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How to Improve Contact Center Interactions for Agents and Customers


Presented By: CrmXchange

Tips to Delivering More Delight and Value in Every Interaction  

A contributed article by: Christian Wagner, CEO of VoiceFoundry  

How Have Customer Expectations Changed?

It goes without saying that customer expectations have shifted quite a bit. Customers today expect brands to know who they are and what they need, and they expect these needs to be met without sacrificing much information, time, or effort.

As a result of these evolving experience expectations, customers have turned the boat on how they perceive the ideal brand interaction to look: placing self-service capabilities and experience personalization at the top of the list.  

Delighting customers now requires orchestrating an experience that serves up the right balance of self-serve automation and real-human interactions in order to get your customers and agents the right information at the right time, no matter the channel or need.

What Can You Do to Meet These Expectations?

1. Enabling Self-Service

When it comes to addressing customers’ needs, a brand’s primary goal should be to empower customers to resolve these themselves as simply and elegantly as possible, with minimal time and intervention. Naturally, this means providing self-service channels like automated chatbots that offer customers simple, on-demand access to information and support.

While it is impossible to resolve every single customer need through self-service automation, it is possible to invest in AI and machine learning-powered solutions that adapt and learn alongside your business and customers. These solutions can strengthen the number and accuracy of responses while improving satisfaction and outcomes for customers.

The most sophisticated, adaptive self-service tools can also help curate a more personalized customer experience by pulling from customer data records, interaction history, and conversation cues to customize responses and even make predictions and recommendations tailored to the individual customer.

2. Empowering Agents

The role of the contact center agent has changed significantly as a direct result of this growing emergence of self-service automation. While agents continue to play a pivotal role in brand perception and loyalty, the tools and strategies needed to enable and empower them have changed. 

Not long ago, agents were involved in nearly every customer service request Today, an agent’s interaction with a customer tends to involve only the more complex or unusual requests that could not be resolved through self-service means. This means that in many cases, customers have already spent a good bit of time trying to resolve their issue prior to connecting with an agent. Other times, customers will bypass self-service entirely and go straight to an agent, expecting that a human will be able to address their needs more quickly and easily. Whatever the circumstance, the expectation is clear: customers want their interactions with a live agent to be fast and effortless. And delivering this simplistic, frictionless experience to customers requires an equally simplistic and frictionless agent experience.

According to a 2021 ZenDesk study, 70% of agents report feeling overwhelmed. To address this challenge, businesses should look to optimize and streamline operations, applications, and data systems. Many businesses are still using contact center and agent tools that make it unnecessarily complex and time-consuming for agents to find the information they need. Such complex operations inevitability lead to growing frustration and attrition among agents and customers alike. 

Making it easier for agents to do their jobs will lead to optimized experiences for both them and your customers. This can best be achieved by: 

  • housing all tools, data, and processes within a unified, easy-to-use interface – aka single pane of glass – to present the exact information the agent needs at the exact moment they need it
  • moving operations to the cloud, especially for contact centers that have staff working offsite or across various locations, to ensure the delivery of comprehensive, accurate customer information and enable more operational agility and adaptability
  • adopting AI, machine learning, and automation capabilities to simplify agent processes, reduce time-intensive and repetitive tasks, and drive efficiencies across the interaction experience. 

Orchestrating improved contact center and agent operations in these ways will enable agents to redirect their energy toward the experience delivery and will amplify their ability to provide the engaging, empathetic experiences that keep customers coming back.

3. Tying it All Together with Data 

Data is the digital exhaust that powers-up high-value experiences and customer loyalty. When leveraged properly, data offers a deeper look into your customers and operations – proactively informing decision-making, uncovering real-time challenges and opportunities, and fueling improved experiences across the entire interaction journey.

In other words, investing in data capabilities like conversational AI and machine learning can strengthen your business operations and drive more meaningful relationships with your customers – whether they are using self-service channels or interacting with live agents. 


voicefoundry - christian wagner   Christian Wagner is CEO of VoiceFoundry, a TTEC Digital company, and world leader in Amazon Connect deployments with more than 260 discrete customers. Specializing in platform transition, automation, conversational analytics, and end-to-end CX design, VoiceFoundry was acquired by TTEC Digital in 2020. TTEC employs more than 50,000 people around the world specializing in all aspects CX design, deployment, and execution. Christian has experience at Amazon Web Services, where he was a plank owner of the launch of the Amazon Connect service, and at Microsoft, in a variety of technical, product management, and sales roles related to incubation of new services and launching Microsoft into the Voice and UC arena.