Streamline Business Processes, Maximize Agent Performance and Enhance the Customer Experience

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1 1 Product Whitepaper: Streamline Business Processes, Maximize Agent Performance and Enhance the Customer Experience Not all contact center agents are created equal, so how do you level the playing field to ensure maximum performance and productivity while delivering a seamless customer experience that doesn t sound scripted and robotic? Cloud technologies can help bridge the gaps within your contact center. This product whitepaper demonstrates how CorvisaOne Workflow automation tools streamline business processes and equip agents with the information they need to deliver consistent, accurate messages and outstanding customer service regardless of experience, skill set or location.

2 2 Your Agents: What Customers Expect As defined by Gartner 1 : Customer strategy and experience management involves designing and reacting to customer interactions to best meet or exceed expectations, and to increase customer satisfaction, loyalty and advocacy. Using this definition as a starting point, it s easy to understand why the contact center is integral to the customer experience. It is often the customer s interaction with a contact center agent no matter the channel (e.g., voice, chat, SMS) that will make or break satisfaction, loyalty and advocacy, as well as dictate the rise or fall of profits. With so many vendors competing for customers business, it s essential that agents deliver an outstanding experience with every touch point. A recent study of U.S. consumers 2 (detailed below) indicates what s most important and most frustrating when dealing with agents: Contact Center Essentials: What Customers Want Humans, Not Robots 80% said their customer service calls feel scripted and robotic. Good Conversation 49% said businesses need to have agents who speak clearly and are easy to understand. 1 Customer Strategy and Experience Management Key Initiative Overview. 14 March 2014, G , Analyst(s) Jenny Sussin. Gartner Subscribers can access the report here. 2 Corvisa polled 1,214 individuals via an online usamp survey between Aug , The margin of error is +/ percentage points.

3 3 What Customers Want (con t) Multiple Channels While 55% still prefer speaking with an agent on the phone, others indicated they will also use web chat or , texting and social media. Knowledgable Reps 37% ranked knowledgeable agents as the primary reason for continuing to do business with a company. Quick Resolution 18% believe businesses can improve upon the number of times they are transferred from agentto-agent on a single customer service call. Reduced Hold Times 32% will hang up after waiting on hold for more than five minutes; nearly half (49%) believe lowering hold times would vastly improve customer service. One additional insight from the study to keep front of mind you don t get many chances to make a good impression. About one-third of respondents indicated they had contacted a service center just once during the past year; 20% had contact twice a year or more.

4 4 Managing Today s Contact Center: The Challenges Keeping employees, management and customers happy is no small task for contact center leaders. Customers high expectations and the importance of the contact center agent role are in direct contrast to the fact that agent jobs are often entry-level positions, sometimes with limited financial incentives and opportunities for advancement. These facts, combined with the challenges noted below, can make managing a successful contact center a formidable undertaking. Consider the issues (below) that a contact center manager often needs to address every day: Customer Angst It should come as no surprise that most consumers don t list contacting a customer service center among their favorite activities. In a recent survey 3, almost one-third said they would rather shop in the crowds on Black Friday than speak with customer service; another 24% said they would opt for a visit to the dentist instead. In addition, more than half of the survey respondents (55%) indicated they had lost their temper with an agent between 1-4 times over the past year. Agent Turnover According to Forrester Research, Inc. Vice President & Principal Analyst Kate Leggett: Low agent turnover rates are those that are below 20% a year, and some contact centers have turnover rates as low as 5%. Turnover rates higher than 50% are considered high, and some contact centers have attrition rates of more than 100% a year. 4 Leggett goes on to point out that turnover not only impacts recruiting and training costs, but also ongoing agent morale, which can impact customer satisfaction as well. Multiple Messages Managing multiple clients and/or products often requires equipping agents with various call scripts that ensure the most accurate information and, in some instances, compliance with regulatory standards. It can be difficult for even the most experienced agents to keep pace, let alone recently hired employees or those who may be located in a remote location. Complex Product Lines and/or Scenarios Highly technical product offerings that require detailed explanations are challenging. But even if you offer a simple product line, industry requirements and guidelines may make for complicated transactions and customer confusion. Troubleshooting can be complex if agents aren t equipped with the knowledge and tools they need to diagnose and address customer concerns. 3 Corvisa polled 1,214 individuals via an online usamp survey between Aug , The margin of error is +/ percentage points. 4 Contact Center Agent Turnover is a Fact of Life That Must Be Tracked and Managed. Kate Leggett, Forrester Research blog. May 6, 2013.

