Flexibility is often an innocently misunderstood element in the contact center technology evaluation criteria. Afterall, unless you’re evaluating and implementing a wide-array of contact center technology as part of your everyday job, it’s just impossible to keep up with. But you can’t ignore this issue, or else you’ll be tearing apart and ripping out your new technology as quickly as you’ve put it in.
Seeing how solution providers are removing the unknowns and creating freedom for contact center technology decision makers can be much easier to access. I got a better understanding of how Twilio is addressing this when I met up with Al Cook at Customer Contact Week.
Here is an edited transcript of my interview with Al Cook:
Al Cook: Well, thanks Jim. The hump that we see is over and over again large enterprises really struggling to be able to customize their contact center to be able to do the integrations. With every single piece of back end information with a CRM and to be able to deploy the channels that they want and to be able to do all of that fast enough. Over and over again folks like ING Bank, folks like Liberty Mutual have just not been able to get that level of control they need from the typical contact center. And so, what we’ve done with Twilio Flex is we think of as an application platform so we can deploy out of the box.
You don’t have to write a single line of code. This is not a build versus buy decision, but you can change absolutely anything. You can change it down to the very kernel. There is not a single decision that I as a product manager have made that you cannot override, you cannot disagree with there’s nothing that you can’t tear apart and put together in different ways. So, you don’t have to be a developer but as and when you’re ready to make a change, you should never be waiting on a vendor’s road map.
You should never be waiting on the next release or campaigning for your request to get in. You always have controls to do whatever you want. And that’s how we get folks over the hump because that gives them that, they’re in control they have control over their own destiny and that’s what makes a difference.
Jim Rembach: Well, and when I start thinking about what you’re saying, I’m starting to think about how are we really talking about an impact to the agent and the contact center internally and then ultimately the impact the customer.
Al Cook: Yeah. I mean, I think this level of customization and integration is exactly what makes a difference to your point to both sides of this because–I sit with every customer we work with I go sit with their agents, with their supervisors and you see them furiously alt tabbing between 19 different interfaces or you had to separate out the work because there’s just too many windows for one agent to interact with. Whereas when you have complete control, when you’re not constrained by, well, this was how the product was designed 10 years ago and this is how it works and this is how it will forever work.
You can pull all of that information in and you can start doing things like ab testing, which is very hard to do on a sort of traditional contact center platform of saying, well, let’s figure out, let’s do some tests that’s find out what is going to make a difference for our agents. What is the most impactful, most actionable information we can put it in front of an agent? How do we get to next best action as fast as possible? And the same thing for supervisors. How do we surface what they need to be focusing on to help coach their team, to help quality manage their team? How do we get real time feedback to the agents so that you’re not looking at reports from an interaction from two weeks ago, you’re looking at something that happened right then, right now and actionable information.
And in turn all of that makes a huge difference to a customer journey and the experience that a customer can get. These are the things that folks have been trying to do for some time, but it’s just always been so hard to do, to bludgeon your contact center into submission. And we’re here to set that free and to give you a platform where you can do anything you want.
Jim Rembach: Well, okay, so as you’re talking, I’m starting to see and think about the word empowerment really. Right?
Al Cook: Exactly. Yeah. That’s exactly it. Yeah. I mean it’s empowerment at every level. It’s empowerment for the agent to have the capabilities they need. The supervisor to be able to give the feedback they need. But also for the operation side of the house, the business side of the house, who is typically asking the IT team, hey, we really love to deploy this new channel, we’d really love this feature. And the IT team typically had a really hard time being able to say yes to all of those requests because it involves upgrades or downtime or maintenance windows or licenses that you don’t have or the features is not available. And so they can’t say yes.
And so, we think of Twilio Flex’s flexibility because it’s flexibility for every single person. It’s empowerment for everyone. Everyone in this cycle gets to have the exact tools that they need.
Jim Rembach: Okay. So when I start thinking about the potential impact of having that empowerment, which I can totally understand and been there as far as not being able to have it, it’s kind of like we’d have to do it this way, like you were mentioning, because that’s the way it’s built. Right? And so, I start thinking about the impact of the front line supervisor because their role is so critical. So, how are you really making their life easier?
Al Cook: Yeah. Obviously our supervisor has all of the same capabilities that you’d expect to be able to monitor and view all of your different agents and invoke monitor whisper badge and give real time feedback. You can also get real time allotted if same keywords are said or same sentiment is detected and that can flag an interaction for feedback right there and then. But also the same level of programmability like particularly with flex, we tend to focus very much on the larger side of the enterprise.
