What would you do to avoid losing £5.11 billion a year? According to Contact Babel, that’s how much it costs UK contact centres when their agents spend time navigating between applications during calls.

Not only is it costly in terms of money, all that dead time on hold while the agent is “just bringing up your records” is hugely frustrating for customers, and employees too.

The technology to solve the problem has existed for a while, yet many companies still operate without a unified agent desktop environment.

Reduce the pain for your customers

As most now count customer experience as a huge competitive differentiator, the contact centre takes on new strategic importance. Bad service, in this context, means far more than just a sale or customer lost. Customers find it frustrating when they get transferred between departments, need a call back, or must wait on hold.

To deliver what customers want, it is important that the right technology system, business process, and customer transaction data are all available to an agent (or automated system) at the right time during a customer interaction.

With an agent desktop environment, instead of logging in to multiple systems, all the information that the agent needs are presented to them in a single user interface.

Increase efficiencies without putting your agents in a box

Workflow software can guide agents through multiple processes in an intelligent manner, where the next step presented follows logically from the responses already gathered. In the workflow interface, appropriate data and tools are also presented to agents when needed, rather than them having to look for them or switch applications.

The results are faster, more accurate customer interactions, less hold time, fewer call backs, and no need to transfer customers between different teams.

Make life easier for your agents too

A recent Gartner study revealed that only 16% of agents said their desktop tools were adequate to do their job. Poor performing contact centres have high agent attrition rates, and a major reason for that is job dissatisfaction.

High turnover costs the contact centre industry £1.1 billion according to research by Blue Sky Consulting, given the costs of recruiting and training replacement staff. Providing agents with the tools to do their job efficiently is the minimum commitment they expect from you.

Better, richer, real-time data

When agents have a single user interface for all the applications and databases that they need to access, that centralised system can also act as a universal data collection point.

Not only can all data relating to a customer be presented to the agent, all relevant data can also be captured and stored. This level of transparency can bring a new layer of richness to BI and reporting, helping agents, team leaders and managers make better and faster decisions.

Make omni-channel simple

Delivering omni-channel generally requires the elimination of data, operational, and channel siloes so that customers can seamlessly move between channels and receive the same level of service. This should be uninterrupted so that an interaction started on one channel can be picked up on another.

Previously this would have required integrating all the contact centre’s applications, databases and channels with each other. However, these can be integrated via the desktop using APIs (Application Program Interfaces). This vastly simplifies the process of integrating multiple systems because they don’t have to ‘talk’ to one another, just to the desktop or workflow.

The desktop and workflow software acts as a central point of control, allowing data to be drawn into it from multiple siloes and systems, and for the agent to input data back into those systems.

In our experience companies deploying desktop and workflow solutions in their contact centres on average see a 20% boost in productivity. This is why we’re even seeing this technology deployed in emergency command centres (i.e. 999 and 911 centres) where just improving call response time by seconds can make the difference between life and death.

Read the published article here.