Saturday, 17 January 2015

Meeting customers tomorrow's expectations today

We all know the Contact Centre is evolving, there are already multiple channels available for a customer to communicate; Telephony, Email, Paper, Live Chat, Social Media, SmartPhone, Video, and Fax (no kidding the Fax is not yet dead) to name a few of the main ones. Couple this complex operating models facilitated by technology such as  Multi-channel Desktop, Queue Buster, next generation reporting, Call Flow Analytics, and Speech analytic's (again to name only a very few) and this all makes for a complex world for a planner to operate in and ensure the old age mantra of delivering;

“The art of having the right number of correctly trained and skilled staff, in the right place and at the right time, with the right supporting resources, to handle an accurately forecasted workload at service level and with quality”

 I don't have all the answers, but I do know firstly that Technology is big driver of change in any industry, and secondarily that the Workforce planner who looks ahead knows what direction to start evolving the planning process to meet future demand after all as it was said best;

Alice: ’Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?’
‘That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,’ said the Cat.
‘I don’t much care where-’ said Alice.
‘Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,’ said the Cat.
Last year I  attended a workshop hosted by Avaya, and I would like to share some of learnings I took.

Firstly there is now no predominate channel, based on data taken from Webtorials editorial/analyst division on responses of preferred channel, and it is clear that there is shift to non traditional channels such as social media and chat. 




Customers typically use multiple Touchpoints in a single Customer Journey.
Source: Forrester Research inc


However, whatever the channel a customer chooses, regardless of customer journey point and multiple touchpoints the business challenge is to ensure a consistent and seamless customer experience is delivered whilst taking into account how the supply chain/business applications/business processes/enterprise resources align to influence customer interaction, customer experience and the channels customers want to use.

From a workforce planning perspective it means taking the above into account and thinking of the contact centre as an ecosystem rather than a collection of channels, it means evolving new process in workload forecasting to meet multi channel and multi touchpoints, agent scheduling, as well as ensuring people/process/technology remains aligned to deliver the mantra above.