Regardless of what type of Contact Center you want to invest in, there are some basics that can be followed. This quick guide is meant to give you a brief overview of the few essentials required. One thing to note is that its not a quick, cheap and effortless exercise, however with the right solutions in place, you will find the journey a little easier.
Having a Contact Center is an important extension of the business if your organisation is customer facing. No matter what your incitement is for starting a Contact Center, you always have to aim at providing a high quality customer support and service that will ensure long term customer loyalty and brand confidence.
Workforce Management (Software)
Workforce Management involves the strategic forecasting of staffing and managing schedules to accomplish a particular task on a day-to-day basis. Organisations use WFM to gain insight into the business needs for example the number of employees needed to accommodate the customer demands.
In a Contact Center, WFM can be used to allocate Agents based on call volumes, skill and channels. The advantages of using a WFM system include improved employee productivity, better planning, reduced operational cost, time efficiency and better customer service.
Workforce management software is often integrated with third-party softwares like HR Systems or CRMS’s. There has been significant growth in the adoption of workforce management software which assist with forecasting/budgeting, staff scheduling, performance management and so forth.
Having the right people on your team saves you time and money. When you’re looking to hire a new Contact Center Agent, you need to carefully assess all your applicants to ensure they have all the qualities your organisation is looking for. You must first figure out what your criteria is for hiring, and how to determine if a potential candidate is a good match.
Pre-Employment Assessments – are key to finding the right people. These tests can be a series of Psychometrics tests including personality tests. As an employer you need to have a general guide to what sort of personalities you are looking for in an Agent as well as skill level.
Training Agents – Extremely important, therefore ensure that you have detailed and extensive training course in place. It is a long and expensive process, but making sure Agents are trained well is key to saving your business time. Read more on Agent Experience
High Availability Architecture
HA keeps your data as accessible as possible, even in the case of a partial server failure. HA is a solution that every company needs in place for reduced down time, limited revenue loses, simplified maintenance and increased flexibility
Open API and easy Integrations
You need to be able to move away from disparate systems that don’t talk to each other. The primary purpose of any contact center is to increase customer experience and track customer journeys. By integrating your software systems, the above is made easier for both your Agents and Customers.
Cost effective and easy automatic system upgrades
Have the necessary infrastructure in place that will cost you nothing to upgrade and is automatic with minimal to no downtime
Global Multilingual Contact Center Software
It is imperative to use brands that are known and proven to work. Do research on compliance and certification. One good place to start your research is Gartner Reviews for Contact Center infrastructure. The software should be able to support your outbound and inbound needs. Basic features to look out for should include:
- Omni Channel Suite
- Outbound Dialer – (Predictive, Progressive, Power)
- Mobile App
- Chat Bot and Voice Bot
- Reporting and Analytics
- Call and Screen recording
- Numerous Native Integrations
- Simple IVR Designer
- Skill Based Routing
- And so much more – Read on xCally Features
Customer Relation Management Software
CRM Software is critical as its responsible for helping businesses build strong relationships with their customers, boost conversations and improve revenue rates based on customer data coming from multiple interaction channels. Integrate your CRM with your Omni Channel Software to realise optimal service. Read on xCally/Salesforce Integration
Depending on the type of customer service you are offering, you may need a reliable and intelligent ticketing system. Read on xCally/Zendesk Integration. Ensure the system you choose has the ability to support Customer interactions across phone, chat, email, social media, and any other channel necessary.
KPI’S AND METRICS
Your Agents operate in a stressful environment where they need to manage thousands of calls each hour while maintaining a high standard of customer service. To do this effectively, you need to have the latest metrics and KPIs such as current service level, call volume and call resolution rates. Find your industry related SLA’s and train your Agents around these.
The Contact Center environment never stops evolving. The information above is just to help you get started however you need to research more on the compliances and technologies relevant to your industry. Continuous improvement comes about through committed study on different approaches and the organisations flexibility when it comes to change.