Jan 7, 2022
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The Contact Center Ghosts of Past, Present, and Future: Part 3

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By Steve Forcum, Sales Engineer, Chief Evangelist, and Podcast Host for Avaya
In the final part of this 3-part series we are visited by the Ghost of Contact Centers, Future. It is time to ask ourselves—what actionable insights can be realized and implemented?
The potential to deliver a win/win/win for all parties involved is achievable, and the Ghost of Contact Centers Future arrives to remind us of one more improvement to make. 
Dickens called Scrooge “a tight-fisted hand at the grindstone” – sound familiar? The statistics used by most contact centers focus on operational efficiency rather than the experience. How many calls were handled per hour? How quickly were the calls answered? Even more critical, how quickly did the agent disconnect with the caller, regardless of whether the caller’s issue was resolved or not? These statistics, and the insight gained from their use, come from a bygone era – one where the bulk of calls to a contact center were transactional in nature and measuring operational efficiency made sense. In essence, analytics were used to measure how many proverbial bales of hay your agents harvested during their day processing calls.
In today’s contact center, we now know calls are more unique and complex. This means  operational efficiency could matter less than customer satisfaction with the resolution. The question then becomes: Are your analytics still measuring the bales of hay, or are you measuring how many needles were found in the haystacks? 
Next generation analytics, such as Net Promoter Score or Customer Effort Score, which focus on the customer rather than operational statistics, can be leveraged to gain actionable insights into your customers’ experiences with your brand. These insights can guide not only customer service but the entire business to greater success.
What became of Ebenezer Scrooge at the end of his journey? “I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The spirits of all three shall strive within me,” he swore; “I will not shut out the lessons that they teach.” What call center lessons can your business put into practice? Place your customer’s experiences at the heart of any and all changes to operations. Deploy automation in a way that helps your customer achieve their objectives, not as one that gets in their way. Assist your employees with helping these customers in a more efficient way. Coach them to see that the contact center isn’t creating an army of evil robots that will take their jobs, but that instead, AI that helps make their jobs better. 
Understand that when an agent’s job becomes more efficient, it not only creates better customer outcomes while delivering operational efficiencies, it also increases the satisfaction they take in their work, so that they are more likely to stay. Happy customers + happy employees sound like a holiday recipe for a smooth – and profitable – end of year.
Consider once again the three ghosts that call upon Ebenezer Scrooge in the Charles Dickens’s classic, A Christmas Carol. Contact centers are being visited this Christmas season by the ghosts of the past, present, and future, giving them the insight they need to move forward toward a better tomorrow.
To learn more about automation and how Avaya can help, reach out to a sales representative today.

Steve Forcum, an Avaya sales engineer, can explain complex technology in simple terms. Forcum is a trusted advisor to many of the largest businesses in New England and beyond. He has developed a platform of engagement, interacting with customers, partners, and other followers on all forms of social media.
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