Embracing change is not something that most of us do with ease, particularly when it comes to new technology. Have you ever experienced resistance from members of your contact centre team when new technology is implemented?
Whilst you know that the right technology will increase productivity, improve workflows and reduce costs – not all contact centre staff have this point of view.
It’s important for your management team to understand and address any potential negative aspects of automation from the agent’s perspective, if you want them to welcome and embrace the change.
We’ve had many years’ experience assisting Contact Centres with the change management process involved with implementing our cloud contact centre technology – Premier Contact Point.
Here’s several typical issues which we have come across, and how to get your team on board with these automation features.
1. Get acceptance for skill-based routing
Skills based routing (SBR) directs calls to the next available agent who has the appropriate skill set. The benefits of SBR are that callers generally experience shorter wait times and faster resolution of their issues, thus reducing average handling time. It also has a positive impact on agents as they achieve a higher success rate for handled inquiries.
The success of SBR relies on the rules being set up correctly. There is the risk that some agents may be much busier than other agents. For example: if calls are routed to agents with the highest customer satisfaction results, those agents will get more calls than agents who have lower satisfaction results. Both the busy and not so busy agents can get disgruntled with the imbalance.
Monitoring call routing traffic and results will enable you to identify bottlenecks and pinpoint staff training and upskilling opportunities.
2. Remove resistance to quality recording software
Our advanced call recording software allows supervisors to listen to select calls and provide feedback to agents regarding their performance.
This feedback is important for continuous improvement, because it helps improve an agent’s ability to provide accurate answers and communicate more effectively with customers. The resulting improvement in performance also has a positive impact on the agents.
However, some agents may feel like they are being watched by Big Brother, and if the feedback is not presented in a constructive manner, it may be perceived as “gotcha” technology.
It’s important to be crystal clear about the Quality Assurance and training benefits of the recordings, and conduct spot checks to ensure that the recordings are being effectively used to train staff, not demotivate them.
3. Sell the benefits for all of the Workforce Management system
Our Workforce Management (WFM) software provides multiple methods to forecast workloads and staff requirements, so you achieve maximum utilisation of available resources. It also facilitates roster management, adherence and performance management, quality monitoring and coaching identification.
Agents are more engaged and happier when they’re working the shifts they prefer, when they have the knowledge to resolve customer queries the first time, and when they’re busy – but not frantic. WFM software also has a positive impact for agents because, when it develops schedules, all the agents should have a similar level of utilisation.
Resistance to Workforce Management software can happen when agents realise they may have to work shifts that are not preferable.
What we recommend is that you show your support for your agents’ well-being and lifestyle by allowing them to participate in the scheduling and time management process using the holiday and schedule bidding functions so they can bid for the times that they want – and don’t want. When they realise that all team members are using the automated bidding function and that there’s no possibility of “favouritism”, then you’ll find that they will welcome the Workforce Management system.
4. Demonstrate the power and efficiency of integration
To achieve first call resolution as often as possible, your agents need access to key information, quickly and effortlessly. We integrate Premier Contact Point with our clients back office CRM, ERP and other systems so that agents are presented with the info they need, quickly and seamlessly. No longer do they need to switch backwards and forwards between multiple windows and wait for data to sync, or worse – have to transfer the caller through to another agent.
One of agent’s biggest initial fears when it comes to technological change, is that it may be complicated to use and therefore take them longer to manage each call.
Assuring them that the new technology will be better is not enough. The most powerful thing you can do to overcome this fear is to demonstrate the integrated agent desktop and show them how much quicker and easier it is to see and update customer details – all within the one window. Encourage the biggest sceptics try it out for themselves, and experience it – they will soon be convinced that the integrated desktop is faster and very easy to use, and may well become your new advocates and help influence others to embrace the change.
Fast Tracking the Buy In Process
Successful implementation of new technology requires buy-in from all stakeholders, particularly from the people who will be using it the most – your agents.
You can count on facing a certain number of luddites, people who aren’t naturally tech-savvy, and naysayers whose knee-jerk reaction is to oppose new things. If you can’t convert them quickly, then target the influencers – the people within your team that most agents listen to.
- Overlook the importance of getting your most influential employees on board early in the process; they will help you bring others around
- Implement and forget. Some people will need a little more help, (and perhaps for a little longer) when it comes to being comfortable and proficient with the new system. This is normal when it comes to implementing new technology.
- Win hearts and minds by emphasising how the new contact centre technology will benefit the organisation and makes everyone’s lives easier – particularly agents.
- Provide customised training before the system goes live so that they get used to it quickly.
- Share weekly updates on the numbers so everyone can see the benefits the upgrade has helped bring about.