So, 1000 to 30,000 type agents is typically our sweet spot. And again, levels of customization, how do I create my own exact perfect supervisor dashboard that is exactly what I want, both in terms of customizing the things that work out of the box in flex? And also being able to pull in all of the other scoring and metrics that you have typically scattered throughout multiple different silos and being able to pull all of that in. That level of customization makes a huge difference. And you know what, the bigger the company you are, the more agents you have, the more supervisors you have, the more important it is.
Jim Rembach: Al, how do folks learn more?
Al Cook: We’d love to talk to you. If you go to https://www.twilio.com/flex you can read all about it and get in touch, we’d love to talk and show you a demo.
Jim Rembach: Al, thanks for sharing your knowledge and wisdom and wish you the very best.
Al Cook: Thank you.
These Two Factors Make It Easy for Contact Center Chat – Click to Tweet
Stop bludgeoning your contact center into technology submission. – Click to Tweet
Contact center technology that creates empowerment at every level. – Click to Tweet
The contact center industry can seem very fragmented at times. One thing that we must remember is there are new contact centers being opened all of the time, and in a wide range of industries. When considering live chat the same thing is true. We have some new to supporting the chat channel and some experienced at chat. But success in both cases hinges on two key factors.
Jim Rembach: Hey, this is Jim at the Fast Leader Show and Call Center Coach and I’m here with Jeff Epstein of Comm100. Jeff, how do you help folks get over the hump?
Jeff Epstein: What we do with our platform, Jim, is we want to make sure we make it very easy to get into live chat, whether it’s your first time or you’re replacing a different system. There are two factors that play into that. One is the ability to get our platform onto your platform, whether it’s a website or a mobile app, very, very quickly, very painlessly from an IT perspective. The next one is, and this is the bigger challenge, is making your agents really comfortable with live chat. So the customer side are used to it, they’re texting and they’re messaging all day long. Agents are now getting into a new communication channel, a new way of conversing with their clients. We’ve built our console to make sure those agents can learn very, very quickly to get up to speed and get all the data they need to answer those questions that are coming in via live chat.
Jim Rembach: You and I had the opportunity to talk a little bit off mic before we started the interview. My question was–there’s a lot of different communication platforms that are out there and you said, well, we’re not omni-channel. What do you mean by that?
Jeff Epstein: Okay. So when you think of call centers, the traditional model is phone, where you had live phone calls coming in and then you had IVR, interactive voice, right? Where you—press one to do this, press two to do that, but more so where the trend is going in the future or the digital conversation channels that’s via website, via chat, via sms, via social media. Those digital channels are the channels that we specialize in.
Jim Rembach: Got It. So when I start thinking about your particular solution and how you were focusing in primarily on the digital piece and the whole training piece, I started thinking about the impact to the supervisor. So their role is critical. How are you making their life easier?
Jeff Epstein: Well, we have three core personas that we designed for this. Obviously, the visitor and the agent, but you’re right, the supervisor, the one who’s making decisions on agent deployment, on agent training, they need the data points to make sure that their agents are on company mission and are meeting the metrics that they put in place. So, into our system we’ve built a wide range of analytics and proof points that help them measure and track agent performance, things like average queue, time spent on a call, queue capacity. How many chats can a typical agent handle as they get more mature. And those data points are all converted into analytics that can help those supervisors plan for the future more effectively. Now it could come down to routing chats based on tenure and skill set, routing chats based on product line or based on seniority of that agent, the more the supervisor can do that, the more control they’ll have over that live chat experience and the more confidence they’ll have in their agents when they execute.
Taking place from July 7th through 27th, this event features a focus on frontline agent performance during the entire contact center agent life cycle. If you’re a solution provider that has solutions that are used on the frontline or improves the performance of the frontline, then I’d like to give you the opportunity to put forward your solution or case study to present at the event.
Along with its sister event, the Customer Experience Success Summit classified as the largest virtual customer experience event in the world, attendees can access all sessions on demand from the comfort of their own office or home.
80% of contact center agents leave because of their relationship with their immediate supervisor.
But with all relationships, it’s much better to give first – so that you shall receive. Follow these tips for building a better relationship with your Supervisor. She’ll likely love you for it!
