Posts Tagged ‘Employee Engagement’

10 top predictions for the Contact Centre of 2020

With customer experience on everyone’s lips, the contact centre is about to undergo a major metamorphosis from an ugly duckling to the enterprise’s swan.

Contact centres don’t always represent a shiny jewel in the company’s crown. However, as the pressure mounts on brands to offer excelling customer service, they are becoming a focus of the battle for client’s satisfaction. Considered as a touchpoint of growing importance contact centres are bound to make an interesting subject of a CX makeover.

Here are the 10 predictions for the (not so distant) contact centre future:

1. Forget the voice/chat/email divide

The contact centre of the future will present a unified front. Whether the customer will be contacting a company via phone, email, chat, live chat or social media, every agent will have a full view of the recent interactions and queries. At the same time agents will not be specialised in only one form of combat – they will be ninjas fluent in helping customer via all the mediums available. The focus will not be on a device, but on building a long-lasting customer – agent relationship.

“Customers want to use a breadth of communication channels for customer service….channel usage rates are quickly changing. Customers want consistent service experiences across these channels. They also expect to be able to start an interaction in one channel and complete it in another.”

Kate Leggett, Forrester

2. Army of specialists

Most customers will be able to help themselves with an aid of online communities and step-by-step video tutorials. The few interested in contacting a live agent will be usually faced with more complex issues (not to mention frustrated and angry). The contact centre will become the last resort, an emergency number. To remain relevant, companies will be forced to offer their customer a quick-fix. In years to come first tier employees will become redundant. After stating their inquiry into the new breed of Natural Language Processing IVR, customers will be connected directly with a technical specialist, able to help them on the spot, with no need for further transfers.

3. Conversation Analytics will become ubiquitous

Thanks to development of conversation analytics voice of the customer will be used in number of processes such as customer identification, pinpointing sale opportunities, rating customer satisfaction (with product, company, agent, offers), trend prediction, preventing fraud or sensitive information leaks and many more. Analysing every bit of information available will become a mantra of the future companies. Data gathered by call centres will become an intrinsic source of information for the company’s decision makers.

4. Where the agents roam free

As soon as you read, say or hear “call centre” your brain conjures up a vision of a crowded space full of cubicles, full of employees in headsets bent over computer screens. Not the most uplifting view. Press a forward button, and you’ll see cubicles disappearing, desks becoming optional and agents roaming free. With the advance of the speech to text technology, punching the details in manually will become a thing of the past. Identification will be completely automatic and handled by voice-based solutions. This will mean more freedom of movement for the representatives.

5. Uber-style employment

A bane of the call centres – high traffic will be waved goodbye by the scores of casual employees working from home at the time of increased traffic. Trained and tested online they will be given Uber-like online profiles where their skills will be graded by both monitoring algorithms and clients.

6. Real time calibrated monitoring

The current system of random scoring of the calls by the supervisor will be replaced by fully automated, real-time monitoring. Companies will guard their reputation by preventing sensible information leaks with ever alert algorithms. Conversation analytics solutions designed to recognise and understand words, context, sentiment or emotion will be able to raise a red flag and inform managers of situations requiring their attention.

7. Community & loyalty

As contact centre becomes recognised as a vital CX touchpoint, the pressure to keep agents engaged grows. Contact centres’ managers will be faced with a challenge of reducing employee churn, the number of sick leaves and absences. This will require revisiting some fundamental assumptions about the purpose of agents’ work. The focus will be shifted from achieving desirable metrics to helping customers. To inspire engagement agents will be given more autonomy. Offering opportunities to move up in ranks beyond the contact centre hierarchy will be crucial to stop valuable agents from leaving.

8. New era of metrics

Forget about AHT, CSAT and FCR. The old metrics that choked employees and caused them to engage in some shady trickery will be replaced by scores that encourage them actually to help the caller. Customer satisfaction will be measured throughout the call to produce a clear picture of the aspects clients are satisfied or disappointed with. Script compliance will become a mythical creature once companies take advantage of voice analysing algorithms that recognise identity, gender, age and emotional state within seconds. Real-time alerts will offer cues as to what style and lingo are most appropriate in each particular case. Customer-agent matching will be a crucial task of analytic tools.

