Part 2: De-Risking Wellbeing and Vulnerability Strategies in the Contact Centre
Technology Opens New Doors
The strategies that are being deployed by contact centres are often inherently flawed, as they fail to account for the human element – the fact that people don’t always behave as expected. In the case of wellbeing programmes, there is a reliance on ‘self-reporting’, hoping employees will acknowledge their situation and proactively make use of the resources available to them. However, all too frequently, they may be reluctant to do so, both for personal and professional reasons. Read my previous post here.
Similarly, there is no guarantee that a customer will declare themselves as vulnerable, as they may not view themselves as such or be uncomfortable doing so. Contact centres cannot count on having the data that identifies a customer as vulnerable, and advisors, despite their best efforts, may not always know how to manage such cases. This is where technology can play an important role in de-risking wellbeing and vulnerability strategies.
Let’s look at some examples.
Speech and interaction analytics help you spot problems before they are allowed to escalate, automatically identifying when an employee or customer is at risk. Real-time alerts can be triggered based on certain words, or in the case of voice, stress indicators and volume, to allow immediate intervention by a supervisor or specially trained individual.
Similarly, analytics can be performed across the contact centre to spot patterns and identify at-risk individuals. If it is discovered that a particular agent has been dealing with a lot of stressful calls, for example, action can be taken to ensure that duty of care is maintained. Similarly, if a particular customer shows a concerning pattern of behaviour, that can be flagged and CRM systems automatically updated. Wellbeing and vulnerability reports can be generated on a regular basis, providing robust data to support the organisation’s efforts.
According to ContactBabel, interaction analytics is used by only 34% of contact centres in the UK and 38% in the US. This is a huge oversight, as beyond the obvious advantages in terms of well-being and vulnerability management, there are many other uses for this technology, such as failure demand analysis, compliance, and competitive insight. The potential is enormous if contact centres are willing to embrace it.
Knowledge Management and Agent Assist
Knowledge management is another area with huge untapped potential. Only 39% of UK contact centre advisors have access to free-text search of a knowledge base, with an average of 49% in the US2. This is surprising, given that it is the number one factor that contact centre managers believe will increase agent performance. Knowledge resources can be created and curated so that interactions with vulnerable customers are consistent, putting less stress on the agent and enabling fast resolutions. These tools can also be used to make searching for information much easier, by consolidating sources and employing the use of tagging, auto suggestions, filters, and categories.
At the same time, agent assist capabilities provide context-sensitive guidance that can be triggered automatically, using real-time data from interaction analytics to help agents handle complex situations more efficiently. It also automates repetitive tasks, freeing up time to focus on more complex customer issues.
When generative AI platforms are paired with effective knowledge management, it opens a world of possibilities. Rather than perform a manual search, advisors can ask a question and the chatbot will search the relevant internal knowledge sources for an answer. It can also learn and help keep resources up to date and help with work after an interaction has been completed -- to summarise a transcription of a conversation and enter notes into a CRM system, for example.
Taking the Next Step
The benefits of technology when it comes to employee well-being and customer vulnerability are hopefully clear at this point. Indeed, according to Future Forum3, workers who perceive their companies to be laggards—defined as organizations that generally only use technology after it becomes mainstream—are 31% more likely to report feeling burned out at work than those who work for innovators.
However, navigating this new world can be a minefield for contact centre operations, and with an organisation’s customer experience at stake, it is important to make the right investments and decisions. This is especially true with newer technologies like ChatGPT, where there is tremendous potential, but still the need for caution.
Exponential-e’s “Peace of mind as-a-service” philosophy is reflected in its nine ISO accreditations and cyber security credentials. while Five9 offers an innovative, award-winning contact centre platform to enable you to deliver a customer experience that reflects your organisational values. Both companies publish their NPS scores live on their websites, in order to signify their commitment to the very highest standard of customer service and ongoing work to optimise both performance and wellbeing in the contact centre.
Visit Exponential-e to learn how Exponential-e and Five9 are driving excellence in the contact centre through common values and digital innovation.
Guest post by Suzette Bouzane Meadows, Lead Consultant UC/CC Exponential-e