Imagine this: A Contact Center agent takes his phone, searches his contact list and manually dials a customer´s phone number to close a deal. Then, patiently waits around 15 to 20 seconds while the call is answered. It doesn´t sound that bad, right? Yes it doesn´t, if he does it five or ten times. What is really terrible is picturing the agent performing this task most of his workday, sometimes even his entire workday if he works exclusively on outbound campaigns.
Even more, to the 15 or 20 seconds that the agent takes to make an effective contact, it is necessary to add the time it takes to dial the telephone number. This unproductive work time translates into three dreaded words for any business: waste of money. And the only thing wasted is not money, agent´s motivation is plummeted when their call attempts are unsuccessful, either because the number is busy or because after they dial the call they listen to a message saying “the number dialed does not exist”.
Statistical reports about results of calls managed may also become an issue for Contact Centers. Most companies extract basic telephony data from their PBX platform, information such as number of calls entered, conversation times, phone numbers, outbound calls made, etc. But information that specifies what happened with the call is registered manually or in Excel spreadsheets. By having different sources from where to extract the information needed for a performance analysis of the Contact Center, inconsistency of the data extracted may take place as well as duplicity of information and disaggregated processes.
If the Contact Center manages interactions with its clients through other channels different from the traditional ones, issues may even be bigger. When nontraditional channels such as email, fax, chat, SMS, Social Media, are not integrated on a universal queue and activities are perform with applications that don´t generate methods of control or measurement, the constant in the Contact Center will be rework, lack of historical information and loss of productivity and businesses opportunities.
The automation of Contact Center´s tasks, as well as automation of many tasks of any company, is meant to reduce operational costs and increase productivity. But this is not the only thing that is meant to be improved. According to Dan Miller, Senior Analyst and Founder of Opus Research “More and more customers are adopting the path that involves the least effort on their part. Not laziness, more personal efficiency and determining on their own how they want to interact”
If we go back to the example of the outbound campaigns, the automatic dialer optimizes the time that agent works on this activity, eliminating unproductive costs between calls and mechanical tasks that wear and distract him from his target while minimizing by 99% human error when dialing which could end up in a wrong phone. That is, automatic dialers are in charge of transferring only “live” calls to the agents so that they interact with customers. In those 15 seconds or more in which agents manually try to contact customers (dialing and waiting for the call to be answered) an auto dialer may route multiple calls to Contact Center agents right at the moment when contact is made with the client.
How could you manage a political campaign in which you require to indiscriminately call people to promote candidate strategies? Contact Center agents could perform this exhausting task manually, but the campaign´s productivity will increase if they used an automated system that takes care of calling a default contact list, and through a voice recorded message communicates the political campaign to the contacts.
To eliminate the tedious task of generating statistical reports manually and more importantly eliminate data duplication, inconsistency of information extracted from the system and to be able to obtain the performance of the Contact Center, it is also necessary to automate these entire tasks under one system. A software to generate both basic telephony reports as well as management reports of interactions with customers (through all channels of communication) in real time and remotely, will ensure that Contact Center managers and supervisors have the information needed to make anticipatory decisions to improve the productivity of their services/campaigns.
Contact Center automation optimizes management of operations and fulfillment of the business´ main KPI´s: increase customer satisfaction, improve service processes and reduce costs. Also, know and measure the operational elements that influence the management of services and affect productivity.
You should not wait for better times to arrive to your company in order to make the decision of automating operations in your Contact Center through technology. It is necessary to analyze the saving that investing in technology may incur, instead of seeing it as another expense. It is also necessary to understand that you can maximize the productivity of your Contact Center not only through automation of tasks, but also through the elimination of some of them.