10 Ways the Best Call Centers Thrive in the New Normal

10 Ways the Best Call Centers Thrive in the New Normal

5 min read

We’ve learned a lot during the past 12 months: what restaurants deliver, what six feet actually looks like, what makes up a “home office.” We also learned just how important contact centers are to our everyday lives. When the whole world went remote, people started calling in in record numbers, forcing businesses to reassess their customer service game. Today, as companies look past the pandemic, one thing remains certain: we now expect more from remote support centers than ever before. And there’s no going back.

At Uniphore, we recognized the challenges of overwhelmed—and often understaffed—contact centers early on. Our solution: educate centers on the power of automation and empower agents to use technology to their advantage. Along the way, we learned a lot about the obstacles customers and agents face today. We also learned where automation can make the biggest impact.

Here are 10 ways  the best call centers are thriving in the new normal while others are struggling to survive. We gathered these insights from 12 months of webinars and roundtable discussions with our customers.

10. Make Legacy Tech Work Smarter

In our recent CCW Poll – Virtual Event, all respondents reported working from home throughout the pandemic, either entirely remotely or in some hybrid form. Half of these cited struggling with legacy software as a major pain point. By automating common yet time-consuming, tasks companies can make their existing systems work smarter–no codes required.

What is the Biggest Challenge You Faced During COVID-19?

  • 50% Transition to work-at-home with legacy technology
  • 25% Lack of self-service options
  • 13% High Call Volume
  • 13% My contact center is not in the cloud
  • 0% Security issues with Agents at Home

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9. Drive Agent Satisfaction to Drive Customer Loyalty

Did you know: 56 percent of agents reported planning to quit in the future? Getting the employee experience right is essential to developing and retaining top talent. Our webinar, Survive and Thrive in 2021 with an Employee-First Automation Strategy, focused on empowering agents and improving the contact center experience by:

Designing employee and customer experiences to align common outcomes

Educating, engaging and empowering employees

Basing automation tech “success” on the employee experience

Getting rid of outdated EX metrics and KPIs

Make Every Agent Your Best Agent With
AI & RPA Powered Real-time Agent Assist

8. Use Self-Service to Handle High Call Volume

In the early days of the pandemic, call volume spiked significantly. However, more than a year later 71 percent of respondents still reported higher call volume than normal. Fortunately, you can take the pressure off of your agents. By creating a guided digital self-service experience for your customers, you can help them solve many of their own issues–without ever engaging an agent.

Call Volume During COVID-19

  • 71%
    We continue to experience significant spikes above our pre-pandemic norms

  • 14%
    We experienced significant spikes at the beginning and have now settled back to pre-covid levels

  • 14%
    We have experienced an overall drop in inbound volume

  • 0%
    Our inbound volume has not changed throughout this pandemic

Direct your Callers to Effortless Digital Customer Service With Visual IVR

7. Make Onboarding Simpler

We polled attendees of our Knowledge Management Vs. Knowledge Automation webinar on how they viewed agent onboarding. Most stated that it took anywhere from one to several months for an agent to become proficient. The biggest obstacle to speedy onboarding: complexity. Agents were overwhelmed by the business, products/processes or customer-interaction technology. Automation can cut onboarding time by freeing agents to focus on higher priority interactions.

4 Ways Knowledge Management is Failing Your Call Center

6. Look for Industry Expertise and a Track Record of Success

When it came to choosing a contact center application vendor, half of respondents said that expertise in their industry mattered most. For years, Uniphore has led the field in automated self-service solutions and agent-assisted automation solutions. As a result, our products and services have created more meaningful customer interactions worldwide.

Most Important Vendor Trait

  • 50%
    Expertise in vertical

  • 13%
    Time to Deploy

  • 13%
    Technology Alone

  • 25%

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5. Partner Call Center Agents With Digital Assistants

We followed our webinar, Crack the Code on Contact Center Automation: Top 5 Agent Assist Tools for 2021, with a poll on how easily agents can access the tools they need. In it, three quarters of respondents did not believe their agents felt empowered with the tools to deliver an exceptional customer experience. In conclusions, having access to better tools—including intelligent automation—can lead to better interactions.

4. Strategize to Survive and Thrive in the New Normal

No doubt, many companies switched to “survival mode” at the start of the pandemic. However, as businesses—and consumers—adapted, outlooks improved. And with more and more people getting vaccinated, many companies are taking a brighter look at the future and looking for new ways to invest in their success.

Post-2020 Company Mindset

3. Help Agents Get the Knowledge They Need When They Need It

More than a third of people we polled during our webinar, Ask Me Anything About Agent Assist, said that their agents still relied on manual knowledge management systems. These cumbersome systems frequently frustrate agents who need to access information quickly. Here, automation offers a better alternative. By feeding them relevant information during a call, agents can respond to customers faster and provide a more meaningful interaction.

2. Prevent Information Overload

Contact center professionals attending our webinars during the past 12 months routinely said information overload was a major pain point in their day-to-day jobs. The problem: a kitchen sink approach to knowledge management that places the burden of finding relevant information on the agent. The solution: automated knowledge-sharing that quickly delivers the information agents need when they need it.

1. Bring the Service Back to Self-Service

Last September’s virtual event, Intelligent Automation for the Contact Center Demystified, underscored the value of automation to customer service: 52 percent of those polled reporting that self-service was a top priority for the future.

Top Focus Areas

  • 52%
    Improve / add self-service options for customers

  • 8%
    Business agility

  • 25%
    Reduce desktop complexities for agents

  • 8%
    Save costs anyway I can

  • 6%
    Migrate to cloud solutions price

While few people are eager to relive the past 12 months, the lessons they taught us in call center service will have implications for years—if not decades—to come. Uniphore can help you stay ahead of the change with tools that help your agents do more and the hands-on support you only get from a dedicated industry expert. Request a demo of our automation solutions today, and see what we can do for you.

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