4 Ways to Improve Telco Contact Centre Productivity

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There is rapid innovation taking place within the telecoms industry, as many operators are differentiating through customer experience. The main criterion of choice today is CX because price and product no longer change from one competitor to another.

The processing of large volumes of messages from volatile customers means the growth of digital interactions requires contact centres to restructure and think differently.

Contact centres are becoming orientated towards productivity. They are using tools and processes that are improving efficiency with more interactions handled by utilising the same resources.

A significant change observed within the area of contact centre productivity is the growth of digital customer interactions. This is where the processing of large volumes of messages on various channels to adopt a new contact centre organisation oriented toward productivity. Utilising the right processes and tools, telecoms can improve their productivity to manage more interactions with the same resources while keeping a consistent service quality.

Productivity improvement benefits

92% of customers think that stores are not a must-have for mobile operators, highlighting the expectations for digital experience in this sector and the relevancy of digital-only players.

Digital channels have the ability to operate both synchronously and asynchronously. This means that unlike synchronous phone calls, they can transition from one channel to another with ease.

Contribute to improving productivity in your company and smoothing the activity across the day. That way, agents can reply in real-time.

One of the most apparent benefits of productivity gains is the reduction of costs. However, the impact is going beyond that and brings the following advantages:

  • Increasing Customer Satisfaction: telecoms can reduce their response time with thanks to productivity gains. Volatility in the industry with regards to customers is growing with the demand for quick answers as a defining criterion for higher customer satisfaction.
  • Turning customer service into a profit centre: to allocate more time for added-value tasks such as cross-selling or upselling, improving productivity is vital. For example, agents could offer the customer to subscribe to a new service or upgrade his existing subscription that fits customer usage. When done in the interest of the customer, it is a win-win situation: they can optimise the price of each service, while the company is improving loyalty.
  • Facilitate the adoption of new channels: adopting an approach prioritising productivity enables companies to integrate new channels seamlessly. Adding new touchpoints usually increases the volume of interactions. When silos between each channel disappear, it is easier for companies to manage this additional volume. They also become more flexible to adopt new channels: there is no need to implement a new tool and train agents.
  • Facing challenges of resources management

    Agent recruitment and retention are challenging areas within the contact centre. Studies show that contact centres tend to see turnover rates from 30 to 45%.

    There are several issues to identify this, such as stress, monotonous tasks, and inappropriate work environment. On this latter issue, 75% of agents reported being unhappy at work when the tools they use to communicate hinder productivity.

    Telecoms need to rely on large teams of agents when serving millions of customers. Turnover can then represent thousands of employees leaving every year, associated with significant costs (hiring, training, productivity loss).

    If telecoms adopt a scalable solution that can help overcome the challenge of resource management. The development of contact centre models can aid the standardisation of the following:

  • Agents messages: thanks to a knowledge base or templates for messages, agents can access standard answers, allowing the company to unify their answers.
  • Onboarding: as part of the onboarding, giving access to the necessary tools with the permissions takes time. Reducing the number of tools used and creating standard models makes this process easier.
  • Training: an essential area for new employees. There are many aspects to learn for agents: the tools to use, the tone to use, the product or service sold by the company. By relying on intuitive tools, companies can reduce training time.
  • How to improve productivity?

    It is possible to improve productivity by unifying the management of every digital channel within a unique interface. The outcome being a shift away from a siloed team organisation based on channels.

    The reason is that agents have the ability to answer customer queries across channels on the platform. Therefore telecoms can adopt an organisation based on skills: billing, sales, technical assistance.

    Having each agent able to answer on all channels means that telecoms can adopt an organisation based on skills: billing, sales, technical assistance.

    A unified customer engagement platform integrates features that enable productivity gains:

  • Smart routing: a routing feature, similar to ACD (Automatic Call Distribution), automatically assigns messages to agents with the right competency based on urgency and skill. For a telecom, this means that a message from a customer about to churn will be prioritised, or that a message about a technical issue will be sent to the right team. This approach contributes to the improvement of response time and productivity.
  • AI to assist agents: 88% of CX professionals believe AI will enhance, not replace, agents. It can be used to provide employees with a knowledge base and auto-prompt contextual answers. That way, agents can access common answers, saving time, and facilitating faster answers. Chatbots can also be leveraged to interact with customers. For example, it will be able to answer basic requests or collect information before escalating the conversation to an agent.
  • Identity merging: when customers contact a brand through multiple channels for the same issue, this creates duplicate conversations for customer service. These can be identified by merging customer identities. In that way, the company answers only once on the customer’s preferred channel. For example, it is common for customers to contact their telecom operator via email for a technical issue. If he doesn’t get an answer, he may follow up on a public channel such as Twitter. With a unified customer identity across all channels, it is easier for a brand to detect duplicate conversations and provide the same experience across all channels.
  • Analytics: the centralisation of channels makes it possible to get the same KPIs for all of them. Rather than relying on multiple dashboards, customer service departments get data to obtain a global view of their digital activity.
  • This comprehensive view allows telecoms to monitor and pilot their activity in real-time. If peaks occur, they can optimise their resources in real-time to make sure to provide a qualitative service. For example, if peaks arise on a particular channel after a product launch, telecoms can choose to assign more resources to this specific channel, to handle the volume, and keep their response time promise.

    Telecoms need to connect all their customer service tools such as CRM, Customer Engagement Platform, Business Intelligence (BI), Workforce Management (WFM)… The circulation of data enables the optimisation of processes between tools and contribute to productivity improvement. By relying on an open platform, telecoms also make sure they are ready for the future: whatever new tool or channel is needed to innovate, they can easily integrate it.

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