Your Supervisor today is like that elementary school teacher that you are still in touch with and will most likely be in touch with for the rest of your life. While you might work for this person for a short time, maybe a year or less, you are building a relationship that has a much bigger picture.
You never know how that supervisor, that you see almost everyday, will impact your life. Who will they introduce you to? What opportunities might they guide you towards? You must have people in your life who can speak highly of you, talk about your professional capabilities, who can recommend you to others. Your supervisor can potentially be the person who has made the greatest positive impact in your life.
I’ve supervised in contact centers and been supervised myself and I’m still in touch with with some of them. I’m often asked for references, recommendations, or participating on calls on their behalf. And I’m happy to do it.
Here are some tips to help you show the love to your Supervisor:
1. Win the race
You can talk to any contact center supervisor and they will all say it’s a great feeling to see people coming to work on time and being ready to work at the scheduled time. Busy supervisors need people to rely on, to depend on. The more trust you generate with them, the more opportunities they will send your way. When you are a consistent face that your supervisor sees in the morning and can rely on, it’s a great thing.
2. Plant a seed
Your relationship with your Supervisor isn’t going to be the relationship you have with them a few years from now. But are you approaching it as something that can grow? When you work for someone the relationship has to be planted, fed, and attended to in order for it to bear any reward. Eventually, you will both move on, but did you do anything to help the relationship to survive? Do your best tending now.
3. Respect the difference
Some will be great and others not-so-great. It’s most often and a personality thing and what you can tolerate and accept. Just as some supervisors will notice some things about you and others will notice other things. Your personality can rub one supervisor the right way but another one another way. This is true in all aspects of our life.
4. Don’t let your Supervisor’s quirks taint you
The best thing you can do is be consistent in your words and actions. Even if you aren’t a person that experiences mood swings, you can’t change someone who is. Be aware of your Supervisor’s mood and then move on. The best thing you can do for your supervisor’s mood is act as you normally do. Be the consistent person they can rely on. You have no idea what kind of pressure they are dealing with.
5. Don’t wait to be recognized
Whenever people tell me they are waiting for recognition, it often feels immature and foolish to me as they describe. Having a need to have someone tell you that you are doing a good job reflects your ineffectiveness in communicating to find out what’s expected of you. If you don’t know what good looks like then what are you work towards each day? Some people get so falsely caught up in waiting for praise that they get frustrated when it don’t come around. Learn your expectations and role and be confident in your abilities. Your Supervisor does not read minds and expects you to do a good job and to do good work–that’s part of the employment agreement. If you’re not clear on what it’s supposed to look like, go seek clarity.
6. Be preemptive
Surprises for Supervisors are often not of the welcomed kind. Lighten their burden. Provide as much advance notice as possible when you are needing to make an adjustment to what is routine and accustomed. Time of, late arrival, early departure, medical procedures, family events can all cause your Supervisor lot of administrative and mental grief. Be a reliable, consistent, thoughtful, and considerate employee that’s going to remove burden, not add it.
7. Embrace their communication style
One of my children’s most frustrating teacher was due in part to their understanding everyone’s communication style. There are supervisors who explain everything flat out and there are those who don’t explain anything. There are supervisors who ask for something the day they want it and there are people who ask for things days in advance. There are some they tell you how to do it and there’s some that just ask you to get it done. There are some that are gentle and some that are harsh. There are some that sarcastic and some that are empathetic. It just takes some getting used to. It takes time to learn how everyone functions. When you start a new job, ask your supervisor boss about their communication style.
8. Don’t be their friend
They don’t need to know everything about you or your personal life. Unless your Supervisor sends you a friend request, don’t be Facebook friends. It’s okay to follow your Supervisor on Twitter or Instagram, but don;t be bummed if they don’t follow back. But if they block you…you might have a different issues to address.
There will come a time when something happens and you need to confront your Supervisor. But you should not look to pick a fight or be aiming for a confrontation every day. Some people start talking back and arguing with their supervisor and it just escalates. Always approach the situation with respect and you most often times get it in return.
11. Be ON their team
Let your Supervisor and your colleagues know that you are on their side. If you are ever in a situation where people are bad-mouthing your Supervisor, even your teammates, let them know that’s not acceptable. If it continues, let your Supervisor know. Nobody wants to be part of a disloyal bunch of bandits and you need to take the lead and squash that bad behavior. Adults want to work in a respectful and open environment and adults need to police the environment.
