Are you one of the almost 40% of organizations that say reducing effort to improve the customer experience is their primary contact center goal for 2018? If you are, here’s our laundry list of the top five things that are absolute "must have" phone system features for your contact center in 2018 and beyond:
1) Built-in Reliability and Disaster Recovery
The best contact center solution is not worth a penny if it’s not up and running. Make sure that your solution provides the reliability you need, and enables you to flexibly address exceptional situations. Winter storms, hurricanes, flooding, fires--with a native cloud solution, the flexibility to deal with such disasters is virtually “built-in”. Move agents to a different location, have them work from home, redirect traffic within minutes. Be prepared to handle whatever nature may challenge you with by focusing on reliability.
2) True Omnichannel Skills-Based Routing
No news here: customers have grown to expect support for a multitude of channels. Voice and digital, inbound and outbound, agent assisted and self-service. As a matter of fact, the number of channels is growing, as Web Chat, SMS and Social Media become mainstream channels of choice with our younger digital-native generation. Most contact centers support some sort of multichannel or even omnichannel; however, you should make sure that your solution supports TRUE Omnichannel, where your agents can switch channels without losing customer context, and add one or more channels to existing customer sessions whenever appropriate and helpful to achieve first contact resolution and reduce customer effort.
3) Consolidated, Best of Breed Interfaces
With more channels comes more complexity – for everyone. Make sure that everyone—Agents, Supervisors, Managers and Administrators—all have user-friendly, consolidated tools and interfaces that enable them to deal with the added complexity. Your Agents need a streamlined, contextual interface that empowers them to concentrate on helping customers – instead of trying to maneuver their way through confusing controls in a cluttered desktop environment. Your Supervisors and Managers will appreciate easy configuration and administration – so they can complete their tasks faster, which in turn gives them more time to monitor and support their agents (at their desk, while roaming the contact center floor, or both!) Intuitive, flexible reporting that allows them to customize dashboards and reports to suit their needs helps, too: If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it! Your Administrators will appreciate a solution that enables them to easily and intuitively create, maintain and update routing flows for all channels. And for larger environments, a solution that enables multiple people--or even multiple teams--to work on routing flows (while ensuring routing flow integrity), is paramount to success.
4) Integrated Workforce Optimization
Make sure your solution not only provides integrated voice recording, but consider things like Screen Recording and Quality Management for other channels as well. This may not be at the forefront of your planning just yet, but will become more prevalent over time. Make sure that Workforce Optimization components are tightly integrated into the fabric of your contact center solution – just imagine: with a fully integrated solution, the times where you have to set up the same user twice or even three times can truly be over. And your agents will appreciate finding their Workforce Management information displayed right in their agent desktop – no need to toggle screens or switch interface.
5) Ease of Integration, Open Interfaces
Make sure that your contact center solution provides you with extensive, and well documented open interfaces. They will give you the flexibility to customize your solution. If those interfaces are provided at no extra cost – even better! Ease of integration may well be what tips the scales in the future – with contact center topics such as the integration of Artificial Intelligence, BOTs and automation being at the cusp of more widespread usage for contact center environments. Open interfaces will give you the flexibility you need to move forward when you (and your contact center) are ready.
There's no better time to optimize your contact center - agents need these features to help enhance customers' experiences.