The task of managing a Contact Centre could be likened to juggling many balls while riding a non-stop roller coaster. You’re surrounded by people who want more, they want it fast, and they want to save money. And we’re not just talking about your customers.
There are so many priorities competing for your attention, it can be difficult to give everything careful evaluation before making decisions.
In this, and future posts, we’ll explore several management topics that we’ve had experience with over our many years of working with Contact Centres of all sizes, in a wide range of industries.
This post is devoted to developing workflows which will enable you to enhance the customer experience, improve efficiency, and meet your operational objectives.
What are automated workflows?
Automated workflows are set up using features of call centre software to help agents and managers ensure all process steps are followed, and to optimise task performance.
Typical examples of automated workflows include things like:
- When a customer calls, an IVR system prompts the customer to choose an option: the system then connects them to the right queue or self-service option.
- When a customer ID has been verified, the agent’s screen is populated with the customer’s information.
- If a call drops out, a text message is sent to the customer’s mobile phone, inviting them to reconnect with the same agent.
- When a new contact is created in the call centre software, the record is automatically created in the CRM system.
- When a call is ended, the system sends an email or SMS with a link to a customer satisfaction rating survey
There are endless permutations on what can be achieved with automated workflows.
The key benefits of automated workflows
Automated workflows provide many benefits to contact centre management. Let’s explore these three key ones.
Improve efficiency & accuracy by eliminating double entry
One of the main causes of incorrect information is double entry. We integrate Premier Contact Point (our cloud contact centre solution) with your key business tools so one or more systems are kept consistent and up-to-date. This can include automated updating of systems such as CRM, ecommerce, business process, ticketing and accounting software to improve data accuracy and agent efficiency. Integration can be one-way or two-way, depending on your needs.
Reduce the time taken on post-call wrap administration
Post call, you need all the right information to be submitted by the agent before they take another call, but this can be time-consuming, and reduce productivity and motivation.
The process includes tasks such as entering disposition codes, updating databases, completing forms and sending emails.
An easy-to-use Wrap screen, which includes automated workflow elements, ensures none of the steps are missed, and reduces the time agents spend on this process – freeing them up to take and make more calls, emails and chats.
Keep key people informed
Effective contact centre management involves ensuring that the right people are notified of certain events. We help our clients to identify:
- the types of events which should trigger notifications
- who needs to be informed and what key information should be included in the notification
- how the event will be notified (email, dashboard, popup)
- what actions need to be taken to flag the event as resolved
This type of automated workflow gives team leaders and managers faster and wider visibility of important issues.
Planning and Developing Workflows
Developing automated workflows involves detailed mapping of business processes, and is most effective when key stakeholders are included in the planning stage, so all needs are considered.
Start with the end in mind
There are many workflows used in Contact Centres, and development of efficient automation starts with identifying the key objectives and strategies of each workflow. For example:
- Increase the use of self-service by providing a Visual IVR to mobile users
- Reduce call waiting times by encouraging call back
- Reduce average handling time by improving agent access to customer data
Identify the events
The next stage is to identify all the events, the options for each event, and the subsequent actions which will be automated. These could be events such as:
- An inbound call, email or chat request is received
- A self-service option is selected
- A call drops out
- A query is escalated
- An inbound call ends
- A note is created
- A contact record is created
- A contact record is updated
Develop the workflow
We help our customers by sharing details of best practice, and providing a structured framework to make planning, editing and implementation efficient.
For example, our colour coded drag-and-drop call flow designer makes it easy to construct the automated call flow, add decision points and actions, and ensure each element is in the right place. Elements are double-clicked to access the underlying functionality or files (recordings, voicemail, function code etc).
How many workflows can you automate?
The answer is endless. The only limit is your imagination.
Every business process has the potential to be automated. The question is – should it be?
Automating certain processes can help enhance the customer experience. But nothing beats caring and effective help from a real person, when it’s most needed. Get the balance right, and you will reap the benefits that come with a tribe of happy customers.