12. Turn out the lights
If your shifts align, never leave before your Supervisor. Just relax, organize your things, work ahead, or do training. You don’t want your Supervisor coming around your desk and seeing you on social media ever.
You want to do whatever you can to develop a solid, long-term relationship with your Supervisor. If nurtured properly, this relationship will last a lifetime and you will forever have them on your team. Many of my friends, peers, and colleagues take their former direct reports and supervisors along with them when they’ve found incredible opportunities.
So, show supervisors some love and get ready to be loved too.
I’m cursed. Are you? For years I fell into a trap that I see many in the contact center industry fall in to. It’s the trap of managing workflow for efficiency. I need to be careful not to manage queues of interactions because that’s how it’s always been done. My reality check is to remember, those are people in queue. Not efficiency metrics or channels to be managed.
But that feeling of people or channels (channel management versus customer experience) can be so hard when you’re focused on the workload and response time.
Here is an edited transcript of my interview with Alon Wolks:
Jim Rembach: Hey this is Jim the Fast Leader Show and Call Center Coach and I’m here at CCW with Alon Walks of Kustomer. Alon, how do you help folks get over the hump?
Alon Waks: The number one challenge that we have today is – people focused on channels, on tickets – and that’s not who I am.
I’m not “channel”. I’m not number 23762. I’m Alon. I’m a person.
Alon Waks: How do we help? We incorporate all the data in all the interactions into one place, so that the customer is now known as that entity versus the channel being the focus. Therefore, it’s a platform view that every agent can see the customer for the first time. Everything’s in one place, from orders, management issues, channels, emails, chat, returns, subscription, anything you need and want for B2B and B2C company.
And that way, we actually have been able to help companies become more customer centric by focusing on the customer and not the channel.
Jim Rembach: Yeah and so for me, the word that just comes to mind when I think about your solution is visibility.
Alon Waks: Correct, so visibility is all about seeing and understanding your customer. What we talk about a lot is you can know everything about every customer in order to drive personalized and effective communications at scale.
The only way that you’re able to get this visibility across is agents should be able to see everything in one place. So that it’s not just about that email, that chat and I don’t know which one it is.
Omni-channel is such an over-used term, but to really have true and precise omni-channel you need to know not just the channels but also the history of why this person reached out. Therefore, CRM approach to CX is the right way to do a modern service.
Jim Rembach: So that when I start thinking about this too, a lot of times we’ll think about customers channel hopping, right? So, with your platform, because you’re focusing on the customer. Then the channels essentially are how they’re engaging with you, you also can understand when and why they’re hopping?
Alon Waks: Correct, so not only can we track the history of that channel, or sometimes referred to here as customer journey, a journey is not everything. I’m a person – I take many journeys in life. I want to be able to make sure that a journey that may start on digital then escalates to voice and then three days later might come back in an email, is all connected again. Not to a ticket, but to a person.
It’s me. Look at me – I’m a person. It’s time that we get treated as people again. The only way to have people move between channels is what I call journey continuity. In order to drive the continuity, agents as well as people, should be able to move between channels.
The confusion of today is, omni-channel is not just on the customer side, omni-channel is also very important on the agent side. For example, if I ordered a meal and I want to change that meal when I’m on the way to pick it up, I want to be able to use SMS or text right now. But I ordered online. How is the agent responding to me in SMS and jumping the channel and not just me doing a different engagement? That’s the secret sauce.
Jim Rembach: That’s a really interesting point. Also, when I start thinking about this, I start thinking how it could impact the supervisor’s role, because it’s such a critical role in a contact center. So, how are you guys actually making their life easier?
Alon Waks: The supervisors are actually the heroes of the heroes. The agents are heroes and they are people that we need to empower. They usually get all the shouts and everything, because they’re the face of the company. Sometimes that’s not fair.
The supervisors have two great things that can work for them leveraging what we believe in our approaches. One is they’re able to use all the data in order to prioritize the right people at the right time to intervene and join the conversation – sometimes flagged by high scores of sentiment, high score of VIP status and a change in an event.
The second thing, is productivity. Whenever these changes of an event happen, they’re able to understand everything quickly. For example, if somebody wants to return an item, do you just help them return? Well, they came there for a reason, why don’t you help them replace and give them the right thing. That is actually the difference between a supervisor and an agent providing service and now they’re able to provide an experience because the know the full context of that return.
