Three Ways to Put the “Personal” Back into the Call Center Experience

Backed by new enterprise social and collaboration technologies combined with results-driven automations, today's organizations are reducing response times and putting the personal touch back into customer care. This article will highlight the new age of customer care, with a focus on real-world deployments that are having great success by bringing traditional back-office processes to the front line and allowing customer service agents to act quickly and do everything from run diagnostics to perform service activation, service testing, and more.  Further, the technology is enabling these agents to automate troubleshooting at the touch of a button; search for resolutions based on intelligent, guided workflow schemes; access new system data to ensure up-to-the-minute information is in play; and interact in real time with subject matter experts across their own enterprise to add layers of practical, crowdsourced insight into the customer care equation. With that in mind, here are three ways to put the "personal" back into customer care:

1. Work Well With Others

In today’s world, it’s all about integration, and today’s best new tools and technologies work with existing systems and software to simplify and centralize the customer care equation. What’s more, their focus is on bringing a collaboration-driven, human-centric approach to business that removes perceived barriers to interaction—barriers that can be unknowingly imposed within traditional organizational structures. Instead, the priority is placed on people and the way they communicate most effectively to achieve common goals, both in the call center and throughout the organization. Clearly, it's all about teamwork in the new age of customer care.

2. Make Use of Crowdsourced Knowledge

One communications services provider with more than 29 million customers across Europe was facing debilitating issues within its call center. With as many as 500 different technology platforms across the organization, the provider needed a way to automate key tasks across its complex network while also empowering customer care agents to better serve clients. With millions of calls coming into the contact center each month, nearly 50 percent went unresolved on the first call, despite 10 to 20 minutes spent on the phone. Customer churn was growing.

Now, however, the organization has implemented a new centralized technology platform that allows it to feed all the different systems into a single control center, thereby gaining a “single pane of glass” snapshot of everything happening across the network. In addition, the entire first line of customer care agents is empowered because the technology does all the heavy lifting—from automating resolutions to diagnosing problems and resolving critical issues at a rapid place. Through the use of integrated wikis and other collaboration tools, the agents are also able to quickly and easily leverage the expertise of knowledge workers across their organization.

What they've now got is a real-time, crowdsourced approach to communication in place in the call center. And, they've been able to place more focus on the customer, with agents now fielding 10 two-minute calls in the same amount of time that it previously took an agent to address one 20-minute call. With hundreds of hours in time savings projected each month, the service provider has also gained a preventative edge that allows it to identify problems before they reach a certain threshold.

3. Do More With Less Without Paying the Price

Every business wants to do more with less. The key is to grow the bottom line without negatively impacting customer relationships. Through improved collaboration and a higher level of interaction with customers, as well as time- and cost-saving automations, organizations are gaining a new sense of agility and enjoying the best of both worlds.

It takes more than just implementing technology to improve customer care. It takes a village. In other words, it takes an entire organizational focus on putting customers first, and by effectively using collaboration while also speeding processes through automation, it's now possible for all the knowledge available within the business to be brought to the front-line trenches, where customer interaction can make or break your success.