When you hear contact center agent, the first thing that pops to mind is an employee confined to a cubicle with a PC and a headset. However, these days, that same job can be practiced out in the open with a cell phone. And starting this year, the practice is gaining some well deserved traction.
It’s not just the contact center staff that needs newer, more versatile tools to get their job done. The same goes for knowledge workers, roaming experts, back-office personnel, part-time or overflow agents, and even account managers. Everyone must collaborate to tackle customer issues, or to take full advantage of opportunities as they arise. However, for customer-facing employees it’s critical to have the flexibility to take calls anywhere, anytime, and on any device.
Perhaps not surprisingly then, mobile solutions that incorporate Unified Communications (UC) – the integration of real-time and non-real-time communication – are beginning to sound awfully attractive to contact centers everywhere. Solutions like VoipNow can bring together voice, instant messaging, audio conferencing, and faxing, to name only a few of the tools available in the software.
In fact, UC is the obvious choice for contact centers. And here’s why (a couple of scenarios):
- An upset customer calls to complain about a problem with his/her billing: Calls from aggravated consumers trickle in all the time. With VoipNow, when your mobile contact center agent needs advice handling a customer complaint, the supervisor (who may be away from his desk, or even away from the office) can whisper the resolution and provide prompt guidance back to the agent. Without this solution, the agent would have to take a message, forward it to the supervisor, get the feedback and finally return the customer’s call. These ordeals often involve a game of phone tag and can even result in lost business. Customer satisfaction can be greatly increased by avoiding cumbersome callbacks or lengthy hold times.
- Remote agents all over the world: Agents do not necessarily need to be in the office to assist customers. All they need is access to a desk phone, softphone or mobile client such as VoipNow Mobile. Once authenticated, they will start receiving calls from the queue.
- Save time for a returning caller: A history-based queue routing feature ensures that the queue will connect the caller to the agent he last talked to. This way, the customer does not have to wait or to tell his story all over again.
- A contact center supervisor needs to change agents’ schedule: Let’s say a major retail company has contact centers in several locations, each with a large number of agents who occasionally need to change their work hours. Their disparate locations would typically cause rescheduling to be a complex task for a supervisor who is offsite from where the master schedule lives. Mobile UC eases the supervisor’s life via a workforce management interface right on his mobile device, which he can use to schedule changes on the fly. As soon as the workforce management system is updated, agent schedules are automatically updated as well.
The walls of the traditional brick-and-mortar contact center are crumbling as contact center managers are forced to expand their agent hiring pool to find the skills they need to complete their customer service strategy. Luckily, contact center technology has embraced the mobility revolution. With UC mobility, contact centers have the flexibility to hire the best talent anywhere in the world, while the staff can enjoy a better work-life balance.