Jim Rembach: So Alon, how do folks learn more?
Alon Waks: Kustomer.com, the one place to know everything about your customers.
Jim Rembach: Alon, thank you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom and we wish you the very best.
Reality Check: Are your customers people or channels? – Click to Tweet
Remember, those are people in queue. Not efficiency metrics to be managed. – Click to Tweet
The number one challenge that we have today is – people focused on channels. – Click to Tweet
I’m not “channel”. I’m not number 23762. I’m a person. – Click to Tweet
Visibility is all about seeing and understanding your customer. – Click to Tweet
Some wars seem to rage on forever. Whether you’re fighting the battle to stop eating that dessert you love that’s bad for you, or you continuously battle a war with contact center agent performance, it’s time for you to enjoy the sweet taste of victory.
In more than twenty years in the contact center industry, improving agent performance has always been a major focus. I can’t remember at any point over that time when it was not included in reports that list executive top priorities. Leaders have been battling with this issue as long as I can remember.
What’s your focus?
As with solving for any problem we deal with, focus can be a significant problem. When you’re referring to agent performance, that can be referenced in numerous and very different categories – attendance, absenteeism, call metrics, sales metrics, customer satisfaction metrics, schedule adherence, utilization, customer satisfaction, tickets closed, first contact resolution, and so much more. And in contact centers they all need to be managed for success.
What I have witnessed, is that managing all of the complexity has more than quadrupled in the last 10 years. When I was managing in contact centers, we only had three channels to deal with – voice, email, and fax. Now, contact centers may have to manage those channels and social media, websites, text, SMS, chat, in app support, and video. All of this added complexity makes performance management very difficult and it’s not going to get easier.
All of this complexity screams for advances in process, technology and they way people are managed. The way contact center agent performance used to be managed can’t be the way we manage today or in the future.
But before you have a chance to declare victory in your battle to improve contact center agent performance, today and ongoing, is to arm yourself with a new set of knowledge and insight.
During this training webinar with Melissa she will answer:
How to engage and empower Agents to take independent action on their performance.
How to get Supervisors to focus in on the right team members, and the right opportunity, at the right time.
How to deliver Agents bite-sized, personalized training, when they need it and how they need it.
How to accurately identify which Supervisors are effective and which are not.
Melissa will share many of the secrets and pitfalls to avoid that she would share that enable her clients to improve contact center agent performance, regardless of the type of contact center or industry served.
You’ve got to deliver
The future of your success in contact centers and in your contact center is contingent on how you impact agent performance in ways that are both immediate and sustainable. And it doesn’t matter whether your agents are on-site, at-home, full-time, part-time, or temporary – you must deliver on performance.
Attend this webinar and receive a complimentary Bonus Pack of tools and learn how to manage your people to deliver significantly more consistency, efficiency, and results. And you’ll learn how to Supercharge it.
What’s in your Complimentary Bonus Pack?
4 Types of Behaviors: The Coach’s Preparation Checklist
The Coaching Conversation Tip Sheet – The A to Z of What to Say!
Coaching Remote Workers Tip Sheet
Coaching Top Performers Tip Sheet
Coaching Effectiveness Assessment
Spoils of War
Contact Center job seekers today are more attracted to opportunities for learning and development than any other aspect of a prospective job. This is perfectly understandable, since continuous learning is a key strategy for building a sustainable career.
While the tight labor market and difficulty with finding good candidates might seem like an effect of a strong economy, when things slow down, top candidates will still be in high demand as contact center complexity continues to rise. It’s those contact centers that are skilled at developing higher agent performance whose victory will reign over all.
Declaring Victory in the War on Contact Center Agent Performance – Click to Tweet
It’s time for you to enjoy the sweet taste of victory in managing contact center agent performance. – Click to Tweet
This added complexity makes contact center agent performance management very difficult. – Click to Tweet
Get the BONUS tools in the webinar titled: How to Supercharge Contact Center Agent Performance Onsite & @Home – Click to Tweet
Supervisor training with Call Center Coach’s virtual boot camps can take on a variety of developmental areas. A primary mission in modern learning is to disrupt the the old-school ways of training and provide ways for modern learners to be more engaged and to “do” new things, instead of just learning about it. Virtual boot camps provide a hands-on and action-based way for contact supervisor training to deliver greater value. Our newest boot camp is on contact center fitness.
