As you know, CCW is one of Europe’s largest events that focus on the Call- and Contact Center industry. The fair is not only a good place to meet customers, prospects and partners, it’s also a good place to learn about the hottest trends in the market.
Developing your employees should be seen as an investment, not a cost. There’s a clear correlation between agents confident agents and happy customers. Well trained agents will be able to solve issues faster, increase your first time resolution rates or hit rates if you’re doing sales.
Good Employee Experience = Delightful Customer Experience.
Learning should be facilitated by the work environment. Encourage experimentation, being curious and fearless. However, remember that learning should not happen on the customers time, but just before it (Just in Time Learning).
Technology can only get you so far, the best call centers also have the best, most confident, employees.
As John Connors from eGain said: “AI is going through its third hype cycle.” This was evident at CCW this year, with plenty of talks centered around the topic. What’s clear though, is that AI focuses more and more on creating real business value, instead of just hype. That being said, AI has most to give in simple customer interactions, where contextual understanding is not required and empathy is not needed.
Before you jump onboard the AI train, think about the business value of it; what problems will you be able to solve and what are the risks. There are several examples of AI failing to create real value.
Technically it might be wrong to separate AI and bots. Bots are really nothing without AI powering them. Bots were already a hot topic last year, but this year most presenters focused more on best practices and case studies. Plenty of examples were given of successful implementation (like handling spikes to supporting self-service platforms), as well as warnings of what might go wrong (think Tay from Microsoft).
There was still the ongoing discussion of bots will kill contact centers or not, but generally it seemed like the consensus was that both humans and bots are needed.
There also seems to be a division between our opinions on how comfortable customers are with dealing with bots. However, there seems to be a clear correlation between age, where the younger generation are more comfortable interacting with bots. It’s important
some contact centers seem to be saving huge amounts of money by letting their agents work from home, reducing both the need of office space, travel and maintenance. If you’re using a cloud based call center software, your managers will still be able to monitor the results without losing on any of the security.