How do you create a call center work environment when agents are worried, tired and stressed? As the coronavirus chaos continues, many contact centers face little choice but to allow their employees to work from home. Yet, working remotely has many complications.
Overcoming security and privacy concerns and remaining compliant with governmental regulations requires call centers to walk a tightrope. They need to ensure agents have the tools they need while maintaining customer confidence. Not having the proper tools represents a serious blind spot for companies. Customer service automation addresses both call center and customer concerns.
How Self-Service Solutions Solve for Security & Compliance
First, let’s look at multi-channel digital self-service options.
Self-service solutions offer customers a higher level of security in various instances. For example, few people are comfortable giving out vital information, like credit card details, to a stranger on the phone. But, if they’re passing that information over an automated system, they’re less likely to balk. The automated system may come in the form of a web self-service experience, a voice assistant or a chatbot.
In a time when compliance is critical, adhering to applicable laws and regulations is vital. Automated self-service solutions ensure that businesses handle every transaction clearly and concisely.
The best way in which businesses can boost trust in customer engagement is by digitizing as much of it as possible now. This is why many banks in Asia had to accelerate their digital customer engagement initiatives during the pandemic as physical channels become less applicable and call centers less available.
A customer who is uncomfortable sharing credit card details over the phone (with an agent who is working from home) can now enter payment card information through a secure web page on their smartphone. It’s a hassle-free and secure interaction for both the customer and the agent.
Co-browsing, online document sharing, and video-based digital engagement while on a phone call are all ways in which call centers can boost customer trust. They can be confident their interactions are secure.
Businesses should also focus on omnichannel connectivity. Customers can authenticate in one channel and hop to another channel without having to repeat themselves. Having context and continuity reduces customer effort and encourages the adoption of digital channels.
Within the banking or insurance industries, for example, an automated customer interaction would also keep a record and audit trail, should any compliance issues be raised later.
An intelligent self-service solution can apply artificial intelligence and intuitive automation over web and speech modalities to complete the most complex transactions, like processing applications for payments, loan payment deferrals and claims, and other high-volume requests.
What does all this mean to the contact center whose employees are now sheltering in place?
- Improves resource management- Seasoned agents will pick up calls at any point where your customer diverts from the self-service journey while automation handles a large percentage of callers looking for basic information.
- Improves customer interaction- Regardless of where they sit, customer service representatives become collaborators. Automation provides the ability to exchange documents, share resource links, and chat in real-time.
- Always available- The beauty of automation is there’s 24/7 customer support. During times of high anxiety, customers need immediate access to information. You don’t have to worry about scheduling agents around the clock or for different time zones.
How Intelligent Agent Assistance Assures Privacy
If your agent is helping a customer, who is helping your agent? Besides managing high call volume from home, pain points they suffered while in the office haven’t gone away.
Intelligent virtual assistants can help your agents engage with the speaking interaction of your customers and offer help on the spot. Watching customer activity on the desktop and automating mundane tasks reduces errors, drives compliance, and saves handling time. This leaves the agent free to provide an empathetic customer experience.
These smart agent assistants are even capable of alerting external systems and logging activity when anomalies do occur during the customer/agent interaction. This offers real-time fraud prevention and detection capabilities. Besides logging information to external systems, smart RPA assistants can also prevent logging – pausing and resuming screen and voice recording. This way you don’t save sensitive info in such systems and then waste time and effort in redacting the same.
Customer Operations leaders may feel as though they've lost control over their clean desktop/clear screen policy. After all, their workforce went remote in mere days. They can't know if an agent inadvertently copied sensitive customer information.
Robotic process automation puts security and privacy controls in place regardless of whether agents use a virtualized environment to connect to business systems or connect their laptops from home using a VPN connection.
Note that RPA tools used for HR, Finance and IT functions may not be applicable for the RPA use cases and requirements coming from your front offices and contact centers. It’s important to match up the right RPA tool that drives automations and fulfills your operating constraints. Each contact center is unique in this regard, especially with a work-from-home workforce.
Security meets flexibility as tools allow a bot to safely and securely log agents into the required systems on each call. With this flexibility, contact center agents make fewer mistakes and fewer security violations.
Automating processes overcomes a huge security compliance issue. Our clients report stellar results:
- As much as 1.5 hours per day saved per agent in complex contact centers
- Increased employee engagement and satisfaction rates
- Reduce pre-shift task time by 80%
- 100% compliance with password security compliance
Technology Drives At-Home Workforce Adoption
Technology has ushered in newfound confidence in making homeworking a viable option for contact centers. Companies can now connect people to virtual private networks (VPNs) securely and for a low cost. Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) offers the ability to log into the required systems remotely with limited reliance on the remote computer’s operating speed and capacity.
And home networks, historically a challenge for remote connectivity, have improved in ways that simplify the IT burden. Encryption is becoming more standard, and it's easy for the user to check on and upgrade, when needed.
Because Jacada’s intelligent agents are deployed in the cloud or on-premise, your customers’ interactions are kept private.
Hidden Benefits of the #WFH Movement
Many qualified people view work-at-home positions as a benefit. Although the coronavirus crisis has turned our world upside down, the upside for contact centers may be in hiring and retaining a more qualified workforce.
According to Michele Rowan, President of Customer Contact Strategies, “...applicant pools are 200%-400% larger, qualifications are higher, and employee satisfaction and retention improve. There’s a 10-year track record of work-at-home results in the contact center environment. It’s become hard to ignore, even for those executives who personally don’t prefer or like the thought of a distributed work environment.”
The contact center has become one of the most productive organizations in the enterprise. And work-at-home agents are poised to shoulder the burden as this worldwide pandemic unfolds.
The good news is that customer service automation boosts customer trust, cuts costs, improves quality, and reduces compliance exposure.
Tune in to our on-demand webinar, Know Your Blind Spots. Deliver Consistent CX With Your #WFH Call Center.