“Contact Center Fitness Goes Beyond Metrics”
Working in contact centers can encourage some unhealthy lifestyles. Sitting for hours at a time and eating and drinking things that come from a machine will not positively impact your life. Ever. In this Call Center Coach Boot Camp we’ll cover several aspect of fitness which include, mind, body and motivation.
Each day, for 14 days virtual campers can access a new video in their Private Facebook Community with instructions and an opportunity to share their experience, learning, exercising, and to get motivated with other boot campers.
The entire Call Center Coach Boot Camp delivers a new challenge each day. The Contact Center Fitness Boot Camp challenges learners to do something new to create better mind, body, and motivation habits that help them to become better fit both mentally and physically, in themselves and others.
With social, mobile, virtual, on-demand, just-in-time, and real-time becoming all part of the modern learner experience, virtual boot camps are a core element in the disruption in contact center training.
Boot Camp Power Kit
As part of Call Center Coach’s blended learning, all campers receive a Boot Camp Power Kit which contains:
All boot camp material can be accessed at anytime over a 12-week period. Campers can either participate each day as new challenges go live or participate as their schedule allows.
Contact Center Supervisor Training – Virtual Boot Camp for Contact Center Fitness – Click to Tweet
Get fit in your contact center with a Virtual Boot Camp. – Click to Tweet
Call Center Coach opens its Contact Center Fitness Boot Camp – Click to Tweet
Do you remember that joyous feeling when the thing preventing you from having an easier life was removed? Can you remember what it feels like when the elephant that was sitting on your chest finally gets up? Have you ever experienced relief when that huge barrier preventing you from being more customer centric was finally removed?
The irony of many legacy contact center communication platforms that are being used to serve customers often prevent you from doing it effectively. Most of these platforms were primarily built from voice being the foundation and then as channels grew, they were merely added onto the voice channel versus being merged with voice from a workflow and queuing perspective.
When all of your different channels act as silos of interactions versus unique customers needing to be served regardless of their communication channel, it prohibits you from being customer centric. By default, you end up being more process focused. You focus on volume and queues by interaction type instead of customers needing to be served.
But that feeling of an easier life and that elephant getting off your chest just might be what happens to you when you learn about the Single Waiting Room from Zailab. The Single Waiting room is a pool of interactions regardless of the channel that allows you to move the most important interactions or customers to the front of the line based on rules you help to define, while machine learning ensures best agent fit.
Here is an edited transcript of my interview with Nour Addine:
Jim Rembach: This is Jim with the Fast Leader Show and Call Center Coach and I’m at CCW with Nour Addine Ayyoub of Zialab. Nour Addine, how do you help folks get over the hump?
Nour Addine Ayyoub: Okay So, the one thing that you want to create is a really great software that is accessible to everyone. And what I mean when it’s accessible to everyone firstly, we wanted to make sure that you can actually get your contact center going within a couple of minutes. Which is one of the first. Secondly, we don’t want to charge you a user license or an initiation fee or an upfront fee, in fact we only want to you charge you when you actually use the software.
It’s truly a consumption-based model very similar to the way did you pay for electricity, etcetera. Also, what you wanted to create is as self-manage contact center with a very strong artificial intelligence component into it. Which, helps you to achieve higher customer satisfaction and positive outcomes in the means that it actually connects the customer to the right agents and so many more things.
Jim Rembach: Okay, so now for me one of the things I found very interesting is when you start looking at the traditional queuing models that we have for customer interactions we’re essentially just putting them in a funnel, right? You know, first in, first out type of scenario. But you guys are doing something quite uniquely different with a hold room or something, tell me about that.
Nour Addine Ayyoub: Fantastic, Okay I’m actually glad you’re asking that question. So, we’ve got this concept, it’s called a single waiting room. The problem with queues is that we’re actually separating different functions within your organization. It’s almost like different islands.
So, we’ve got this single waiting room where all your interactions actually come together regardless of what channel it is – it’s email, text, social media, voice and then in that single waiting room we start doing two things. Firstly, we prioritize each of these interactions making sure that the interaction with it with the highest business value is actually treated first. So, we re-prioritize things regardless of which one came in first or second. Secondly, because of this single waiting room, our artificial intelligence can start interrogating each interaction to determine which agent is actually best-fitted for that specific job.