9. Cloud-based contact centres

We feel almost silly having to mention it, but yes, the Cloud will be the default choice. More and larger telco companies will offer their cloud-based contact centre services. This will allow companies to rent bundles of equipment and software, and stay competitive at a fraction of the cost. Unconstrained by the technicalities, contact centres will shift their focus to tuning their performance by applying the insights gathered by customised analytic reports.

“Forrester data backs this up: 16% of contact center buyers indicate they will move their contact center systems to the cloud in the future.”

10. “Googlesque” employee treatment

The fabled treatment received by Google employees will sneak into even less affluent companies. Think healthy snacks or rest and play areas. Agents will be encouraged to move, exercise and meditate to fight off the stress caused by ever more challenging customer calls. As the demand for the specialists will grow, so will the HR budgets. Contact Centres specialists will become valued assets, worth competing for. Tempting employee benefits and perks will become a bait for employee loyalty.

The age of Customer is upon us, and the success of the companies will be soon defined by their ability to listen to their clients. Effective interpretation of the customers’ signals will become a differentiator between the brands that just promise ‘delightful customer experience’ and those who deliver it. How? By acting upon the information harvested from the source of the purest customer feedback – the contact centre.

Do Your Employees Hate You? Read This To Find Out Why!

When people get new jobs, they expect to carry out their work in a friendly setting. But, for some folks, the truth is their bosses can make their lives a misery. Some individuals just aren’t cut out to be managers! And, they’re often the reason for issues like high staff turnover.

Do you manage a team of people? If so, have you ever wondered what your staff think of you? Sure, your job isn’t to make friends with your employees. It’s to manage them, right? Still, there are right and wrong ways to go about doing that.

You might feel that you’re the best boss in the world, yet the truth might prove otherwise! In today’s blog post, I will share with you five reasons why your staff might hate you! If any of them apply, I’ll also give you some tips on how to improve things with your workers.

  1. You hinder what other people do each day

As a boss, one of your many tasks is to oversee what your staff do. Some managers decide to leave employees to it while others “hover” over their workers! Does the latter sound like what you do? If so, you are perhaps annoying and even insulting the intelligence of your staff!

There is a fine line between advising and dictating what they should do! As humans, we can only learn from our mistakes. Yes, you don’t want your employees to make any errors. But, we aren’t a perfect species.

You should identify areas where your employees may need extra training in their work. Once you’ve done that, you should arrange for a pro to give them the training they need. That way, you can concentrate on other areas of your job.

  1. You treat your staff like they are robots

Did someone once say to you “treat them mean, keep them keen”? If so, why on Earth do you follow that phrase in a literal sense? Your employees are people, just like you. They also have feelings, as do you!

 

If you go around treating them like a piece of dirt, you won’t earn their respect. In fact, they will usually spend their time cursing you behind your back! I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t want to work in an environment like that.

Just because someone works for you doesn’t mean you can treat them like a slave. Nor should you humiliate them, especially in front of their co-workers. If you want a phrase or saying to follow, here’s a new one for you:

“Treat others how you would like to get treated.”

In other words, be nice to you and treat them with the respect that they deserve. No-one is saying you need to be best friends with all your workers, of course. But, you should be polite, civil and courteous with your staff. There is nothing demotivating in the workplace than having someone “bark” at you!

  1. You have a hidden agenda

A bad management practice is to use your staff as pawns in a mental game. For example, you might want to impress your superiors so that you can get a promotion. Or one of your workers might catch your eye, and you want to date them.

Whatever the reason, hidden agendas in the workplace are a no-no for managers! Your staff might not wish to complain of what you’re doing for fear of losing their jobs. And so, they’ll just end up hating you until they’ve had enough and quit.

If you want your staff to trust you, it’s crucial you remain transparent with them. Don’t give them a reason to think you’ve got a hidden agenda. It will seldom end in a good result for you!

  1. You are harsh to people that take time off sick

Let’s face it; we all have to take some time off work when we are feeling unwell. There is always the temptation to “rough it out” and keep working. But, there comes a point where we don’t have the energy to even stand up!

