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Strategies to translate technology into resourceful Customer Service

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Call centers have been for decades, providing inbound service, telemarketing or handling communications with the customers. The today changes are experienced both from technological advancements and the increase in customer prospects.

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Strategies to translate technology into resourceful Customer Service

  1. 1. How technology translates into resourceful Customer Service
  2. 2. Introduction  Call centers have been around for decades, serving various business purposes – be it providing inbound service, telemarketing or handling communications with the customers.  In recent years, the internet has revolutionized all digital enterprises, call centers included. The manner in which customer problems are approached and solved today has changed drastically, and very quickly, to reflect a more comprehensive, data-driven, modern approach.  Call center agents – who are the forefront of this interface between the customer and the company – have found it hard to constantly adapt to the newer and more innovative practices which are being introduced.  These agents take the aid of software which has been designed for very specific call center processes, and performs very specific tasks in an efficient and rapid manner.
  3. 3.  Technological advancement has allowed agents to automate certain processes and optimize the flow of work to ensure that more efficient results can be achieved.  There is, however, still one nagging issue that does not look like it is going away anytime soon – the pace of evolution of technology is increasing every day, and this makes it very difficult to identify the solutions which can not only bring about a change in the system to produce better results, but which will remain relevant in the near future.  This is why, call centers which had a successful technological infrastructure up and running for years, suddenly find themselves struggling to stay in touch with the rest of the world in terms of providing innovative solutions.  The changes in landscape today are experienced both from technological advancements and the increase in customer expectations.
  4. 4.  Driven by a market that is looking to increase its productivity every single day, the big question that call centers face is, how do they get more out of technology?  How can they leverage the tools they have to create even more efficient work processes?  How can they add or dump technology intelligently, so that their returns are multiplied?  Keeping these pertinent questions in mind, we have compiled a few tips that would help to use technology better, as well as direct your company towards better performances by harnessing the full potential of the tools you already have.  These are the pointers that will set you up for the long-term success.
  5. 5.  There’s something new out on the market every day, and inevitably it helps your business in some way or the other.  What managers need to determine is which of these thousands of available options will bring the best with their very specific case.  This is why, the only technology you need to focus on is the one which adds most value to your operations. Focus on the benefits that its implementation could bring to your customer, your team and your company.  If there are tangible benefits over what you already have, this is a technology you should seriously consider investing in. Focus on value addition
  6. 6.  For call center agents, new technologies can be baffling right off the bat.  The onus lies with the management to introduce the tools in a very clear and comprehensive way so that agents are able to clearly understand what it is and what it can do, and then give them some time to work with it themselves and get a feel of the new environment.  There are bound to be occasions when employees fail to use the new tech properly, but managers need to give them the space necessary for them to get used to it, so that eventually they start using it to better their performance. Give your employees time to adapt to change
  7. 7.  Just as call centers deal with the queries of customers handling a new product for the first time, managers must be prepared to deal with queries of employees dealing with the new tech for the first time.  They require access to self-service tools such as explainer videos, troubleshooting guides and other solutions will help agents find their way around the environment.  In addition, agents need to be given eternal training on how to use the software to benefit their work.  They need to be given a run-through of the new features that have been introduced, the features which have been changed, and how all of this can be incorporated in the work they were doing previously, only this time in a more reliable and efficient way. Fresh technology needs fresh training
  8. 8.  Even the best technology can fail to change a workspace unless it is built to accept the new features.  Call centers should understand that adopting new tech means, an overhaul of the existing practices in favor of a necessarily better way of going about things.  Find a specific used case which is relevant to your business, where the implementation of this technology could change the way solutions have been perceived so far for the better.  You can only start using a technology when you are clear about the changes, the structural adjustments required, the manner in which efficiency will increase and the desired result. Structure your technological tools appropriately
  9. 9.  Introducing a new technology can be a make or break for a company.  Therefore, it is a good idea to start off on a smaller scale, testing the software with select users to begin with, and gradually rolling it out for use in the entire organization after the successful test runs.  In this manner you not only allow people to get acclimatized to the newer technology, you reduce the risk factor significantly, because if it does fail, it fails while only a fraction of your employees are using it and you can still replace it without incurring humongous losses. Scale up from smaller roots
  10. 10.  Choosing the right key performance indicators to monitor the effects of any changes being implemented is probably the single most important step to take, in order to ensure the continued success.  A company that fails to identify its correct metrics, will go down sooner or later. Innovative technologies often have an effect on more than one department, so it is important to understand exactly what parameters the effectiveness of the technology should be judged on.  Once established, these metrics need to be evaluated carefully and regularly, and any discrepancies need to be acted upon, for the operations to progress.  Taking decisions guiding by the data brought out by these metrics is important to ensure the technology can settle in and start producing performances. Trust your KPIs for evaluation
  11. 11.  Whatever time it takes for your employees to master the new technology, is time that they are spending away from their phones, and away from their usual work routine.  Therefore, the faster they get back to their stations, the less you stand to lose in terms of daily performance. This is why technology that is designed to be easy to understand and implement is so important.  Agents should be able to grasp it in as little time as possible, and get to practically implementing it soon after. This ensures that daily operations at the call center are affected to a minimum degree even though such a robust change has been implemented.  Instead of a software that packs a whole lot of features in a complicated bundle, go for the one which gives you the essentials you need, in a simple format which is easy for the user to comprehend and work on. Prioritize easy-to-use over features
  12. 12.  No matter how quick your agents are at grasping the basics of the new technology, there is going to be a situation where somebody gets stuck.  This is why an in-house expert is required, who can provide support and help to solve the problem quickly, so that work can go on.  If this is not possible, call centers should at least have an IT consultant on call who can resolve such issues if and when they crop up.  In addition, the feedback on usage during the initial days is an important part of improvement by the managers as well as employees.  They understand the best ways to use the software, and how to avoid wasting resources and time. Have an expert in place to give quality feedback
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