The importance of streamlined interactions – for customers, and staff

Pre736 The importance of streamlined interactions for customers and staff

  • 60 percent of call centre agents feel it important to be able to message management via a smartphone.
  • Two-thirds of call centre agents surveyed say that being able to manage their work lives with the best software possible will make them more productive, more satisfied and more committed.

A few months ago I was trying to catch a flight from Austin Texas to Dallas for a connecting flight back to Australia but bad weather had delayed my flight from Austin and the operator at the check-in counter had to book me on an alternative flight to Australia.

I happened to have a clear view of her computer screen as she was doing this. It was like something out of the Ark! A complicated, green-screen command line interface and a very far cry from the graphical users interfaces that airlines present to customers on PCs and smartphones to book and change flights, check in, etc.

Staff interaction systems that are several generations behind those offered to customers are not, it seems, the exclusive preserve of the airline industry.

Contact centre software company Aspect has just published — in three parts — the results of a comprehensive survey of 500 active customer service representatives aged 18-55 to uncover the attitudes, preferences and behaviours reps have regarding contact management software, the use of chatbots in customer service, workplace priorities and perceptions.

Eighty-one percent of agents feel that getting in touch with management for things like calling in sick or picking up shifts should be as easy as getting in touch with friends.

Perhaps not surprising the survey found customer service agents directly relate their job satisfaction to the ease of managing their life at work. It found 81 percent of agents feel that getting in touch with management for things like calling in sick or picking up shifts should be as easy as getting in touch with friends.

And of course in this day and age that means getting in touch via smartphone – a facility that most companies are now making available to their customers, but it seems not their staff.

More specifically 66 percent of agents surveyed prefer to use self-service functionalities via their smartphone to manage their work lives and 60 percent felt it important to be able to message management via a smartphone. And this was not restricted to the younger generations: the findings were remarkably stable across all generations.

A third of agents said being able to get in touch with customer service management whenever they wanted was just as important as a competitive salary.

However employers have been very slow to recognise, or certainly to respond to, their wishes. Only eight percent of survey respondents said they could contact management via a mobile app, and even the most basic form of cellular communication other than voice, text messaging, was offered by only 48 percent of employers.

The survey also found a third of agents saying that being able to get in touch with customer service management whenever they wanted was just as important as a competitive salary.

Churn among call centre agents is notoriously high so when two thirds of agents surveyed say that being able to manage their work lives with the best software possible will make them more productive, more satisfied and more committed, employers should be taking note.

On the basis of these findings the return on investment in systems to streamline employee interaction with management could well be very rapid.

Premier Technologies

Premier Contact Point provides a hosted contact solution that meets the needs of the modern contact centre. This cost effective solution provides a means of directing calls to the agent who is best suited to meet the needs of the customer, without having to be transferred multiple times. Businesses choose this hosted contact solution because there is no need to purchase and maintain costly hardware like there is with traditional PBX systems. This means the need for capital expenditure is minimal, all a contact centre agent needs is a phone, PC and an Internet connection.

To learn more about Premier Technologies Premier Contact Point, visit : premiercontactpoint.com