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Sure, things are moving fast. But being thrown into the deep end during COVID-19 has proven you and your team are equipped for change. But equally, your team is already so busy that bringing in further changes may only strain your workforce.

The Challenge

Sure, things are moving fast. But being thrown into the deep end during COVID-19 has proven you and your team are equipped for change. But equally, your team is already so busy that bringing in further changes may only strain your workforce.

Luckily, there’s a way to transform your contact centre without adding additional stress to your agents.

By shining the spotlight on your agents, you could soon see your contact centre become a vital strategic asset for your business; giving your agents a starring role in upstream sales and marketing as well as in customer care.

So, let’s take a deeper dive. What exactly will improving AX do – and what will the pay-off be for your contact centre, your agents and your business?

Better AX helps your contact centre

Historically, Sales and Marketing have been the ‘face’ of the business, with contact centres only featuring later on in the customer journey when existing customers have a problem or query, but COVID-19 shifted the focus. When shops and offices closed, contact centres became the central (and possibly only) channel for all customer interactions. And that move put them centre-stage in the business.

But while COVID-19 may have been the catalyst for the contact centre earning greater recognition, it wasn’t the cause. For years, contact centres have been adding more channels, taking on more responsibilities, and producing the kind of data that business leaders need.

As you know, the feedback and insights your agents get can make a huge change to your business.

Changes in contact centre technology have been ramping up too. Advances in automation have freed agents up to spend more time with their customers, letting bots handle the more mundane, repetitive tasks. In a more dramatic shift – new video features give agents a bigger role in marketing products, services and promotions to customers. Video interactions help to create a more personal experience where agents can quickly understand the customer’s needs and wants.

Given this profound shift in function, it’s clear that contact centres of the future will be as deeply embedded across every area of the business as Sales and Marketing are today. The role of the contact centre will be a magnet for growth, investment, hiring and new skills.

But this shift isn’t going to happen on its own. Your agents need to be given the right tools, processes and working environment to grow into their new responsibilities as quickly, effectively and happily as possible.

Better AX empowers your agents to be all they can be. As contact centres move upstream and evolve to deal with a wider array of customer journeys, the opportunities agents have to progress their careers are multiplying.

Agents are now becoming:

  • Advisors: Freed by automation to manage more complex service tasks that demand deeper product knowledge and problem-solving skills.
  • Specialists: Many contact centres now train and employ expert teams of agents to handle specific channels, such as social media, where interactions are public and require a higher attention to detail.
  • Business leaders: Research we’ve conducted with the Call Centre Management Association (read the report here) shows that businesses are increasingly eager to appoint executives with backgrounds in frontline customer service roles.

To get there, your agents need not only the training and career development opportunities but also the right environment to grow and flourish.

This is where optimising your AX to support, motivate and empower your agents becomes absolutely essential. Because the less tangled up in unconnected systems and your agents are, the more time and energy they’ll have to learn and upskill.

Plus, the happier they are working in your contact centre, the less likely they’ll be to leave before you can develop them into the specialists and leaders that you know they have the potential to be.

Retaining agents also has wider benefits for your business. McKinsey argues that improving employee retention not only reduces operating costs, but also directly impacts the quality of customer care, because “longer-tenured agents have more expertise and institutional knowledge to bring to customer interactions.”

Why improving your AX is so important:

With this in mind, improving your AX is an essential step you need to take to nurture your agents and help them progress their careers – before another AX-optimised contact centre does.

Lastly, improved AX has a huge knock-on effect on your customer experience, your customer relationships, and your customer lifetime value.

In contact centres that focus on AX, agents can bring the all-important human touch to today’s increasingly digital customer journeys. Further, agents can take responsibility for higher value, emotive services that really strengthen customer relationships.

Think your agents, your customers, your contact centre and your business could benefit from better AX? Get in touch with the team at Intercity to find out how Puzzel’s cloud-based platform can fit seamlessly into your existing IT environment.

 

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This content was about: Unified Communications, AX, contact centre

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