2020 Planning: Answers to overcoming budget objections, improving experiences and specialization

2020 Planning: Answers to Overcoming Budget Objections, Improving Experiences and Specialization

We’ve just concluded 2020 Planning for Uncertain Times – Practical Tips for Contact Center Leaders, a great webinar series where our speakers discussed the can’t miss investments that you should be making. What I truly enjoyed was the engagement of our audience.  Their participation in the Q&A gave speakers the opportunity to address a great deal of questions.  There were so many questions that we ran out of time to address them.  
So without further ado, here are the responses to the 3 questions we did not get to:
  • When managing digital channels, should we use specialized agents for each channel or is it better to use blended agents?
So many contact centers are dealing with this issue right now.  While the explosion of digital channels has truly transformed a ‘call center’ into a ‘omni-channel contact center’ it has brought with it the need to bring fluency to a multitude of channels —  social media, ACD, chat, and email to name a few.  The definitive answer to this question is that you ABSOLUTELY want to ultimately have a contact center team that is ‘blended’ (to borrow the phrase in this question.) 
In other words, you want as many members of your contact center team (ideally, all) to be fluent on as many channels (again, ideally all) that your center operates.  BUT….to get to a state where all team members are fluent in all channels isn’t as simple as flipping a switch.  A good method for transitioning is to activate agents in stages – so as you are transitioning to the utopia of all agents all channels – you would, through that transition, have a contact center that would resemble agents that are specialized in specific channels. 
It’s important to note, that when you’ve reached the milestone where all agents are active on all channels – you WILL begin to see trends on which agent performs best in what channel through your Workforce Optimization (WFO).  This presents great opportunity to coach agents on specific channels that they may be underperforming in.  
  • How do these strategies work in a government environment where budgets are very tight, services provided are critical, but customers have no other option for service? 
Whether its federal, state or local government agencies, citizen experience is a top priority. In fact there is a Presidential Mandate for agencies to take steps to improve the government experience and close the gap with their private industry peers, which thrive on an ‘experience economy.’  
First let’s talk about the budget impasse.  While adopting the technologies that we reviewed in our webinar series (AI, digital channels, etc) have an upfront price tag.  The reality is that they ultimately will lower the amount of money your agency is required to spend on variables such as telecommunications infrastructure, team resources and a countless number of things that impact the productivity of your team resources.  There are also phased implementation approaches that will help reign in budget requirements, allowing you to deploy your cloud contact center as a first step in a digital transformation.
Lastly, I would be remiss if I didn’t address Security & Compliance – for years, government agencies have had little to choose from in the Cloud Contact Center arena due to FedRAMP restrictions.  Today, NICE delivers a full suite of FedRAMP compliant Cloud Contact Center and WFO solutions to top agencies in federal, state and local governments. 
  • How would CXone work in the government sector where customer service is critical, but budget factors often only allow implementation by one application or part of an application at a time? 
While this question is like the last, I wanted to make sure I include it because it highlights an important point.  In the government sector – customer service is CRITICAL.       When you think of the critical services that citizens rely on from Veterans Affairs (VA) to Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), there is no argument that the importance of frictionless engagements that are solved quickly aren’t just a ‘nice to have’ it’s an absolute must.  
There are strategies that our government experts can help you implement that allow you to take a phased approach to your implementation.  NICE also can help you perform a full assessment of your existing contact center, detailing costs and savings opportunities as well as where dollars are being wasted.  As we said at the beginning of the series, moving to cloud is not an easy journey to make but with the right partner, you can make that journey and drive significant change to how your agency engages with the citizens you serve.  
Thanks again for joining our webinar series and for the fantastic questions.  As you enter 2020 and get closer to making those investments, view our webinars and take advantage of our tools to ensure you choose the right investments to help you win in 2020.