FACT which is why so many implementations #FAIL!
Believe it or not, those expensive contact centre solutions that carry big business benefits don’t always make it all the way to the customer. Take for example your basic screen pop solution (a.k.a. CTI) in which data derived during the course of an IVR call is transferred to the agent desktop to give them insight into the call, or more often to simply pull up the caller’s account. Due to the repetitive nature of their jobs, most agents take what they learn in their training and make a habit out of it. So when a new solution is introduced, they have a difficult time adjusting without guidance about the expectations.
I recently spent some time in a call centre observing agents while researching a new speech design. I saw that they had a very habitual way of starting the conversation and gathering the same type of personal data each time to identify the account…Postal code, name, home address, etc. A CTI solution had been put in place by the business a few years ago to cut down agent talk time. The solution simply pre-populated the caller’s account for the agent if the caller had authenticated in the IVR. But what I noticed was—even for these screen pop calls the agents were still prompting the caller for all the same information – very frustrating for the customer.
So the effect was: the business was happy with the solution because they indeed saw a decent drop in talk time (some agent data entry and search was eliminated); the agents just went on their merry way. But the customer? They’re left in the dark thinking only that the company has a worthless IVR that’s a waste of time and an annoyance that they’ve invested the time to participate with. And overall that the company they’re interacting with is disjointed; that it has separate departments running the IVR and contact centre; the left hand’s not talking to the right.
What’s missing? What needs to change? Agent training. If the agent training had focused on how the caller would perceive the interaction, it would make all the difference in the caller’s impression. A simple phrase added to the script, for example. “I see you’ve entered your account info already. Thanks for that. So how can I help you today?” The result would be an impression that the business is cohesive; that the IVR and agents are part of the same entity. And to think, how much more talk time would be saved with that type of transaction?
Oh, and I should add that this is what our Flare Design “People, Capability and Change” program is all about!