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Improving The Customer Experience Through The Agent Desktop

by Norman Liu, MCIM Chartered Marketer Marketing Director, NovelVox EMEA - September 19, 2017

Improving the customer experience through the Agent Desktop

By Norman Liu – MCIM Chartered Marketer
Marketing Director of NovelVox EMEA
In recent times, the term Customer Experience has been used to describe how businesses engage with their customers. It looks at which technology your customers are using, Generation Z vs Baby Boomers, mobile vs desktop, instant chat vs email. But, one thing has remained constant: VOICE.
Regardless of all the surrounding communication channels available, Voice remains as important as ever. What we are seeing today is how voice communication has changed and when the customer chooses to use the voice channel. Consider a bank of today and a bank 10 years ago, a time before the secure mobile apps and mass population with access to high speed internet. The reasons for using the voice channel is very different.
Customer Reason for calling contact centre
10 years ago
Change address
Check Balance
Cancel or Set up Standing Order or Direct Debit
Order Foreign Currency
Arrange a Loan
Order a statement
Transfer funds to family
Extending a loan or early repayment
Arranging an overdraft
So, what we are seeing are day to day activities are handled by other engagement channels, such as mobile applications and Web Apps, whilst more demanding customer requests with a complex workflow are still handled by the contact centre and its agents. In a recent survey by Cisco, 76% todays population prefers to self-manage their accounts. However, if an issue is not resolvable, a huge 86% will call the contact centre, expecting the issue to be resolved first time and speaking to a live person.
So, in essence, when your customers call your organisation, it will most likely be a complex query, something that could not be resolved through other channels. The customer is already frustrated that they couldn’t resolve the matter themselves and their patience is low.
Improving Customer Experience at the contact centre
When the customer calls your contact centre, as discussed above, the query is likely to be complex and resolving this issue at the first asking is vital. Anything less, the Customer Experience suffers, and customers become disgruntled, your NPS suffers, which could start the process of customers searching for other suppliers.
So how can your contact centre be prepared for:
·         Responsive Customer Engagement
·         Solving complex Customer Requirement
What we are talking about here is for your agent desktop to be fully optimised so the contact centre agent can find customer data quickly, which reduces call time so more customer calls can be answered. The agent desktop needs to provide the complete view of the customer, meaning integrating the agent desktop to all your backend business systems. This empowers the agent to solve the customer issue quickly, without having to pass the call onto another department, or worse still, say the issue cannot be resolved on this call, please call into one of our branches.
In summary, your agent desktop needs to be:
·         Optimised: For responsive customer engagement.
·         Unified: For complete 360-degree view of customer to solve complex issues.
Creating an Optimised Contact Centre Agent Desktop
We can all agree that when an interface is simple, navigating is quick and easy. However, contact centre agent desktops are a different beast all together. Recently, Cisco has launched Cisco Finesse Gadgets for UCCX and UCCE in a bid to improve this situation.
The agent desktop must be equipped to handle any customer call, 24/7. This means an interface made up of many tabs, with many scroll downs, with numerous clicks and slow load times. Below are a top 4 scenarios that slows down the customer engagement:
Slow down
Finding and opening the correct page/tab when a known call type is received.
Make the agent desktop responsive, meaning it can default to a specific layout based on customer call type.
Too many data fields to look at, when realistically, I only use 20% of the fields 80% of the time.
Show the most common data fields on the first page, with less popular data fields lower down.
Page load times are slow when switching between tabs
Create the agent desktop to only load once during start up, this means the whole agent desktop will be responsive, even if certain tabs are not.
Scrolling down to find information
Remove all scrolling and utilise the entire screen, scrolling is slow.
All the 4 scenarios above can be resolved easily. NovelVox’s Finesse Unified Agent Desktop for Cisco Finesse (UCCE/UCCX) is such product that can optimise your agent desktop through a drag and drop agent desktop designer and shave those vital seconds per customer call. When you multiple this across all your agents, the savings are substantial.
Creating a Unified Agent Desktop with all your backend business applications
Have you, as a customer heard, “I’m sorry, but my system doesn’t allow me to do that for you. Please call this other number”. This most certainly will make the customer angry and trigger the start for the customer to search for another supplier.
Contact Centres face this because the agent desktop is not integrated with other functions of the business, often because of incompatible systems, or network issues, or simply because, the contact centre managers didn’t know they could.
If all your systems are integrated, your agent will have that vital 360-degree view of the customer, so all queries can be answered quickly. The metric here is: First Call Resolution. Your customers don’t want to call back to solve the issue. They were reluctant to call in the first place. Unifying all your backend systems onto one agent desktop will increase First Call Resolution which results in happy customers. Contact centre platforms like Cisco Finesse with its ‘Finesse Gadgets’ concept is how current vendors are using current technology trends to help with unifying the agent desktop.
NovelVox’s Finesse Unified Agent Desktop for Cisco Finesse (UCCX/UCCE) with built in Universal Connector allows your agent desktop to integrate to all your existing business applications. Common applications such as Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, SAP and Siebel can be connected and integrated through NovelVox’s out of box connectors.
Affecting Customer Retention
Enhancing the customer experience through the contact centre agent desktop is often overlooked, as organisations generally focus on ‘sexy’ channels like mobile web apps, social media and chat bots. As discussed earlier, customers only call the contact centre when they have a serious issue, meaning if the issue is not resolved, the customer is likely to leave.
The customer experience you offer during voice communications does affect your customer retention rates, as these are generally existing customers that are unsatisfied and with limited patience. Your competitors are prying on social media, looking out for unhappy customers to pounce on. Don’t let your customers be there.
There are solutions in the marketplace today which can vastly improve your agent desktop to provide an elevated customer experience, such as the Finesse Unified Agent Desktop by NovelVox. Unification of the Agent Desktop is the single most important improvement you need to make to improve customer experience. Get your contact centre manager to talk to NovelVox to see what they can offer and how NovelVox technology can improve your contact centre through optimisation and unification that will empower your agents. Act now, or your customers will leave.

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