How could this be? For years we have heard that automation and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) are going to replace agents. Well much like most bold predictions (Y2K anyone?) they have failed to live up to the hype.
At InflowCX, we have actually found the opposite to be true. The technology that some thought would replace agents has actually made their lives more efficient, rewarding, and challenging in a good way. So, if you are fearing using those words in front of agents, fear no more! We dive into why agents, automation, and BPO are a harmonious trifecta in today’s contact center.
Automation Can Replace Mundane Tasks
“May I please have your name and account number?” Ask any experienced agent and that was a phrase on autopilot 70 times a day. A necessary annoyance before technology was able to replace that question. IVR has come a long way since the days of a customer’s speech not being recognized.
Calling in from the phone number tied to the account opens up a world of automation and efficiency. From routing the call to collections if they are past due to having upgrade options available for the agent once account information has been validated. Automation takes away the same repetitive tasks so that the agent can do what they do best: deliver a great customer experience in the contact center.
Experienced Agents Are The Best Customer Retention Tool
Automation most likely will never be able to solve the most complex and detailed issues that your customers face. Even if they could, a customer prefers having a human being take care of that issue to ensure their needs are taken care of. This is where experience comes into play, and exactly why your tenured agents enjoy their work.
Taking ownership of a customer who is frustrated and needs help is a big reason agents come to work. They take that responsibility personally, that is what makes them great. Ask any QA analyst and they will have dozens of stories about how an agent retained a customer who was on their way out.
Let BPO Handle The Overflow In Your Contact Center
The ebbs and flows of call volume in the contact center can be a stress point even for the most tenured and patient agents. The subconscious effect of being on a call and seeing 75 calls in the queue is not a good thing for agents. They come to work to take care of customers and seeing that many customers are on hold causes anxiety.
One of the many effective uses of BPO is having your IVR designate which calls to send to your contact center and which calls to route to the BPO Contact Center. Complex calls go to your experienced agents, collection calls go to your collections team, and tier 1 calls go to the BPO or some combination thereof. You get the idea. More importantly, your agents aren’t seeing the calls stacking up and that alone relieves anxiety for everyone.
Operational & Labor Consulting For Your Contact Center
When considering what needs to take place in your contact center the blueprint that creates results is different for every business. However, our process on how we create that blueprint has worked for thousands of clients:
- Gather known details on the current contact center people and processes
- Interview stakeholders
- Observe agent & supervisor functions
- Document findings and recommendations
- Develop priorities, timelines, and project plans
- Identify the right combination of technology, BPO, and process efficiencies
Connecting The Right Combination For Your Contact Center
We can guarantee that we have never put together the same exact combination of technology, process, people, BPO, and strategy for two clients and your contact center is no exception. If you are experiencing labor shortages, dropped calls, agent stress, or any combination of these, we should set up a time to speak. Solving complex contact center problems with real-world cost-effective solutions is what we do here at InflowCX and we would love to do the same for you!