5 5 Fast-Changing Scripts Even if your organization is lucky enough to have a relatively stable workforce, today s fast-paced business world dictates the need for quick and accurate agent responses. Whether it s coordinating a multi-faceted product rollout, taking on an important new client, or responding to the latest social media buzz, contact center managers need to quickly update and deliver consistent messaging across all locations. Compliance Requirements Organizations in highlyregulated industries (e.g., health care, financial services) and/or those that need to follow specific guidelines related to selling and service must ensure agents are in compliance to minimize risks and avoid legal issues. Challenges like those noted above are often manifested in reduced productivity and an inability to fully utilize staff. Managers are then faced with a difficult decision: address these issues with additional training, which can be timeconsuming, resource intensive and costly; or sacrifice some degree of personalized interaction in favor of scripted tactics. Many businesses are forced to go the latter route, resulting in customer complaints of a robotic, impersonal service experience. Unfortunately, neither of these is a win-win situation for either the business or its customers. How Technology Can Help The good news for today s contact center leaders is the growing number of cloud technology solutions available that can make managing these challenges easier. The cloud-based workflow automation and call guidance tools offered by CorvisaOne Workflow can go a long way to help address the issues noted above. Such tools allow you to equip all agents regardless of experience, skill set or location with the ability to deliver a consistent, exceptional customer experience that doesn t come across as robotic. Plus, it gives contact center managers the tools they need to quickly build and execute the processes they want.

6 6 Workflow Automation: Workflow Diagrams Workflow automation software allows companies to centrally manage key business processes by providing technology for managers and administrators that turns diagrams of business processes into automated applications and screens, allowing agents to adapt to different scenarios. These workflow automation diagrams become the online screens and guided call scripts that agents reference for contextual guidance during customer interactions. Such technologies equip agents with knowledge of the next best action to take, troubleshooting questions to ask, or sales suggestions to make based on the path the conversation is taking. Workflow tools make it easier for agents to sound and act like humans, while also reducing the amount of agent training required. When it comes to workflow automation and call guidance, a picture (or in this case, two) is worth a thousand words. Below are screen shots depicting how to create a workflow diagram and screen content using CorvisaOne Workflow: 1. Create a Workflow Diagram

7 7 Workflow Automation (con t) 2. Create Screen Content Using easy drag n drop technology, the CorvisaOne Workflow page layout screen provides prompts to walk you through screen design and other components. From this screen you can also input page text using our rich content editor. Updates can be made quickly without special coding. Workflow Automation: Co-browsing Another feature of CorvisaOne Workflow, collaborative co-browsing, can also help agents deliver superior service. Co-browsing allows an agent to instantly view or share a web or mobile experience and guide customers through complex interactions and transactions, step-by-step and in real-time. Since co-browsing is centrally managed through administrative functions, you can also limit who sees what. For instance, as shown on the CorvisaOne Workflow screens to the right, while the agent has sidebar notes to offer cross-selling suggestions, the customer only sees the standard screen. Customer View Agent View

8 8 How Workflow Automation Addresses Contact Center Challenges Imagine that you manage contact center operations for a U.S.-based retailer of home furnishings. You have five service centers nationwide, housing agents at each location. Typical calls can range from questions about a specific product to how to handle a return. But due to a safety recall from one of your crib suppliers that will be announced later today, you re gearing up for an onslaught of calls from concerned parents. Your agents need direction and details on how the recall is being handled, including how to fill out a return/refund form located on your website. The return procedure will vary based on the customer s ZIP code. On top of that, you just hired and trained a total of 85 new agents who are standing by, ready to take their first calls. How will CorvisaOne Workflow help ensure that you get the safety recall information to the front lines in a timely manner to ensure all agents no matter their location -- are providing accurate information? And how can you guarantee customers won t know if they ve reached a rookie, versus one of your seasoned pros? Most importantly, how will these tools help the entire team to deliver a personal and caring customer service experience? Perhaps the best way to understand is with an illustration (right) that incorporates CorvisaOne Workflow components: Andy Agent gets a called from Worried Mom about the recall. Referring to his screen, Andy relays info about the recall and asks qualifying questions to confirm Mom s product is indeed defective. Together, Andy and Mom complete the form, process the refund and set up the return pick-up. Andy carries that smile with him into his next call with Distraught Dad Mary Manager creates a workflow and associated scripts about the recall. Mary publishes the update so that it is now available along with the other existing workflow apps. Andy explains that he can help Worried Mom fill out the refund form and asks if he can her a link that will take them to a cobrowsing screen. Mom hangs up happy, which brings a smile to Andy s face.

