In recent years, the nature of a contact center agent has transformed from a reactive role to a proactive one. In addition to responding to customer inquiries, agents also consider the customer’s needs, additional up-sell opportunities, and identify potential issues proactively.
New technology, different communication mediums, and customer expectations add layers of complexity far from the once simple phone call. Now, in addition to phone calls, customer service agents must contend with online chats, social media, and emails.
Moreover, agents are tied up by manual, repetitive tasks such as consulting with secondary agents, looking up customer information in applications, additional screens, or databases, and post-call wrap ups, as well as having to troubleshoot if an application fails or an error occurs.
In other words, the agent is expected to do more towards providing excellent customer service with less tools, less resources, and higher-than-ever expectations – all in an already unforgiving industry, with agent turnover at 35-40% pre-pandemic and nearly doubled post-pandemic.
To better understand the intricacies of the contact center, consider this customer experience with a contact center agent:
In this scenario, the contact center agent played a valuable role at each point of the customer exchange. On top of updating Scott about the status of his order and setting him up with a technician, the agent provided a level of customer service that will ultimately be the difference between Scott never purchasing anything from this company again and being a repeat customer. In general, 80% of consumers indicate they would rather do business with a competitor after more than one bad experience.
These days, the competitive landscape means that a company cannot afford to lose even one regular consumer and as contact center agents can be a common first point of contact, this means that they can make or break a consumer’s overall perception.
The above also illustrates the complexity of a customer service agent’s job. On average, an agent navigates anywhere between 7 to 12 applications to complete a single customer inquiry. This means that throughout the exchange with Scott, the agent had to put Scott on hold while visiting several different applications to locate and track his order, verify order information, and schedule a service appointment with a technician.
When the contact center agent is pulled in several different directions, this takes away from the overall customer experience, as the agent is unable to provide those personal touches that take customer service to the next level. With contact center automation, however, the agent can put the focus wholly on the customer.
Our solutions not only empower the agent but also improve customer service with RPA by handing off the repetitive, application-based, and oftentimes, frustrating tasks, to a virtual robot. While the bot looks up the necessary customer information – such as order number and tracking information – the agent can converse with the customer in a more interactive and personable manner, while the customer sees a resolution much quicker.
92% of employees admit they waste up to 8 hours a week searching for information they need to serve customers.
Imagine instead a world where the time agents spend on the phone is productive, customer-facing time. Imagine a world where the customer hangs up the phone in a timely manner and has a good experience.
Seems like a no-brainer, right?
Automating the contact center involves applying robotic process automation (RPA) to streamline the call process.
RPA software robots take over repetitive tasks, and the human agent is free to answer other calls. Among other things, bots can be instructed to:
Imagine the possibilities!
And yet, only one third of contact centers even have this on their radar or are planning to invest in automation.
There is no doubting the important role that a contact center agent plays, but also the unique new challenges that the pandemic presented in being able to deliver a positive customer experience. When a bot can fill in the more time-consuming gaps of handling a customer interaction, though, the agent’s ability to improve customer service with RPA and make that customer’s interaction a memorable one goes up.
When you equip customer service agents with the automation tools to handle customer inquiries more efficiently, some amazing things can happen:
If you’re a numbers person, consider this: contact center automation can reduce processing costs by up to 80%, and call volume by up to 50%. In addition, with Robotic Process Automation, your contact center could see savings of 40% on average.