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Tuesday 3 November 2009

Why are contact centre desktops so broken - part 2

This posting is the second part of my colleague Toby Baker's observations based on his work with contact centres and their desktop integration problems.

My last blog asked why contact centre desktops are so broken, and tried to explain why. This one suggests what we could do about it.

Let’s re-cap – the main problems are:
  • There are too many apps on the desktop. The average is 6, I have seen 60.
  • The data is all over the place – across multiple screens and apps.
  • No standard User Processes – it’s left up to the user to figure out how to make it all work.

So why is this a problem?
So many reasons! Here are the main ones:
  • Complex ALT-TAB, COPY-PASTE operations means longer call times, longer hold times, higher abandon rate
  • Lots of applications means lots of training
  • Lots of double-entry means lots of errors
  • Hard to find data means lower first call resolution
  • Lack of standard process means compliance is more challenging
  • System-centricity, rather than customer-centricity means lower customer satisfaction.
So what can we do about it?

1 - Look at the user processes you have, from a customer and agent point of view, and see where the bottlenecks are.

  • How much ALT-TAB and COPY-PASTE do you see?
  • How many screens do your agents have to go through?
  • How many logins do your agents have to remember?
Imagine if all this complexity could be removed – how much time could be saved? What would be the benefit of automating and optimizing this process?

2 - Decide which user process to improve first, and figure out what the ideal process is. Create a roadmap towards that ideal process, creating early fixes that create payback fast. Involve your users, and start building a business case:

  • What could you do with the call handling time that you save?
  • What would it mean if your new agents became fully competent sooner?
  • What would happen to your abandon rate, FCR or PCA30 if you did this?
3 - Split the problem into two halves: The user processes and the applications underneath. User processes change at a different rate from system interfaces, and you need to separate the two to deliver fit for purpose interfaces to your agents. Design the desired user processes working with analysts and business, then work with it to turn the relevant “bits” of applications into the building blocks of the solution.
  • Add to your business case the benefit of being able to change screen flow and therefore user processes quickly
  • Imagine how much benefit there is in re-using the everything you build in subsequent projects
4 - Start a project to build a model office, and start proving your business case. See what can be achieved quickly when you implement those quick fixes on the way to the optimized User Process.

Follow these suggestions, and the problems caused by broken contact centre desktops will start to disappear very quickly!

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