In my 20 years leading contact centers,, I have never seen anything like the environment we’re navigating in 2020. We’ve all heard this time referred to as “unprecedented”. I am of the opinion that not only have we been facing unprecedented circumstances, but I believe, in many important ways, the world will be forever changed.
Just this week, I began a discussion with senior leaders across multiple industries, sharing my contact center experience to help organizations navigate these turbulent times. I see an opportunity to courageously address aspects of our businesses that we may have been reluctant to change in the past.
We can transform how we look at the Customer Experience forever by leveraging the current crisis mode to push our contact centers to become digital-first organizations quickly — and for the long-term, and sustain the benefits of work-from-home environments.
Create a digital experience your customers will love.
Consumers interact with friends and family all day every day through messaging on numerous platforms. In fact, the majority of the world’s most popular apps have messaging capabilities for this very reason. Why shouldn’t the world’s greatest brands meet customers where they already are?
We need to upgrade our thinking and move boldly to show how effective and efficient it can be getting answers to questions and resolutions to problems right from their mobile device or laptop. I will share with this community 5 practical ways you can make this happen, beginning today:
- Expand digital channels – voice → digital, happens easily when digital channels work well
- Train AI models – leveraging current and historical data for rapid learning
- Promote digital channels – make it easy for customers to choose chat
- Shift voice agents to support digital channels – migration made easy
- Create omni-channel excellence – finally, put it all together for customers
Use this opportunity to build a better future.
Take advantage of this opportunity to sustain the benefits of our rapid shift to work from home. In many industries, it ultimately will not be beneficial to bring all of those agents back into costly brick and mortar offices. The implementation of today’s machine learning capabilities means that agents can receive equal, if not better, support in their home environment. AI-driven automation of transactions, customer education, cumbersome business processes means we can eliminate unnecessary assisted interactions while focusing attention on interactions that are more emotive and complex. Here are 5 ways you can better support work from home by taking advantage of AI technology.
- Provide easy remote access
Cloud-based digital solutions support work-from-anywhere, as they don’t require voice infrastructure
- Ramp agents faster
Count on AI to reduce training time by 40% or more.
- Coach virtually
Whisper messages from leaders, share best practices peer-to-peer
- Manage remote workforces
Enable flexible scheduling, real-time monitoring, increased concurrency
- Secure data
Safeguard customer data in single, unified digital app, PII redaction
Over the next few weeks, I intend to dive into these topics in much more detail. My goal is to help you and your team rapidly improve your CX results right now, but doing so in such a way that you are fortifying yourself for the future. COVID-19 is a point in time, but we all know other challenges are ahead. Let’s act now to ensure we are fully prepared.
Chris Arnold is the VP of Contact Center Strategy at ASAPP. He works with customers like JetBlue, Dish, and others to implement technology to improve engagement, lower costs and increase agent efficiency. Prior to ASAPP, Chris spent 20 years leading contact center strategy and technology implementation for Verizon and Alltel, leading staff operations, and managing desktop automation and augmentation