Call Center Week Report, Part 4
Call Center Week Report, Supplemental
In addition to fledgling companies and up-and-coming suppliers introducing updated solutions and disruptive technologies, Call Center Week also provided fresh information and insightful new studies from recognized solution vendors. Mattersight, an innovator in enterprise analytics focused on human interactions via a SaaS delivery model, shared the results of a new study and Intradiem, a pioneer in Intraday Automation for more effective workforce deployment, provided details on updated applications.
Mattersight used Call Center Week as a setting to roll out an illuminating survey on consumer habits and preferences, with a focus on how to deal with their ongoing frustrations. While the dramatically expanded availability of self-service options has provided people with the ability to find information and resolve most issues themselves, the phenomenon has also given rise to a serious issue for contact centers. When people can’t find the right answers on the web or by using their mobile device, by the time they pick up the phone to call customer service, they’re already impatient and often contentious. Thus, the calls are more complex than ever and anything that goes wrong —whether it’s inaccurate information or too-long wait times —sends consumers right over the top.
Sixty percent of more than 1000 consumers surveyed said they used the phone to contact companies when all other efforts had failed. Millennials –a group already known to prefer other methods besides calling— become frustrated even more quickly than most. An overwhelming 70% of consumers surveyed say that one bad customer experience could keep them from purchasing from that brand again and 75% still feel frustrated even after getting their problem solved. Forty four percent are puzzled why contact centers can’t make it easier for them and 36% don’t feel that their business is valued. The number one complaint cited by survey participants was dealing with customer service personnel who didn’t understand their needs.
The constant pressure of feeling like they’re under the gun from the moment they say ‘hello” adds to the already high stress level of contact center agents. Beyond providing insight on why people call, the goal of the Mattersight survey was to help businesses better comprehend what they expect when someone answers the phone and how to improve the outcome of each conversation.
On the surface, it seems that most consumer expectations are reasonable. When asked what’s important when talking with a customer service representative: 79% said they want reps to know how to solve their problem and 56% said they want reps to understand that their problem is important. But many contact centers are still not making the grade. It’s all too common for agents to ask customers to repeat information they’ve already supplied or act like they haven’t got a clue on how to resolve what the customer is trying to accomplish.
The ongoing recurrence among consumers recalling their most satisfying customer service conversations: Reaching someone who understands how best to communicate best with them. Mattersight believes that personality plays a vital role in the relative success of phone interactions. If given the option, 92% of consumers surveyed would prefer to choose their customer service representative, based on the representative’s knowledge personality & compassion.
The survey asked participants to identify their personality type in one of four categories: warm and caring, fun and playful logical and specific, or dedicated and conscientious. Those in the latter two categories would prefer to talk to a representative with the same respective personality type. Those who considered themselves fun and playful prefer to talk to a warm and caring representative, and people who believed themselves to be warm and caring (the majority of those surveyed) prefer to talk to someone who‘s dedicated and conscientious.
Millennials, however, expressed a higher preference for agents who were warm and caring. Since this group is soon expected to surpass boomers as the largest living generation, according to population projections released by the U.S. Census Bureau, companies can’t afford to ignore what they need, want and expect.
Mattersight offers solutions for businesses that are seeking to impact the outcome of every call by understanding and pairing the personalities of callers with call center agents best-suited to meet their needs. They employ more than 10,000,000 algorithms to best identify and match personality types. They have helped companies to drive improvements of up 8% in service sales, reduce talk time by 20% improve NPS scores by 5% and lower the number of online detractors by 25%
Intradiem is known for helping companies find better ways to keep their agents productive during downtime. This is both a cost and morale issue for many businesses. Each month, the average agent accrues 7 hours of idle time. Intradiem’s Task Management application enables companies to provide meaningful training and assignments in what they call “Active Wait Time.”
Business rules set up automated triggers that direct agents to work on off-phone work when call volume dips, with tasks based on employee performance or broader business needs. The solution also creates a personalized and prioritized list of assignments based on agent strengths, skills and needs. This personalization contributes to employee satisfaction: when agents feel that the company is taking a greater in them as individuals, they are more motivated to deliver consistently superior customer care. Service levels are protected: if volume increases, agents are immediately prompted to resume handling interactions
Task Management enabled one Intradiem client to put contact center agents to work on back office tasks for 5 hours a month during idle time, ultimately saving the company more than $1.5 million annually. Intradiem, formerly known as Knowlagent, also offers Intraday Staffing to help organizations use their resources more flexibly, Real Time Adherence for precise scheduling, Channel Balancing to help businesses more effectively shift agents between touch points, Alerts and Notifications to monitor metrics in real time and let the right people know when criteria are being met, and Reskilling to enable organizations to direct customer questions to the agents best qualified to answer them.