Jim Rembach: One of the things that you had mentioned too is talking about coming to America and North America and it being different to doing business here than it maybe in other areas or parts of the world. Because you’ve been around for a while. So, what makes this particular market so different than the rest?
Nour Addine Ayyoub: Okay, I think the first thing you know, the United States market is a huge market, right. It’s also not an easy market to penetrate because there’s a lot of great companies here. So, that’s the first thing, but once you cracked it, that’s the beauty of the United States. Once you crack it, you actually do quite well from a business perspective. So, from a Zialab perspective we are just doing the steps inch-by-inch until we get there. But the things are looking quite good and is it just helps to have a good a good product.
Nour Addine Ayyoub: I think that we need to change the status quo firstly. I think the contact center have been managed in a specific way for the last decades, very similar in the same way. But, since the introduction of artificial intelligence, we are trying to resolve the basic stuff first. There’s a lot of hype around artificial intelligence, about self-servicing etcetera, etcetera. We don’t follow hype.
What we’re saying is, let’s first sort out the routing. Matching the customer to the right agent, which we’ve done. Then the next thing is about, how can we actually make sure that each agent is performing very well.
The one thing that we just launched actually today here at CCW is basically, we’re doing quality assurance in real-time. Meaning, we don’t need human beings to do that. Software is actually performing, making sure that the agent is greeting, doing all the necessary stuff. To make sure that he’s performing according to the rules of the company. On top of that, you also start looking at moods, in a sense, is the customer happy or unhappy. In the case he’s unhappy, that’s how a supervisor can be alerted and actually can start jumping into the conversation.
The usual technology, which happens after-the-fact when you start running reports, but then it’s already too late. So, we’re trying to make the supervisor work as easy as possible. And we also want to make sure that the supervisor can actually start working with agents which are situated anywhere in the country, so not necessarily on the same floor. But before that, you really need to have some strong artificial intelligence and systems that can handle that.
Jim Rembach: So, Nour Addine, how to folks are more?
Nour Addine Ayyoub: That’s very simply go to www.zailab.com, there’s also a section called Zai News and you can find a lot of stuff about us.
Jim Rembach: Thanks for sharing your knowledge and wisdom and we wish you the very best.
Contact Center Technology Finally Enables You to Be Customer Centric – Click to Tweet
Many legacy contact center communication platforms prevent you from serving customers effectively. –Click to Tweet
When your different channels act as silos of interactions versus unique customers needing to be served, it prohibits you from being customer centric. –Click to Tweet
We need to change the status quo. Contact centers have been managed in a specific way for the last decades. –Click to Tweet
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Regardless of the economic cycle, turnover can be a problem for a lot of contact centers. Whether it’s just retaining any person to be in your contact center or just those high performers. Turnover is something that all of us need to do a better job of managing, but how do you do that?
One of the ways that you can do that is by focusing in on what’s causing agent to stay. It’s too easy to focus in on why they’re actually leaving and you may have more opportunity to retain more by focusing in on why they’re staying.
If a contact center focuses on understanding why their contact center agents stay, then they can act to reinforce the right reasons, nurture and develop the right reasons and stop reinforcing the wrong reasons. In other words, they can take a positive approach to managing retention, which is most definitely more effective over the long run than the typical and common negative approach of simply focusing in on why agents are leaving and “reducing turnover”. It’s significantly healthier to focus on “increase retention”.
Penny Reynolds: I think it’s also interesting to look at why people stay. We don’t always want to look at the negative side. So, when you do similar studies of people that are in this position, they’re in the job and they’re doing it well and they’re happy, they come to work every day and things just work. Why are they staying?
If you look at this list:
you’re not seeing compensation on the list. Many people that are finding fulfillment and they like working in contact centers. In many cases it’s not because, oh my God they’re making so much money they couldn’t possibly dream of doing anything else.
So, money is there but it’s not the most rewarding thing about why I like this job – why I’m staying. Why they stay? It’s I’m just good doing this kind of work. I like doing this. Motivation and job fit, the number one reason people leave and the number one reason they stay. So, that’s one reason.
It’s really important that we also spend a lot of time getting the right people in the role in the first place. We can save ourselves a lot of time and money and everything down the road if we get that part right. And that’s true for the frontline agents, it’s also true for supervisors.
Why they stay? They feel empowered – they’re getting trained – they’re getting developed – there’s a career path – they’re being recognized for their work.