The Trifecta of Service Excellence and the Agent’s Reality

Hiscall partners with NICE inContact to solve their customer experience goals.  These businesses often face high-volume or high-complexity engagement models that involve the configuration and routing of contacts to agents.

What is a “contact”, really?

The traditional example is an inbound phone call.  But in today’s digital-first world, that definition also includes combinations of Chat, SMS, Email, and various digital engagement channels like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, etc.  In addition, companies frequently need to intelligently route other interaction points such as web form submissions, CRM case objects, tech support tickets, etc.  For optimal customer experiences and operational efficiency, businesses need all these contact methods available in a single engagement.

What is interesting about the latest contact types is that they rely heavily on the system of record.  This is typically some type of Customer Relationship Management (CRM), i.e. a ticketing or case system.  Essentially, we point the agent to the proper record in that system.  Why do businesses ask us to do this?  The reason can be summed up like this:

  1. Businesses need to provide the best possible experience for agents which includes blending contact types seamlessly with others (voice, chat, SMS, etc.) and providing easy access to the right tools and information.
  2. Businesses need to enable sophisticated, sometimes quite complex, routing because the system of record typically treats contacts in a simple fashion such as “first in, first out” lists, which typically don’t meet the needs of most contact centers that strive for excellence in customer experience.
  3. Supervisors need visibility to the contact center and customer journey through real-time dashboards, reporting, and standard metrics
  4. Agents rely on workforce optimization tools (Workforce & Quality Management for example) to run an efficient contact center; they need all contact types to be included.

Trifecta of Service Excellence

Depending on what you do for a living you may have never thought about a contact center agent’s day-to-day experience. A typical agent is using some combination of a Unified Communication (UC) platform, an omnichannel contact center product and a system of record (your source for customer information – most commonly a CRM).

These three systems make up the “Trifecta of Service Excellence” for voice communication. Not having some form of these three systems can negatively impact a business’s ability to deliver positive customer experiences.

Methods for handling the CRM – Omnichannel Agent Experience

We provide three methods for solving the agent-experience challenge of using these two systems (Omnichannel platform and the CRM).

  • Side-by-Side – This method allows systems that cannot integrate directly to work with each other on the agent desktop.  These systems to work together through things like “CTI” (Computer Telephone Interface) and “Screen Pop.”
  • Embedded – This method requires design of CRM-specific user experiences and is heavily dependent on the expandability of the CRM.
  • Single Pane of Glass – This method requires a dedicated application for the agent that combines CRM data with Omnichannel and usually Unified Communications.  The key to this type of agent experience is that all the integrations are happening behind the scenes. It’s like magic.  The agent works in one tailored experience allowing him/her to focus on the customer rather than switching between applications.  This is common if the business requires the use of multiple systems of record (CRM, ERP, Ticketing, etc.)

There is no single, best way to solve the complexity of the agent experience.  It is entirely dependent on the reality of the agent’s environment and how the customer experience journey is designed.

Most agent experience challenges can be resolved with any of these methods.  In larger organizations, it is not uncommon to find the need to use a combination of these.

Adapted Source: NICE InContact

Written by: Tim Harris | NICEinContact