Cowen and Company, a leading proprietary research firm, recently published their “Takeaways from Cowen's IT Survey Around Apps & Database 2017 Spending Trends”. One of the report’s more salient points indicates that spending on SaaS projects, customer service and support will experience the biggest increase in 2017; for the first time surpassing other growth areas, including Salesforce Automation (SFA) - the lead in 2016, Human Capital Management (HCM), E-Commerce, Digital Marketing and others. This does not really come as a big surprise, given that the importance of customer service excellence in today’s competitive environment is now an accepted fact, and is continuously and widely discussed by industry leaders and analysts alike.
At the same time, there has been much talk about Omnichannel, Analytics, WFO and CRM, and how they all must play nicely together to get the best value out of every one of the solution components. I could not agree more. However, I would like to bring another important factor in the big picture of customer service to the forefront; one that sometimes almost seems to be forgotten, even though it is certainly one of the most pervasive ones. And that is the interface that your agents use, every hour of every day, to do their job!
inContact research executed in September of last year surveyed over 500 randomly selected Customer Service Representatives (CSRs) from the contiguous United States (except Montana and North Dakota) and asked for both their primary motivation, and their primary challenges. According to this research, the overwhelming majority of CSRs indicated that their primary motivations were “Helping Customers” and “Solving Customer Issues”. So far, so good. But then, their second biggest challenge was “Inadequate or Difficult-to-Use Systems”. System issues were only trumped by “Angry or Rude Customers”. While we unfortunately do not have a cure for angry or rude customers, we are convinced we can help improving the situation regarding system shortcomings!
The agent interface is the main point of interaction that each CSR has with their contact center solution. The fact that CSRs seem to consider this a challenge, and not a helpful tool in making their customer interactions more successful, made me think that we should spend some time exploring and explaining how our My Agent eXperience - MAX interface actually helps agents to better interact with customers – turning the agent interface from a point of frustration to a tool that empowers agents to help customers resolve their issues.
Here are some of the topics that we will explore in a series of blog posts over the next couple of months:
- Usability and Ease-of-Use: How does a modern, streamlined, responsive interface like My Agent Experience – MAX help the CSR with their day-to-day tasks?
- Efficiency and Performance: How does MAX provide the agent with real-time insight and data to better understand and adapt to the current contact center conditions?
- Contact Data and Personalization: How does MAX provide agents with more information on the issue and the customer to personalize and improve customer interactions?
- Availability and Collaboration: How does MAX help your agents reach out to the resources needed, in the contact center and beyond, to resolve customer issues at the first contact?
- Agent Workflow Optimization: How does fine tuning the agent interface to deliver what the agent needs, and when they need it help optimize each and every customer interaction?
If you have not considered using My Agent eXperience – MAX yet, we invite you to follow us along in our tour through the many aspects of the MAX interface that will help you to empower your agents to improve customer service, agent and customer satisfaction. And if you are already using MAX, follow along anyway! You may just find the odd nugget, the one you were not yet aware of, that will help you make better use of our agent interface.