In today’s world of customer experience solutions there is a vast array of fantastic innovations, including digitalization, personalization, dynamic experience, self-service automation, cross-channel/omnichannel journeys and real-time insight to name but a few.
This is great news for the enterprise as a whole, but can be a minefield for contact center teams to configure and manage. Often involving a plethora of different systems, each with complex sets of rules and, in most cases, requiring the intervention of the IT department.
Contact center teams need to focus on their employees and their customers – not the technology! But what are the features of an ideal contact center management tool that enables this dream to become a reality?
No Need For IT Involvement
During my years in the contact center industry I have witnessed so many simple changes, such as new IVR options or a new proactive web chat offer, involving numerous meetings between the business and IT, followed by development work, testing and a vast quantity of change control paperwork being raised for implementation after a week-long notice period…. pauses to take a breath!
This was big business for IT service providers and bad news for trees.
In this day and age all that fuss should not be necessary, as these tasks are simply business process changes, which should be fast and easy to perform, by the business.
More importantly, rapidly moving objectives and reactive business needs require real-time change. For example, adding a new phone line to support a flood of calls caused be a new marketing initiative.
Simple to Use Tools
So many tools are designed by engineers, for use by engineers. Any business-facing system should be designed purely from the perspective of the user – no brainer!
I have always been fascinated by how the Apple iPhone has improved our experience by taking away choices the user has to make. Simple things like automatically changing the normal calculator to a scientific calculator when you rotate your phone on its side. No configuration option hidden in the setup menu – it just does it, because it makes sense.
Likewise for contact center management, the user interface should be clean, intuitive and follow the natural flow that a contact center professional has in mind when thinking about their operation. As per my iPhone example above, unnecessary decision-making can be avoided.
New services, such as phone lines, chat journeys, IVRs etc. should be provisioned immediately when required, without the need to decide on all the available options right away. Additional features can be refined in the future. Using this principle all tasks are streamlined, minimizing user effort at every step.
Single Customer Experience Platform For All Channels
Who can honestly say that they use different passwords for all the systems they log on to, and never use the same ones again? We need fewer applications to log on to, not more.
Passwords and usernames aside, one customer experience platform should have a single place to configure all channels in your contact center. The need to configure well understood attributes such as customer experience, agent targeting, reporting, opening hours etc. is common across all contact channels e.g. voice, email, sms, chat, social.
Why not have an application that allows you to configure ALL aspects of ALL channels using the same methodology and interface? This will reduce the amount of time taken to train a user, simplify the user experience, and offer the unique insight of a consolidated view across all your channels.
Risk Management In Your Operation
Change management processes are here for a very good reason, to reduce risk. Changes to customer experience, agent targeting, and all other aspects of the day-to-day contact center operation should be controlled and be performed with minimal risk whilst avoiding the long and arduous route of typical change processes.
At the very least, a change management tool needs to have tight security and granular role-based permissions, only allowing certain users access to the options and business areas that they need to do their jobs. All changes should be subject to confirmation and automated validity checks. They should also be audited, recording the who, what, when of every event, allowing quick reversal if needed.
Gain the Ability to Innovate
Everyone loves the idea of having an off-the-shelf product that gets you up and running straight away, but people soon forget this goal when it becomes evident that a specific feature they need is missing.
Companies often innovate by bolting on extra functionality, like call-back, or automated CSAT surveys, but these extras usually come with a new interface or configuration file that needs attention.
It is important that the solution management tool is not just a package, but it evolves in line with all the new and custom features that are added to every businesses’s contact center, and continues to be used as the single configuration interface.
Anana Mission Control
Anana has created a business user interface to empower contact center teams to configure all aspects of the operation across all channels… voice, email, sms, chat, mobile, social, work tasks, whitemail etc. on the world-leading Genesys Customer Experience Platform.
Anana Mission Control truly empowers its business users with the features and principles discussed in this blog at the very heart of its design philosophy.
This blog post has been co-authored with Chris Woodward. Chris is co-founder and CEO of Anana Ltd, a company that has been very active and innovative in the Customer Interaction Management solutions industry for the last 15 years. Besides his entrepreneurial flair, Chris has more skills than he lets on and as such keeps a close eye on business to technical mapping and organizational program delivery. Chris has instilled a company ethos of getting the job done in the Anana Way: “ Exceed customer expectations through solid execution and delivery, then success will look after itself”