Contact Center Solutions Featured Article

The Unified Agent Desktop: An Important Tool for Achieving First-Call Resolution

November 27, 2013

Globally, customers have a few things in common. For starters, they are increasingly unwilling to wait very long for service. Next, they value transactions that are easy. Third, they want the same quality of service regardless of channel. Finally, they expect a knowledgeable and helpful agent on the other end of the transaction.

While once customers may have had a little patience for less-than-perfect service, increasingly, that is no longer the case. A recent Accenture study of 13.000 customers in 32 countries found that the number of customers switching due to poor service has, from 2011 to 2012, increased four percent, from 62 percent to 66 percent. Eighty-two percent of those customers who switched said companies could have done something to retain them: primarily by providing first-contact resolution.

First contact resolution (FCR) is the “Holy Grail” of metrics for forward-thinking contact centers today, but it remains a challenge when many of today’s contact centers still use multiple loosely- linked applications that are a challenge for agents to navigate while trying to successfully manage interactions with customers.

The below infographic published by Altitude Software highlights why multimedia desktop applications that empower agents to process business tasks, using multiple applications, while controlling all media, are a powerful tool to increase customer retention and boost customer engagement. A truly multimedia desktop puts the entire customer history in one place for the agent to see and understand, leading to a better chance that the agent will have enough data to bring the issue to a close in a single transaction. The unified agent desktop handles all interactions regardless of media type, integrates all applications into a single interface and reduces barriers to providing the best quality customer service.

While this all seems ideal for attaining the goals of a modern contact center, a truly multimedia agent desktop is still not widely adopted by a majority of contact centers, who may be wedded to legacy systems, unsure of how to integrate existing systems into a new solution, or simply unwilling to spend any new capital.

The costs of NOT moving to a unified agent desktop, however, are astronomical, as research has found. According to the infographic, 85 percent of contact centers using a unified desktop have improved the customer experience. On average, these companies have seen a 40 percent improvement on agent scoring by the customer, an 18 percent decrease in average handle time, a 17 percent improvement in agent daily closure rate, and a 72 percent increase in the all-important first contact resolution. They have also seen a decrease in the amount of training agents require, fewer data entry errors plus more empowered agents who are better positioned to upsell and cross-sell, boosting revenue.

If you hope your agents will succeed in providing the best possible service to your customers, it’s critical to give them the right tools. This starts with a 360-degree view of the customer. 

Edited by Stefania Viscusi