9 9 CorvisaOne Workflow Provides Value Throughout the Process The illustration above demonstrates how CorvisaOne Workflow gives organizations the tools they need to meet the demands of both their employees and their customers: Managers build the process they want, with the ability to integrate multiple databases into a single user interface for a more efficient, reportable agent experience. Managers are also able to roll out new information in a streamlined, intuitive way that reduces training time and costs, making agents more productive, more quickly. Agents have the tools they need to be successful. Empowering agents to provide better service means happier, longer tenured employees who provide a better customer experience. Customers get the answers they need in a conversational manner from wellinformed agents, plus additional handson assistance through co-browsing sessions that they can enter via their computer, tablet or mobile device. The result: fewer robotic interactions and more first call resolutions. An Important Next Step The benefits outlined here that CorvisaOne Workflow automation tools provide are just the starting point for many businesses; workflow automation can easily be applied to many areas of an organization. To ensure these cloud tools deliver maximum value, it is important to re-evaluate your processes before implementing this, or for that matter, any new technology. Most organizations are used to adjusting their processes or expectations around what their technology is able to facilitate a reality that is less than ideal for both productivity and customer experience. To make sure the technology effectively wraps around your business instead of the other way around, answer the following questions:

10 10 An Important Next Step (con t) 1. When was the last time you reevaluated your processes? 2. How are your current processes being dictated or limited by your current technology? Where are you falling short of company objectives or what s holding you back from growth? What struggles or concerns are your customers having when they interact with your business? Where are there gaps in efficiency? 3. Are you interacting with customers the same way you did two years ago? Five years ago? 4. What is your cost of training? 5. What is your cost of sales and/or customer support? 6. Are you tracking effectiveness? Support/Inbound: Are your agents able to answer challenging questions or do customers need to be transferred multiple times? What s your first call resolution rate? Average hold time? Sales/Outbound: How long does it take your leads to go from one status to the next? What are your closing rates? What is your average wrap time? Workflow and contact center technologies should not have to run parallel to one another. CorvisaOne Workflow was designed to deliver a cohesive, automated experience that makes both agent training and ongoing script changes easier and faster. Most important, it gives you the flexibility to create and run processes that work for your business now, tomorrow and in the future.

11 11 Summary Your contact center is a key component, if not the centerpiece, of the customer experience. It is often the customer s experience with an agent that will make or break brand loyalty and dictate the rise or fall of profits. Contact center managers must balance customer expectations along with the need to equip every agent regardless of their experience or location with the training and tools needed to deliver outstanding service. The cloud-based workflow automation, call guidance and collaborative co-browsing tools offered by CorvisaOne Workflow can go a long way to help not only train and coach employees, but also increase productivity and reduce costs. Learn more about what these tools can do for your organization. Contact us for an initial discovery session About the Author Paul Gregory Chief Revenue Officer Paul Gregory has an extensive background in private equity, business development, engagement management and asset management. He currently leads Corvisa s SMB sales and business development, and is responsible for long-term revenue strategy. In his previous role with Novation Companies the parent of Corvisa he developed and implemented business plans to bring new technology products to market and led efforts to identify, research and recommend new investments and initiatives for Novation and its subsidiaries. About Corvisa Corvisa brings customer success to the heart of every business interaction through our cloud-based communications platform, contact center technologies and consulting services. We help businesses work smarter, save money and make customers happier and with our passion for service, we make getting there an enjoyable experience.

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