Every conversation between your team and your customers matters. Your employees are your greatest ambassadors—it’s important that they feel engaged and empowered to offer an excellent customer experience.
The traditional narrative of AI and automation in the contact center is that it allows it to “do more with less”—inferring that “less” relates to doing more with fewer agents.
This narrative is inevitable when cost containment is the desired outcome. But empathy matters. You should support your workforce with the tools and guidance they need to succeed and make sure they are aligned with your contact center strategy. When the contact center is perceived as a strategic, revenue-generating, loyalty-driving, brand-enhancing asset of the organization, so are contact center representatives.
Depending on your contact center strategy, your agents’ roles may have to be reimagined. Discover below four “reimagined” roles for customer service representatives.
Frictionless but not human-less: keeping humanity at the core of your CX
1. Agents as money-makers.
Measuring agent performance for contact center key performance indicators (KPIs) such as average handle time (AHT), may lead agents to prioritize speed over quality. Other indicators, such as getting customers to repeat purchases, are a great motivator for agents to offer better service and build customer relationships.
Follow the tips below to enable your agents to drive business growth and become money-makers:
- Empower agents to make real-time upsell suggestions based on contextual-customer data. Agent assistance/ guidance tools analyze historical data to determine if and when a relevant offer or upsell should be made. AI-training tools, tied to intelligent knowledge bases, allow systems to learn about customer behaviors and give agents information in real-time about related products or “frequently bought with”. Agents can then make relevant suggestions that lead to sales improvement and better customer experience.
Talkdesk Agent Assist™ is a personalized AI-powered assistant that listens, learns, and assists in every conversation—providing your agents with contextual recommendations and direct answers during calls and digital chats.
- Equip agents with tools to securely manage credit card transactions. With commerce increasingly taking place over the phone, chat, email and online, contact centers are often a target of external threats and a key focal point for PCI regulators. Offer your customers peace of mind by providing simple, secure tools—such as Paytia or PCI Pal—to facilitate credit card transactions over the phone, whether they happen with an agent or in the IVR.
- Enable agents to deliver proactive service. Next-generation outbound dialing solutions enable highly efficient and compliant customer outreach, allowing agents to handle 200-300% more outbound calls per hour. Companies can send personalized and timely notifications, such as packages delivery times, via phone or SMS in a completely agentless mode. By proactively reaching out to customers, companies reduce customer effort and inbound call volume, lowering waiting times and improving customer experience.
With Talkdesk Proactive Outbound Dialer Suite, you can anticipate your customer’s needs and proactively reach out to them through automated outbound dialing and personalized voice and SMS notifications, driving loyalty and business growth in your contact center.
2. Agents as memory-makers.
Transform the perception of your customer service representatives. Your customers should see your agents as more than quick-fixers. They should see them as proactive problem-solvers and trusted consultants.
Follow the tips below to enable your agents to become memory-makers:
- Equip your agents to deliver personalized interactions. Personalization can take many forms, including:
– adapting the communication methods that customers want to use—text, phone, or email—and the cadence of these communications.
– tailoring the customer service experience according to whether this is a new purchase, a new customer, or an existing customer. For example by defining priorities, and routing to the most appropriate agent.all is directed to.
To deliver a frictionless customer experience you can use the Talkdesk Studio™ to create intelligent, context-driven, and personalized flows.
- Provide all agents with 360º customer views. Having a single unified platform to record, manage, and contextualize customer data is the key to driving smarter processes and scaling your business. By combining your customer relationship management (CRM) with your contact center platform you can gather all customer data in a single place and offer your agents visibility into key data points. For example, your agents can access the history of previous transactions and interactions during a conversation with the customer. Tools like Kustomer ensure this information is available for your agents in a single pane of glass.
- Ensure all agents provide quality and consistent service. Efficiently evaluate agent interactions and provide the actionable feedback they need to deliver an exceptional customer experience. A deep, contextual performance management helps you to understand which agents are top performers, and their strengths and weaknesses in greater detail. You can use this information to reward agents or put them on development tracks to improve retention.
Consider tools like Talkdesk Workforce Management™ to help you drive engagement throughout the employee lifecycle and turn every agent into a top performer.
3. Agents as impression-makers.
Your agents are not a churn and burn entity, they are your biggest brand advocates. In times of social upheaval, your agents can help your customers know more about your stance on issues that affect them and their community. As you plan for the future, develop a clear vision for how you can address those issues, and adopt the right technologies to ensure your agents deliver that message consistently and effectively.
Here is how you can support your agents to become impression-makers:
- Transform the way you provide information to agents. How you present information to your agents and customers reflects on your brand. Leverage AI and natural language processing to understand the context of customers’ requests and deliver the most relevant content in real-time. Ensure your knowledge management system has an intuitive drag-and-drop interface to help you create new content easily, as well as rich analytics and AI-powered recommendations to know what to improve and how.
Talkdesk Knowledge Management™ improves your knowledge quality and effectiveness by leveraging AI to identify what’s working and what’s not. It empowers internal knowledge management teams to develop, format, refine, and orchestrate organizational information and processes.
- Equip agents with automatic sentiment tracking. How customers react to what things your agents communicate with them is important—especially when delivering evaluation policies, brand messaging, and others. Leverage AI and machine learning technologies to extract actionable insights from every customer interaction, so you never miss an opportunity to improve the customer experience. Use tools such as Sentiment.io to monitor and track customer sentiment throughout conversations and across other channels. Use the data to see what works and what needs improvement.
- Record and transcribe conversations for greater insight. Get a complete picture of every customer touchpoint with synchronized voice and screen recording, responsive waveform playback, and time-stamped annotations. Record and monitor your agents to understand how they are approaching conversations, find good and bad examples of handling customer calls, and use as best practices examples across other teams.
How unified communications and contact center integration drives business success
4. Agents as change-makers.
Your agents have the customer intel the rest of your organization wishes they had. Enable them to act on that insight and effortlessly share it with the rest of the organization to improve how data gets looped from the contact center into your organization—and how it gets back into the contact center. Follow the tips below to enable your agents to become impression-makers:
- Enable agents to access the expertise of the entire company. Integrating all communications solutions will make it easy to orchestrate talent and expertise across your company. Empower all employees to collaborate and solve complex problems and respond to customers right faster. Use Talkdesk Phone™ and Messaging to integrate your contact center, phone system, and collaboration tools for seamless communication between departments, teams, and employees.
- Empower agents to share insights across the organization. Share contact center customer insights across your organization to drive product, service, and go-to-market strategy with real-time relevant data. With Talkdesk Live™ you can create live dashboards and visualizations to analyze historical and real-time customer data and identify patterns to help highlight opportunities.
- Engage agents to be the voice of your customers. A streamlined interface and user-friendly tools make it easy for your agents to create and deploy new surveys— and allow you to be tuned in to how your customers are feeling. Use a real-time feedback stream—such as Talkdesk Feedback™— to closely monitor and act on individual customer issues as they arise, or leverage filters to discover and explore emerging trends that can help you refine your CX strategy. Customer service leaders can then correlate customer survey results with contact center data to develop a more holistic view of the customer experience, pinpoint customer journey roadblocks, and propose ideas by combining feedback and operational data.
Overall, with AI and automation technologies in the contact centers, paired with CX coaching technologies, agents will do less repetitive work, which frees them up to be more. Be more what? That’s up to you and your strategic goals.