When many companies look at CCaaS solutions to introduce into their CX environment, the focus is driven on the technology side of the equation (feature set, cloud vs. premise, architecture, security and future research and development) with a focus on what automation we can bring directly to our customers. What is often overlooked in a CCaaS assessment relates to how people interact with technology…the human aspect of the adoption and sustainment of a new CCaaS solution, both externally (customers) and internally (call center operations).
From Star Telecom’s recent 2023 Customer Satisfaction survey which concluded with a 100% CSAT score and +90% NPS, the following has become increasingly clear from our customers:
- Equal focus on external (customer) solutions as well as internal (call center operations) focus through CCaaS…how can we make our agents’ lives better.
- The key to success from CCaaS from an integration partner is Support, Support, Support. As technology in the cloud environment moves very quickly, companies are looking for a partner to help not only stand-up new cloud CCaaS solutions, but more importantly identify future solutions that either improve customer experience or employee experience, or both.
- A CCaaS partner that thinks like a call center operations manager, and layers technology on top to solve CX challenges; not a CCaaS technology partner that does not understand the operations environment.
- A CCaaS partner that is not focused on just fielding challenges, and then offering solutions, but proactively identifies challenges and offers solutions.
Case #1: You can drive efficiency AND employee experience
“Thank you for calling ACME Incorporated. My name is Sandra, how can I help you today?” Your call center teams are probably saying an opening phrase like this hundreds if not thousands of times per day. While commonplace, it does set the tone for the interaction between the customer and agent, and that introduction is probably important enough to find its way onto your quality management auditing forms. It is a critical component to setting the tone of the interaction, but it is awfully repetitive. Repetitive to such a degree, that the average 100-agent call center will spend 1,000 hours per year on introductions. Star Telecom identified this as a “problem” or an opportunity for our clients. How can we remove 1,000 hours of a repetitive task through technology? Thus came Agentles Automated Greeting (AAG). The ability for the agent to record their own greeting that provides the following benefit vs. actually saying the greeting over and over again:
- Standardizes the greeting language from both a welcome statement as well as branding, in the agent’s own voice.
- Removes 1,000 hours of talk time for the average call center (100 agents) per year, saving the agent’s voice for what matters.
- Reduces handle time by between 15 – 30 seconds per interaction. In today’s agent environment where knowledge is power, our client’s agents now focus on the customer issue (reviewing account details, IVR data received, scripting, etc.) versus actively participating in a greeting. By switching the focus from greeting to identifying why the customer is contacting your company, the agent already has a jump start on resolving the issue.
Case #2: If I had the magic wand, I would remove the HOLD
“If you don’t mind, while I look further into the issue, can I put you on hold?” Why do our agents put customers on hold? For the most part, they are doing it because they almost have to. In the ever-complex world of the call center environment, the agents need to quickly 1) Identify why the customer is calling, 2) Identify what the challenge is, and 3) try and find the information/response to provide to the customer. Imagine going into a meeting not knowing what the meeting is about, not having an agenda, and being asked a laundry list of questions that you could not be prepared for as you didn’t know what the meeting or topic was about. This is what our front-line agents go through 40 times a day. Star Telecom identified this as a shared challenge across the industry and is now focused on delivering client and agent solutions via a combination of enhanced agent scripts capturing key elements collected with the IVR or Bot and presenting them to the agent prior to the interaction between the agent and customer. This is also coupled with Genesys Cloud AI via agent script that allows for the real-time push of knowledge and process guides to the agent based on the conversation that is happening. Three things have resulted from these efforts:
- Hold time has been reduced on average by 20 seconds, thus decreasing AHT.
- CX has improved because no one likes to listen to hold music.
- The agent feels empowered as information is coming to them (just in time) versus having to go out and search for it (pull up the record of account, understand the problem, look for knowledge articles, etc.).
Star Telecom firmly believes that a CX strategy involving CCaaS should be equally balanced between customer and employee experience, and by focusing exclusively on the customer, in the end, a heightened CX strategy will always fail. Although our industry is consumed with a focus on AI, Bot technology, and natural language from a customer containment standpoint, people still want to interact with people, so Star’s focus is a balanced effort between CX and EX.
Star Telecom has been involved in the contact center cloud solutions space for 20+ years, is a Genesys Cloud Gold Partner, and was recently named 2022 Canada Genesys Partner of the Year. Star Telecom brings a rich call center operations focus in the adoption of CCaaS solutions for our clients, where technology meets people. We take pride in our 100% client satisfaction, +90 NPS results, and sustained long-term partnerships that we have with our clients, delivering solutions that matter.
About the Author:
Jeff Hebel has 20+ years of experience in senior leadership roles within the call center space. From account management to multi-site operational leadership, traversing industry verticals including Telco, Retail, Ecommerce, Healthcare, Insurance and Financial sectors. Jeff started with Star Telecom in May 2019 to lead the client-facing organization in driving the best in industry customer experiences for Star Telecom’s clients.