The Evolution of the Contact Center and Agent Transformation
February 24, 2022
- Tracy Lehmann, Technical Liaison, Contact Center Practice, VOSS Solutions
- Jeff Graham, Chief Strategy Officer, VOSS Solutions
We’re all familiar with the concept of “call center” and many times it comes with negative connotations. Poorly designed automated menus, long wait times, unprepared or unfriendly customer service representatives using antiquated desktops and back office systems. Bad connections to offshore locations. Argh. Nobody…and I do mean nobody…wants this kind of experience, and yet many organizations have been slow to change their call center practice to provide quality service. But could changes be on the horizon?
In reality, the traditional call center has been evolving for years. After all, many customers don’t want to CALL anymore, instead preferring to reach out via email, browser initiated chat, or even via text message. The call center is now a Contact Center. Contact Center agents can no longer use just a phone; they must rely on workstations and applications to process contacts.
Even the TELEPHONE has evolved, from that old box that takes up so much deskspace to a phone installed as an application on a workstation or accessible via a browser. Agent PCs required more processing power. Agents require additional training. Even Contact Center companies have enhanced their products to meet the growing list of requirements. And, in nearly all verticals, contact center agents worked side by side, in an office with direct supervision.
And then something extraordinary happened. A pandemic. Agents that worked in offices throughout the world on Monday had to work from home by Wednesday. What? The concept of remote workers – something that was frowned upon for decades – was the new norm.
IT organizations struggled to provide services and equipment to at-home workers, and to establish connectivity back to the “office” for access to the databases and applications.
The employees also struggled, learning more about internet speed, bandwidth, headset connections, etc than they ever wanted to.
Management worried about productivity. How could these individual contributors be productive without onsite supervision, they wondered. Could the business survive?
In many cases, it not only survived, it grew! It’s official! At-home workers can be productive! Many found new enthusiasm for work as they discovered a better work-life balance.
As business grew, so did the skilled agent’s responsibilities. Seasoned employees were given opportunities they otherwise may not have been considered for. Many people that lost their previous jobs due to the pandemic filled the new entry level contact center positions. By now, IT had the deployment process for “work from home” down. Or did they?
Helpdesk personnel and network engineers have been inundated with trouble reports, for everything from training questions to log-in issues, to poor call quality. Managing and monitoring hundreds of remote workers requires much time, and dare I say patience. IT personnel are typically stretched thin as it is and yet the business requires the contact center software solution and applications to simply work. The hybrid infrastructure needed to support these types of disparate and remote workers creates a classic case for automation and continuous assurance. Automating as much of the initial provisioning and the repetitious changes will ensure that the human factor of natural mistakes doesn’t impact business performance. Utilizing all of the data surrounding the applications to constantly analyze performance will enable the IT personnel to plan and optimize versus firefighting.
How VOSS Helps
At VOSS, we are focused on enabling businesses to take full advantage of the digital workplace. This is never more important than in the Contact Center where it is essential that agents are empowered and are able to seamlessly adopt new best of breed technologies. The integration of these technologies into the business requires a hyper-automated, highly agile, and resilient management platform. This includes:
- Intelligent migration from existing legacy applications and platforms
- Automating the provisioning and customization of the user profiles
- Automating the routing and thus removing the complexities of dial plan management
- Continuous collection of application performance data thus ensuring optimal utilization
- Assurance on the supporting network infrastructure to ensure maximum uptime
The contact center software solution is at the heart of the digital transformation journey within all businesses. The VOSS digital workplace management model removes the complexities that stand in the way of achieving those goals.
To find out more about how VOSS can automate, manage, and monitor your Contact Center, please get in touch.