Sometimes, we might end up taking long-term sick leave because of a medical condition. If that happens with your workers, being harsh to them on their return is a bad idea.

If you’re trying to make them feel guilty for leaving you in the lurch, stop. All you will do is make them want to resign!

Instead, you need to offer a helping hand. Often, it makes sense to get an external firm to give extra support to your employees. Check out websites like www.healthassured.org to see what I mean. Don’t just expect people to carry on working without any issue!

For instance, some folks might need changes to their working environment. Especially if something in the workplace caused them to be ill in the first place!

  1. You never praise people for a job well done

Last, but not least, you should remember we all want to feel valued in what we do. Let’s say that you manage some telesales people. You will want your boss to thank you for exceeding sales targets this month. That’s because you wish to receive recognition for being a good manager.

In a similar way, those telesales staff want to feel that you noticed their good work. Believe it or not, praise is a good motivation tool. It doesn’t matter if you earn a small wage or a six-figure salary. What does matter is you recognise the efforts of your team.

Of course, you don’t need to praise them for everything they do. After all; your staff are getting paid to do a job! Sometimes, it’s nice to have a “pat on the back” when you go above and beyond the call of duty.

There are many ways you can praise your staff for doing well. For instance, you could offer them an incentive like a cash bonus. Or even a token gesture like a day off that doesn’t get taken from their holiday allowance.

You could even treat your team to a night out on the company. It’s a chance to show your workers that you’re also a human being too, just like them!

10 top predictions for the Contact Centre of 2020

With customer experience on everyone’s lips, the contact centre is about to undergo a major metamorphosis from an ugly duckling to the enterprise’s swan.

Contact centres don’t always represent a shiny jewel in the company’s crown. However, as the pressure mounts on brands to offer excelling customer service, they are becoming a focus of the battle for client’s satisfaction. Considered as a touchpoint of growing importance contact centres are bound to make an interesting subject of a CX makeover.

Here are the 10 predictions for the (not so distant) contact centre future:

1. Forget the voice/chat/email divide

The contact centre of the future will present a unified front. Whether the customer will be contacting a company via phone, email, chat, live chat or social media, every agent will have a full view of the recent interactions and queries. At the same time agents will not be specialised in only one form of combat – they will be ninjas fluent in helping customer via all the mediums available. The focus will not be on a device, but on building a long-lasting customer – agent relationship.

“Customers want to use a breadth of communication channels for customer service….channel usage rates are quickly changing. Customers want consistent service experiences across these channels. They also expect to be able to start an interaction in one channel and complete it in another.”

Kate Leggett, Forrester

2. Army of specialists

Most customers will be able to help themselves with an aid of online communities and step-by-step video tutorials. The few interested in contacting a live agent will be usually faced with more complex issues (not to mention frustrated and angry). The contact centre will become the last resort, an emergency number. To remain relevant, companies will be forced to offer their customer a quick-fix. In years to come first tier employees will become redundant. After stating their inquiry into the new breed of Natural Language Processing IVR, customers will be connected directly with a technical specialist, able to help them on the spot, with no need for further transfers.

3. Conversation Analytics will become ubiquitous

Thanks to development of conversation analytics voice of the customer will be used in number of processes such as customer identification, pinpointing sale opportunities, rating customer satisfaction (with product, company, agent, offers), trend prediction, preventing fraud or sensitive information leaks and many more. Analysing every bit of information available will become a mantra of the future companies. Data gathered by call centres will become an intrinsic source of information for the company’s decision makers.

4. Where the agents roam free

As soon as you read, say or hear “call centre” your brain conjures up a vision of a crowded space full of cubicles, full of employees in headsets bent over computer screens. Not the most uplifting view. Press a forward button, and you’ll see cubicles disappearing, desks becoming optional and agents roaming free. With the advance of the speech to text technology, punching the details in manually will become a thing of the past. Identification will be completely automatic and handled by voice-based solutions. This will mean more freedom of movement for the representatives.

