What are the Main Drivers Behind UC in the Contact Centre?

A key driver behind UC in the contact centre is to improve information flow and collaboration between teams. This is essential to deliver excellent customer experience, and the contact centre is a prime example of where fluid and open collaboration pays dividends.

One of the well-established metrics for contact centre performance is first contact resolution. However, FCR is notoriously difficult to achieve. One approach is to make sure that agents are both knowledge and empowered to make decisions. Another requires that teams can pass customers over to  different departments for information, or to affect a resolution seamlessly. Both methods are potentially problematic, requiring either a skilled (and thus more expensive) workforce, or in the case of passing people over internally, the ability to know whether colleagues are available. Having the resource available to field calls in a timely manner, and to pass on information so that the caller doesn’t need to repeat themselves to every new agent.

Comprehensive UC with monitoring delivers the much sought-after collaboration and solves many of the barriers to FCR. UC enables more fluid resourcing, easier access to internal expertise, and enhanced information sharing. As well as providing a more efficient service, and improving customer experience as a result, it means that there is inherently more flexibility across a team to deal with unexpected events.

Are contact centre solutions too complex for the majority of businesses?

One of the dangers is that many of the tools available for a stereotypical contact centre are very complex, but sometimes it’s the complexity of the customer requirement that is most problematic.

We exist in a world where the contact centre can mean many different things. Is it floor upon floor of agents tasked with the same role? Is it a large number of people, but divided into very small functional teams? Or is it something quite different altogether, perhaps an informal contact centre within an entire business, or a specific customer facing team?

In addition, within those different types of contact centres, you have a range of users to consider, each with different requirements. Do they need a snapshot of what’s happening in the queues right now, or historical data that demonstrates behavioural trends? Do they need to determine and manage KPIs, or amend processes or resourcing based on the results? Or do they need to share information with others?

Many pure contact centre tools don’t offer these persona-based access levels, making the solution overly complex and hard to navigate. However, cloud-based tools that give organisations a choice of the kind of users they need to facilitate makes it much easier for partners to deploy technology that delivers the right value.

Can every employee impact Customer Experience with a UC-enabled contact centre?

Customer experience is the product of every action that touches the customer, either directly or indirectly. Visibility of how those actions affect a customer’s experience, however, makes it more likely to have a lasting positive effect.

By incorporating UC and contact centre management technologies, you make it easier to assess the impact of changes to processes, scripts and procedures at an individual, group and business level, and thereby increase this visibility for all.

How will this market change over the next two years?

There is already a shift towards making the right features available to the right people at the right time. For example, in response to feedback from our partners we recently reengineered our iCall Suite services to invoke a mixed-mode subscription model that allows businesses to mix and match user types to better suit their requirements.

Another dynamic in the market is the trend for agents to take greater responsibility for their own performance. By giving individuals access to their own key performance stats, both historical and live, they can learn what is needed to improve gradually, while on the job, as opposed to via periodic reviews.

Finally, we will see more traditional “premium” contact centre features applied to the mid-market and informal contact centre arena, enabled by greater simplicity in functionality and greater affordability. This will enable more businesses to explore and analyse their customer’s journeys with the aim of further enhancing customer experience.