 highlights, visit our Dreamforce 2017 landing page.

We’ve all been on a bad customer support call before: you call, you wait, you talk to an agent, you wait, you talk to another contact center agent … It’s very unsatisfying. While the primary function of these calls has shifted from transactional to experiential, the contact center caller journey hasn’t been updated in 30 years.

It’s time to change all of that. It’s time to revolutionize the industry with ideas that will move the needle. It’s time to stop putting up with broken processes and start being a little crazy. At Dreamforce 2017, Talkdesk COO Gadi Shamia presented “5 Crazy Ideas for Transforming your Contact Center” to a packed breakout session room. Check out his crazy ideas below and try some of them in your contact center.

#1: Don’t treat 
your channels as equal
In the old days of customer support, there was one channel: phone support. Over the years, new channels have been added to the mix (e.g. email, agent chat, SMS, chatbots) and each one has been forecasted as the one to end usage of all the others. Despite the array of technologies that have been introduced over the years, voice remains the dominant channel for customer support. Successful contact centers create a channel mix that is right for the unique needs of their customers.

Talkdesk’s approach to determine the right channel mix involves two criteria: urgency and emotion. Once the situation is diagnosed and the right channel is determined, a company can move forward with the conversation.

#2: Agents should have real-time customer information
*This idea received a round of applause from the live audience during Gadi’s session.

Modern customers expect brands to provide a personalized experience. If a customer is used to receiving special promotions or ads based on past experiences with a company, they also expect a high degree of information to be available to the agent on the phone with them. However, agents face a blind spot when talking to customers. If you’ve ever had to provide your name, your account number or, worst of all, your phone number to an agent, you’ve experienced this issue firsthand.

Talkdesk is built around the idea that a contact center should proactively provide caller information to agents. With the release of Context Mobile, we’ve taken another step toward bridging the gap between a customer’s self-service experience and their support experience. Context Mobile displays information about a customer’s in-app mobile activity to an agent before and during a call, allowing the agent to begin the call with a clear understanding of the caller’s relevant history and potential needs. Context Mobile saves agents and customers valuable time while improving customer satisfaction.

#3: You should 
be innovating 
at the speed of 
your customers
Innovative companies like Talkdesk build their product quickly and release new features constantly, but nothing moves as fast as consumer expectations. Companies don’t just need a contact center that manages calls, they need one that also provides workforce management, voice analytics, productivity and business intelligence. Talkdesk released AppConnect in early 2017 to offer customers an easy way to integrate contact center innovations at lightning speed.

By inviting new partners to build on the Talkdesk platform, we are able to work side-by-side to develop new tools for our customers and make them available to use in record speed. Every AppConnect solution eliminates risk by offering one-click installation, a 30-day free trial and pay-as-you-go billing. It’s the best way to make sure your contact center is moving at the speed of your customers.

#4: Every rep 
has the answer
Contact center industry staffing poses a lot of problems: turnover is high, new agent ramping can take up to six months and reps are forced to manage information in disparate systems, which often means hunting down answers while a customer grows increasingly impatient on the phone. In fact, contact center agents spend only 33% of their time actually selling on calls. The rest of their time is spent overcoming roadblocks between callers and the information they need.

Talkdesk’s new tool, AgentAssist, provides a solution to the problem of the uninformed agent. The tool uses cutting-edge voice analytics from TalkIQ to transcribe calls in and identify key moments in the conversation. From there, Salesforce Einstein can locate relevant information and assets that will help the agent handle that specific issue. All of this happens in real time, so the agent has an answer for a caller the instant that caller needs it. There’s no need to search through a resource library or put the caller on hold while the agent looks for information.

#5: Don’t just analyze your customers, respond to them
Reporting is the cornerstone of every contact center. That’s why we built Talkdesk Live to help managers make adjustments to real-time information about the activity in their contact center. CSAT is a core metric to understand the effectiveness of customer interactions. We increased our response rates to CSAT surveys from 2-3% to 30-40% by sending the surveys through SMS. Those responses then sync into a customer’s CRM profile and can be analyzed to get a better picture of an individual’s history with the company.

Better CSAT reporting is only a starting point to understanding your customers better. Using Talkdesk’s simple drag-and-drop recipe builder, contact center admins can create workflows to respond to unsatisfied customers the minute they report a negative experience. For example, a bad CSAT score can be configured to trigger an email or a phone call to that particular customer to discuss what went wrong. Because customers who report negative experiences are often the least patient when waiting for an answer, Talkdesk allows companies to move those unsatisfied individuals to the front of the line to turn their experience into a positive relationship.

Bonus Tip #6: You can set up a new contact center 
in minutes
It shouldn’t be painful to set up and manage your contact center. You shouldn’t have to buy new hardware or make repeated calls to a professional services team. Everything should be managed with an easy admin portal that allows for changes with the click of a button. That’s the original crazy idea that started Talkdesk and it’s one that can improve your company’s relationships with customers immediately.

The best part about Talkdesk is that we’re not done innovating. We are constantly coming up with crazy ideas and turning them into solutions to improve customer relations and drive loyalty. To learn more about how Talkdesk can help your company, click the button below to set up a demo with one of our experts.