5. Uber-style employment

A bane of the call centres – high traffic will be waved goodbye by the scores of casual employees working from home at the time of increased traffic. Trained and tested online they will be given Uber-like online profiles where their skills will be graded by both monitoring algorithms and clients.

6. Real time calibrated monitoring

The current system of random scoring of the calls by the supervisor will be replaced by fully automated, real-time monitoring. Companies will guard their reputation by preventing sensible information leaks with ever alert algorithms. Conversation analytics solutions designed to recognise and understand words, context, sentiment or emotion will be able to raise a red flag and inform managers of situations requiring their attention.

7. Community & loyalty

As contact centre becomes recognised as a vital CX touchpoint, the pressure to keep agents engaged grows. Contact centres’ managers will be faced with a challenge of reducing employee churn, the number of sick leaves and absences. This will require revisiting some fundamental assumptions about the purpose of agents’ work. The focus will be shifted from achieving desirable metrics to helping customers. To inspire engagement agents will be given more autonomy. Offering opportunities to move up in ranks beyond the contact centre hierarchy will be crucial to stop valuable agents from leaving.

8. New era of metrics

Forget about AHT, CSAT and FCR. The old metrics that choked employees and caused them to engage in some shady trickery will be replaced by scores that encourage them actually to help the caller. Customer satisfaction will be measured throughout the call to produce a clear picture of the aspects clients are satisfied or disappointed with. Script compliance will become a mythical creature once companies take advantage of voice analysing algorithms that recognise identity, gender, age and emotional state within seconds. Real-time alerts will offer cues as to what style and lingo are most appropriate in each particular case. Customer-agent matching will be a crucial task of analytic tools.

9. Cloud-based contact centres

We feel almost silly having to mention it, but yes, the Cloud will be the default choice. More and larger telco companies will offer their cloud-based contact centre services. This will allow companies to rent bundles of equipment and software, and stay competitive at a fraction of the cost. Unconstrained by the technicalities, contact centres will shift their focus to tuning their performance by applying the insights gathered by customised analytic reports.

“Forrester data backs this up: 16% of contact center buyers indicate they will move their contact center systems to the cloud in the future.”

10. “Googlesque” employee treatment

The fabled treatment received by Google employees will sneak into even less affluent companies. Think healthy snacks or rest and play areas. Agents will be encouraged to move, exercise and meditate to fight off the stress caused by ever more challenging customer calls. As the demand for the specialists will grow, so will the HR budgets. Contact Centres specialists will become valued assets, worth competing for. Tempting employee benefits and perks will become a bait for employee loyalty.

The age of Customer is upon us, and the success of the companies will be soon defined by their ability to listen to their clients. Effective interpretation of the customers’ signals will become a differentiator between the brands that just promise ‘delightful customer experience’ and those who deliver it. How? By acting upon the information harvested from the source of the purest customer feedback – the contact centre.

10 top predictions for the Contact Centre of 2020

With customer experience on everyone’s lips, the contact centre is about to undergo a major metamorphosis from an ugly duckling to the enterprise’s swan.

Contact centres don’t always represent a shiny jewel in the company’s crown. However, as the pressure mounts on brands to offer excelling customer service, they are becoming a focus of the battle for client’s satisfaction. Considered as a touchpoint of growing importance contact centres are bound to make an interesting subject of a CX makeover.

Here are the 10 predictions for the (not so distant) contact centre future:

1. Forget the voice/chat/email divide

The contact centre of the future will present a unified front. Whether the customer will be contacting a company via phone, email, chat, live chat or social media, every agent will have a full view of the recent interactions and queries. At the same time agents will not be specialised in only one form of combat – they will be ninjas fluent in helping customer via all the mediums available. The focus will not be on a device, but on building a long-lasting customer – agent relationship.

“Customers want to use a breadth of communication channels for customer service….channel usage rates are quickly changing. Customers want consistent service experiences across these channels. They also expect to be able to start an interaction in one channel and complete it in another.”

