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Optimizing call
and contact center

Author: Rose de Fremery

The contact center is an essential part of the business, and it may become more mission-critical as expectations for a satisfying customer experience continue to rise. Managers are still encountering inefficiencies in the contact center, however, and they must identify smart strategies for optimizing contact center performance management.

Here's a look at a few of the call and contact center workforce management challenges companies are running into and how they are resolving them and supporting call center workforce optimization with smart technology solutions.

Call and contact center performance management challenges

Managers face a host of challenges in optimizing contact center performance. They struggle to streamline forecasting and scheduling, which means they often cannot accurately predict their staffing requirements. What's more, the tools that contact center managers traditionally use to carry out these tasks may not be designed to handle the modern requirements of an omnichannel contact center environment—or, if they are, it may be because the company invested in expensive customizations to make that possible. As a result, managers find it unnecessarily burdensome to properly staff the full range of channels on which contact center agents engage customers today.

Call center performance management challenges may manifest as trouble managing requests for time off and shift changes, and this also has a direct impact on staffing levels for specific channels and shifts—not to mention the contact center's ability to ensure it has the right mix of experienced agents on hand to resolve customer requests that require escalation. What's more, because contact center agents are not able to directly manage their schedules or independently plan their vacations or paid time off (PTO) days, this creates a bottleneck in which managers are tasked with juggling and harmonizing all of the various requests that come in from the entire team.

Onboarding new contact center agents is also trickier than it ought to be, and that can throw a wrench in call center workforce optimization efforts. This is especially true now that the remote workforce is here to stay, representing one of the top five contact center technology innovations companies must explore. However, companies struggle to effectively onboard and train new team members in remote settings. This directly impacts agents' productivity, diminishes contact center employee retention and ultimately compromises the customer experience.

Call center workforce optimization and other opportunities

All of these challenges are also opportunities to optimize call center performance management, enhance the customer experience and increase revenue. For example, managers can leverage the call center workforce management tools in a virtual contact center to accurately forecast, schedule and direct the resources that are needed to properly staff the contact center during normal operations as well as peak periods. Workforce scheduling services put contact center agents in the driver's seat when it comes to their schedules, empowering them to choose when they want to work.

Companies have several opportunities for improving the onboarding process and overall employee experience, as well. Omnichannel contact center features allow agents to handle all interactions across voice and digital channels from a single interface, streamlining the onboarding process, while advanced contact routing features quickly connect customers to the most qualified agent or the proper method of service. Contact center automation tools like artificial intelligence (AI)-assisted contact center knowledge management software can put the right answers at agents' fingertips, helping them accurately respond in the moment—something that agents that are newly onboarded will no doubt appreciate as they're getting their bearings.

How managed services accelerate call and contact center optimization

Managed services can accelerate the processes of streamlining and optimizing contact center performance management, beginning with AI tools that improve the customer experience. For example, an AI-powered digital self-assistant can help businesses deliver automated and personalized self-service experiences across all digital channels, meeting customer demand for self-help options while also reducing the volume of inbound call center requests that contact center agents must handle.

AI tools can support call center workforce optimization and take even more work off agents' plates by offloading basic, high-volume tasks while they route sensitive and more complex issues to human agents. All of the time saved from these AI-enhanced efficiency gains can be reinvested in contact center agent training, ensuring that agents have exactly the expertise and knowledge necessary to provide a high standard of care when requests are routed to them.

Live agent tools also streamline and optimize contact center performance management, allowing agents to easily manage multiple chat interactions at once. They also pass along crucial contextual information when conversations are escalated from a virtual agent to a chat agent, making it much easier for human contact center agents to help customers without requiring them to recap the entire conversation they've had with the company from the very beginning.

Call center workforce management: Optimize the contact center and elevate your CX

It's never been more important to have a smoothly running contact center that consistently provides a satisfying customer experience, but contact center managers are still running into several challenges when it comes to contact center performance management and call center workforce optimization. Cloud contact center features such as workforce management tools and knowledge management solutions can help to resolve these challenges, improving call center efficiency while fine-tuning the onboarding process and enhancing the overall employee experience.

Managed services can accelerate contact center optimization even further, augmenting human contact center expertise with virtual agents that provide timely self-help options and intelligently route complex requests—with crucial contextual information included—when appropriate. By capitalizing on opportunities to improve call center workforce management and streamline contact center operations, businesses can elevate their customer experience and drive bottom-line growth.

Learn more about how Verizon cloud contact center solution can help your agents be productive, support contact center performance management and enhance the customer experience.