Why Confidence is Critical in the Contact Centre (and how it’s easily lost)

In the Contact Centre world there is no room for doubt: We expect our front-line agents to be able to deal with customer queries, complaints and sales opportunities efficiently and confidently with a minimum of hesitation. Plus, we count on them to be armed with the information needed to do their jobs well.

And yet so often the confidence stops there: Behind the scenes there are creeping doubts about the quality of our communications; whether those agents are being adequately supported by technology, processes and systems; and how the customer really experiences your service.

Something’s wrong with this picture, and unless you address this, it’s only going to get worse.

The world in which we now operate, and the standards against which customers measure their experience, have shifted. Interactions are expected to be immediate, low-effort and seamless even across communications channels. And any poor experience can soon lead to lost customers.

To keep pace with this change – to continue to deliver customer experiences – we need to have a broader view of what’s happening beneath the surface. You can have confidence in your staff, and their ability to meet customer needs, but underpinning everything is a need to have confidence in your technology.

And here’s often where the problems lie. The technology landscape for most contact centres is more fragmented now than it has ever been. With applications, hardware and infrastructure dispersed across multiple vendors, and multiple physical and virtual locations, contact centre managers have less direct ownership – and with it, less visibility – over the key tools and platforms on which they rely.

Without that visibility across contact centre and collaboration, it’s impossible to confidently make decisions about how to improve and safeguard the quality of calls happening across it.

As a result, confidence loss can seep rapidly through the business:

Customers lose confidence: We all know that keeping existing customers is easier and cheaper than winning new ones. Rightly or wrongly, the quality of communications channels is often held as an indicator for overall business performance. If customers’ experiences are blighted by poorly functioning IVR, long wait times or dropped / noisy calls, their overall perception of the business will be tarnished. As a result, they will take business elsewhere. Without full clarity of the call journey, identifying and addressing any issues affecting the customer experience is difficult to address.

Colleagues in Line-of-business teams can lose confidence: Contact centre and UC platforms are now often deeply integrated with lines of business, meaning any issues with the quality of calls or collaboration reach far beyond the contact centre itself, and that any issues need swift and accurate resolution.
Once lost, the confidence of colleagues can take a long time to rebuild, but if lines of business are seeing shortcomings in the customer experience, or they, themselves experience issues, this can quickly manifest itself.

Agents lose confidence: There’s nothing worse, when you’re trying your best to help customers, than feeling you have to do battle with poor call quality. Even the best agents are undermined when having to ask customers to repeat themselves, and good rapport is quickly lost. For staff incentivized on call outcomes, this lack of confidence can soon lead to churn as the best agents look to employers better able to support their agents.
Understanding where issues lie across your UC and CC estate is imperative in ensuring that when such issues arise (and they will) they can be diagnosed, and the offending tool can be fixed, replaced, or routed around. Too often we see assumptions being made that it’s a local ISP or endpoint issue, without any attempt to verify or mitigate that assumption.

The good news is the tide is turning. Getting the information you need from across your contact and UC ecosystem needn’t be reliant on 3rd party suppliers providing selective reports about their own tools’ performance. Neither need it be a jigsaw puzzle of multiple parts to piece together.

Having implemented a new suite of monitoring tools just prior to the outbreak of Covid, Nectar has supported many clients in overcoming exactly these challenges within their Contact Centre. Gaining visibility across their network has given them new-found confidence in being able to reroute calls around problem areas (for example, agents affected by a certain ISP outage). It has helped inform discussions with suppliers about systems performance, and enabled staff to report accurately on quality metrics to their colleagues across the business.

To explore how Nectar can help your organisation rediscover its confidence, Get in touch.