In the January issue of Contact Center Pipeline, Marilyn Saulnier outlines technologies that are in place and changing the way customers interact with businesses. With big data, biometric authentication, artificial intelligence, and knowledge bases all becoming commonplace in contact center, she writes that “it’s starting to feel like we are living in a science fiction movie.”
Saulnier outlines “five fundamental components that need to be in place to provide an excellent customer experience.” The components include investing in future leadership, collaborating across the company, educating management on the true complexity of the contact center, focusing on the customer’s experience, and implementing and fully utilizing supportive technology.
Each of these components is clearly critical to long term success in the contact center; however, the fifth component is particularly compelling. Successfully implementing and fully utilizing supportive technology is virtually impossible without all four of the previous components. Implementation requires commitment and collaboration among various departments and levels of the organization, and understanding the customer’s experience is a prerequisite to identifying technology needs. Saulnier provides three steps to implementing technology; if you are evaluating your own supportive technology, consider some of the questions associated with each step.
1. Define the technology strategy – Are key stakeholders across the company in agreement on your business requirements? What are the goals for your contact center? Are you aiming for improvements in specific metrics?
2. Identify “pain points” in the flow – Review your customer experience map (from Saulnier’s fourth component). Review your historical and real time data, and compare metrics to your goals. Where do customers have trouble during their journey with your contact center? Are there ways that your current technology or new systems can assist your agents in resolving customer issues?
3. Analyze usage and knowledge gaps when agents use technology. Does the technology have the capability to assist agents, but it isn’t being effectively used? Are there ways to leverage current or new technologies to increase efficiency?
With a focused application on Saulnier’s five components, including an effort to increase effective use of available technologies, you can work to reduce the “disconnect between lofty corporate goals and the ability for the contact center to execute upon those goals.”