In the midst of technological advancement in contact centers, it pays great dividends to remember people still matter

By Brad Baumunk, President and COO

Technology is changing the way we interact with customers at a fierce pace. Artificial intelligence (AI), chatbots, omnichannel, cloud, big data and speech analytics (just to name a few) are disrupting 25 years of traditional thought about customer service. The one constant, and certainly one that will not change in the immediate future, is that people – yes, people – still matter!

The rise of AI and chatbots in the customer experience model is going to change how we interact with customers. AI can handle low-complexity, high-volume work. This makes your high-value, complex work even more important. Who handles this? Your people do!

More channels (phone, web, email, chat, social media, apps, etc.) can make for a more complex customer journey for your customers. This makes your people’s role in the customer interaction more critical than ever.

Big data allows us to ingest more information from more sources, allowing for customer journey maps and more robust data to present to contact center leaders and front-line support. Understanding how to use the data to effectively improve the customer experience and KPI achievement still comes down to your people.

Speech analytics allows you to score up to 100% of your calls, and yes – it still takes people to interpret and execute on the information to drive desired behaviors.

Every year, organizations invest millions of dollars in the latest technology. But what about your people? Here are just a few questions around why people still matter:

  • Have your call flows been analyzed and revised with consideration of the new customer journey?
  • Is the supervisor, who was handling calls yesterday as an associate, getting the right training to effectively lead a team?
  • With new channels, has your work load management plan been updated, and are your associates getting the right training and skills?
  • Do your managers have the right development plans in place for supervisors? Are they observing and coaching?
  • On a regular schedule, does your site leader inspect what is expected?
  • Is your training organization aligned with the operation and providing the right training at the right time to ensure a seamless customer experience?
  • Has your QA department been effectively trained to use new technology and to identify behaviors to drive performance?
  • Do you spend more maintaining your lawn outside then your people inside? (In a recent study, the average contact center spends more maintaining their grounds then they spend on ongoing training and maintenance of their people!)

Answering these questions correctly can pay big dividends, and it is essential for breaking ahead of the pack in today’s marketplace. For an in-depth conversation on how to make your people an effective part of your technology solution, contact us today.