Process control and automation technologies are coming to the fore as contact centres strive to boost their customer experience.
As with any tech-based solution, contact centre technologies are constantly changing. But technology isn’t an end in itself. At Premier Contact Point, it’s our job to keep up with emerging contact centre technologies, and their implications for those of you who are on the front lines of the customer experience.
One “technology” that is starting to make itself known in the contact centre industry is process control. While technically, it’s not a new approach – the manufacturing industry has been using it for decades – it is a new idea where contact centres are concerned. The manufacturing sector started the ball rolling by reviewing it’s own approach to process control, leveraging the benefits of “…Big Data, advanced analytics, and AI…” to shift its focus “…from mass-production to mass-customisation”, according to Ireland-based telecommunications tech firm, Spearline.
The implications for the contact centre industry are clear: it’s an opportunity to create a means of delivering a truly personalised customer experience.
Customer expectations have changed dramatically in a few short years. Today, many expect to be able to quickly and easily access their own customer accounts online, and most of them are doing that from mobile devices. Once in, they want to complete their business and exit the system in a matter of minutes. If they have to interact with your agents over the phone, or through online chat, they expect a fast resolution with a high standard of professionalism. But wait, there’s more…
Keeping pace with customer expectations
Your customers’ expectations are still growing. They want a more personalised experience when they interact with you, and in real-time. This is where emerging technologies like automation and AI come in, and where you really need to nail process control.
With process automation technologies, you can define and refine your processes, streamlining contact centre workflows and virtually eliminate human error from repetitive (not to mention boring) tasks. This means faster resolutions for simpler requests, and freeing up your agents to handle more challenging, high-value tasks.
There are two main types of process automation technology: one requiring some human input, the other being fully automated (also called robotic process automation, or RPA). Both types integrate to support your back office and active agent functions, depending on how you define the process up front.
In a contact centre context, process automations can take over:
- routine desktop activities, like template auto-fills, field entry and calculations, and integration with CRM, billing or cross-application tasks
- some forms of customer communications, for example, what information they need to provide, and what stage their query is at
- real-time performance feedback to contact centre agents, supervisors and managers.
Garbage In, Garbage Out
The old computing axiom – also known as GIGO – applies no less to process control and automation. Your end results will only be as good as the processes you develop in the first place, and what you choose to automate. You still need to review and refine your automatic processes regularly, just as you do for your regular operations.