Contact Center Solutions Featured Article

Unified Communications Can Drive Ultimate Contact Center Efficiency

January 08, 2009

Customer satisfaction should be the name of the game where contact centers are concerned. The problem is that some centers are not keeping up-to-date on technologies that could optimize their performance and the customer base is noticing. Whether the lack of technology is due to lack of knowledge or finances, the contact center must figure out a way to make a change or risk significant customer churn.

One concept in technology that is making waves in the contact center industry is that of Unified Communications (News - Alert) (UC). While UC is not a technology in and of itself, it is instead a concept of bringing together channels of communication to ensure customers can reach the right person at the right time.

Research conducted by Leo J. Shapiro and Associates, LLC, found that a consumer who is satisfied overall is four times more likely to conduct future business with a company. The firm also determined that nearly 75 percent of consumers who have had a bad experience report that they will do less business with a company.

According to An Evaluative Report on the Knowledge Worker’s Role in the Contact Center, approximately 10 percent of all calls handled by a company’s contact center require expertise from a knowledge worker outside of the contact center. As a result, streamlining customer-facing processes across the enterprise can make knowledge workers more accessible to customers while also accelerating their responsiveness to the needs of the customer.

When UC is in place within the contact center, a specialized inquiry can be handled properly. The agent has the power to quickly locate the appropriate subject matter expert, gather information about their availability and secure the answer to the customer’s question all within a matter of minutes, hopefully within the same interaction. UC also makes it possible for the agent to pass the call to the correct resource when and if necessary.

When properly mixed and implemented for the contact center, Unified Communications can deliver significant benefits, including decreasing hold times, increasing first-call resolution rates, and enhancing employee satisfaction. Each of these areas has been identified as areas that are proven to enhance the customer experience and win customer loyalty.

As the global economic situation continues on a downward slump, companies are under increasing pressure to deliver customer satisfaction on a shoestring budget. To do so, their contact centers must be as efficient in their processes as possible. For many, technologies that make UC possible are already in place, they just need to learn how to maximize the performance to gain the greatest benefits.

Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for eastbiz.com. To read more of Susan's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by
Jessica Kostek

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