Kate Leggett, Forrester

2. Army of specialists

Most customers will be able to help themselves with an aid of online communities and step-by-step video tutorials. The few interested in contacting a live agent will be usually faced with more complex issues (not to mention frustrated and angry). The contact centre will become the last resort, an emergency number. To remain relevant, companies will be forced to offer their customer a quick-fix. In years to come first tier employees will become redundant. After stating their inquiry into the new breed of Natural Language Processing IVR, customers will be connected directly with a technical specialist, able to help them on the spot, with no need for further transfers.

3. Conversation Analytics will become ubiquitous

Thanks to development of conversation analytics voice of the customer will be used in number of processes such as customer identification, pinpointing sale opportunities, rating customer satisfaction (with product, company, agent, offers), trend prediction, preventing fraud or sensitive information leaks and many more. Analysing every bit of information available will become a mantra of the future companies. Data gathered by call centres will become an intrinsic source of information for the company’s decision makers.

4. Where the agents roam free

As soon as you read, say or hear “call centre” your brain conjures up a vision of a crowded space full of cubicles, full of employees in headsets bent over computer screens. Not the most uplifting view. Press a forward button, and you’ll see cubicles disappearing, desks becoming optional and agents roaming free. With the advance of the speech to text technology, punching the details in manually will become a thing of the past. Identification will be completely automatic and handled by voice-based solutions. This will mean more freedom of movement for the representatives.

5. Uber-style employment

A bane of the call centres – high traffic will be waved goodbye by the scores of casual employees working from home at the time of increased traffic. Trained and tested online they will be given Uber-like online profiles where their skills will be graded by both monitoring algorithms and clients.

6. Real time calibrated monitoring

The current system of random scoring of the calls by the supervisor will be replaced by fully automated, real-time monitoring. Companies will guard their reputation by preventing sensible information leaks with ever alert algorithms. Conversation analytics solutions designed to recognise and understand words, context, sentiment or emotion will be able to raise a red flag and inform managers of situations requiring their attention.

7. Community & loyalty

As contact centre becomes recognised as a vital CX touchpoint, the pressure to keep agents engaged grows. Contact centres’ managers will be faced with a challenge of reducing employee churn, the number of sick leaves and absences. This will require revisiting some fundamental assumptions about the purpose of agents’ work. The focus will be shifted from achieving desirable metrics to helping customers. To inspire engagement agents will be given more autonomy. Offering opportunities to move up in ranks beyond the contact centre hierarchy will be crucial to stop valuable agents from leaving.

8. New era of metrics

Forget about AHT, CSAT and FCR. The old metrics that choked employees and caused them to engage in some shady trickery will be replaced by scores that encourage them actually to help the caller. Customer satisfaction will be measured throughout the call to produce a clear picture of the aspects clients are satisfied or disappointed with. Script compliance will become a mythical creature once companies take advantage of voice analysing algorithms that recognise identity, gender, age and emotional state within seconds. Real-time alerts will offer cues as to what style and lingo are most appropriate in each particular case. Customer-agent matching will be a crucial task of analytic tools.

9. Cloud-based contact centres

We feel almost silly having to mention it, but yes, the Cloud will be the default choice. More and larger telco companies will offer their cloud-based contact centre services. This will allow companies to rent bundles of equipment and software, and stay competitive at a fraction of the cost. Unconstrained by the technicalities, contact centres will shift their focus to tuning their performance by applying the insights gathered by customised analytic reports.

“Forrester data backs this up: 16% of contact center buyers indicate they will move their contact center systems to the cloud in the future.”

10. “Googlesque” employee treatment

The fabled treatment received by Google employees will sneak into even less affluent companies. Think healthy snacks or rest and play areas. Agents will be encouraged to move, exercise and meditate to fight off the stress caused by ever more challenging customer calls. As the demand for the specialists will grow, so will the HR budgets. Contact Centres specialists will become valued assets, worth competing for. Tempting employee benefits and perks will become a bait for employee loyalty.

The age of Customer is upon us, and the success of the companies will be soon defined by their ability to listen to their clients. Effective interpretation of the customers’ signals will become a differentiator between the brands that just promise ‘delightful customer experience’ and those who deliver it. How? By acting upon the information harvested from the source of the purest customer feedback – the contact centre.

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