- The ubiquitous nature of tablets and smartphones, coupled with the breadth of network access now made available via private and public clouds are making these endpoints valuable tools in managing systems and business processes remotely.
- Changes in the contact center are occurring rapidly based on new and advanced technologies and the supervisory role of the management team will be affected positively as the use of tablets and smartphones allow supervisors to manage agents and processes more effectively, while roaming inside or outside the enterprise.
In my two previous contact center mobility blogs, I discussed making agents mobile by sending them home and providing a seamless customer experience via a smartphone. Recently while walking the aisles of the Enterprise Connect 2013 exposition this year something got my attention very quickly. Smartphones and tablets were everywhere and their use is transitioning from being a personal communication endpoint to a tool that can be used to simplify and enhance the user interface for demonstration and management purposes. A specific example of a contact center company making this transition is Voice4Net, a provider interactive voice response (IVR) and contact center applications for the enterprise, The company was introducing its new contact center management interface based on the iPad, to be used by contact center supervisors working remotely. The time to mobilize the contact center management team is now upon us.
The Voice4Net solution, which is the first introduction of this approach I have seen, allows an iPad or smartphone to act as a business dashboard for a supervisor responsible for dozens of contact center agents in a multichannel environment. It enables him or her to keep track of critical customer service key performance indicators (KPIs), such as average time to answer, average hold time, revenue per minute and percent of abandoned calls. Until recently these metrics could only be tracked by supervisors sitting at their desks working on supervisory desktops that left them little time to roam the center, manage agents in real-time and catch issues before they became major problems. If they had to leave their fixed desk positions, the only option would be to look at summary historical reports in non-real-time when they returned to their supervisory desktop position to see how things were trending. Because of the new tablet and smartphone supervisory endpoints acting as contact center monitors, supervisors can now carry important analytical information with them, monitor critical KPIs in real-time and catch system alarms to avoid problems while roaming around the center, attending a management meeting, or sitting in the cafeteria having lunch, via WIFI while on premise or via a public cloud with internet access when offsite. Voice4Net has a solution that is initiating a trend we will see expanding across the offerings of other companies.
Now supervisors can set alarms for critical KPIs, monitor agent efficiency, customer satisfaction, adjust call flows locally and reroute calls between locations based on the needs of the organization, and do it very effectively in virtual real-time, quickly and efficiently. Issues can be avoided instead of corrected and supervisors will have the ability to update senior management of customer care situations and trends at a moment’s notice with up-to-date information regarding multiple contact center channels including voice, text, e-mail and even newer information sources such as social media channels. In extreme cases a supervisor may even chose to text an agent or to jump on a voice call to take it in a different direction in order optimize customer satisfaction. The contact center has changed dramatically over the past decade and now mobility is taking it to the next level.