contact center tools

5 Helpful Contact Center Tools for Managers

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contact center toolsA mechanic would have a tough time trying to perform even basic maintenance on a vehicle without a good set of tools. It may be possible to change an oil or air filter without tools, but how about changing a flat tire or replacing the alternator? Good luck loosening a single lug nut with your bare hand. The same is true of any industry including contact centers. You might be able to take phone calls with just phones, but you won’t be able to do a very good job with just the bare necessities. Luckily, there are countless solutions available to contact center managers today to help improve productivity, performance and overall customer experience. Here are five helpful contact center tools that can solve common contact center issues and provide a better service.

  1. Are your agents prepared to answer customers’ questions?

Do you know which topics or issues come up the most during calls in your contact center? Are customers satisfied with the solutions given by your agents? Speech and desktop analytics dramatically improves a contact center’s ability to uncover insights, identify key issues and complaints, prevent high-impact incidents and handle customer interactions more effectively and efficiently. Managers are able to break down the calls being recorded and filter out data that is relevant at the time (i.e. “called before”, “second time calling”, “issues with billing process”, etc). This tool allows managers to search for specific key words, terms or phrases, then create a report showing the trends in your contact center. How do you know if there is a problem if you don’t know what your customers are saying? Knowing this information can help you be prepared with better training and coaching that reflects your center’s needs.

  1. Are you scheduling the right agents at the right time?

This is often a struggle for a number of organizations because many are still using Excel spreadsheets to forecast and extract data for agent scheduling. In order to help your contact center “do more with less” we suggest utilizing a workforce management (WFM) solution. This solution enables easy and efficient agent scheduling, by staffing the right people, with the right skills, at the right time of day. If your organization has peak seasons such as back-to-school or the holiday shopping season, the increased staffing needs can put a strain on your scheduling resources. inContact Workforce Management helps you forecast trends to better staff your contact center during these busy times, preventing instances of over and under scheduling. This powerful tool helps contact centers optimize operational efficiency, employee satisfaction and ultimately the customer experience. You can continually improve and refine your contact center operations from the insights gained using this innovative WFM solution. There is no better way to manage your agents’ schedules then with this efficient and effective system.

  1. Do you know which agents are performing better than others?

When a contact center is filled with numerous agents, it’s often difficult to keep track of everyone’s performance. It can be time-consuming, but this task is absolutely vital to maintain consistent quality and productiveness. Having insight into your agents’ performance helps contact center managers understand which agents need coaching and training. inContact inView™, our performance management solution, gives contact center managers the ability to put everything out in the open. Agents understand their goals, and supervisors are able to spot training gaps. inView™ taps into your existing applications to bring all of your data into a single dashboard. Every agent is different and supervisors’ time is limited. Supervisors can identify who needs help, and where, so they can get more out of their one-on-one time with agents.

  1. Is your organization monitoring work-at-home agents?

The adaptation of remote and at-home agents is forcing managers and supervisors to change the way they manage. Since the inception of contact centers, the accepted and most effective form of management has been management by walking around. When all agents are in a single location, it is very easy for managers and supervisors to walk the calling floor and listen to agents as they speak with customers. While reviewing a recorded interaction provides supervisors with visibility into agent activity, there may be a significant lag time between when the interaction was recorded and when it was reviewed. Live monitoring provides a real-time view of the agent’s desktop and conversations with customers. Supervisors can provide immediate feedback or acknowledge a successful call quickly – when it is most relevant.

  1. Do you know your first-call resolution (FCR) rate?

Do you find that some of your agents have longer handle times than others? This may be due to a customer having a lot of questions, but what if the agent is having trouble answering the customers’ concerns? By using a quality management (QM) solution, managers can monitor and review their agents’ performance. Implementing a QM solution enables organizations to train and coach their agents on a regular basis, since the managers are more educated about agents who are performing well and those who may need a little guidance. A QM solution can also help with agent retention, as this is one of the costlier and time consuming issues at many contact centers. It’s easier for an organization to be more productive by having agents that fully understand your goals, and are committed to providing high quality customer service and increasing your FCR rate.

These contact center tools can make drastic improvements to your contact center’s productiveness and performance. Customer experience continues to be a key differentiator as the technology gap gets smaller. Having the right tools at your disposal is critical to providing that optimal customer experience and staying ahead of your competition. You wouldn’t trust your car to the mechanic who doesn’t use wrenches, so don’t trust your own customer interactions to a contact center without the tools to provide the best service.