Good leaders must communicate a vision clearly, creatively, and continually. However, the vision doesn't come alive until the leader models it.

John C. Maxwell

Not just chatbots: Contact centre technology can support your humans too

 As digital technologies continue to transform our world it can be a challenge to keep up with the changing face of contact centre technology.  Every industry and business is adapting to new technology and the contact centre industry is no different. Contact centre software has made many processes redundant and artificial intelligence (AI) can even ‘replace’ some human consultant services. But while chatbots and virtual agents can provide a level of ‘self-service this hasn’t meant the end of human call center agents.

Customers want to hear real human voices, and if you’re dealing with a complex problem, then a chatbot isn’t going to resolve the issue or live up to customer expectations. This means contact centres will continue to employ people to deliver quality customer service. In Australia we’re seeing large retailers like Telstra move their contact centres onshore, which tells us that businesses are prioritising a high level of customer service and responding to consumer demand for human connection when interacting with a business.

While there are many tools that can lower your running costs, help customers answer their own queries, or reduce the risk of fraud (e.g., speech technologies), finding contact centre technology that supports and develops your human capital can be transformational too, and is often overlooked. Let’s look at three ways contact centre software can help.

Visibility

Whether your people are onshore or offshore, are you confident the people representing your business are consistently coached and developed? Trust in management and leaders is crucial and backing this up with visibility over the conversations leaders are having with their people and customers improves both the quality and the quantity of your people development activity.

Software that provides visibility over the conversations that leaders are having with their people and consultants are having with customers means you get the insight to make targeted micro-interventions where needed.

Visibility can also help with reporting. For heavily regulated businesses like finance, insurance and energy, contact centre technology that can report on your coaching audit trails can be a game-changer, helping to smoothly meet compliance and governance requirements.

Retention

Even if you have good visibility over people development activity, employee attrition in contact centres can be a significant problem, running up to 50% to 68% in some cases.

Improving employee experience outcomes in high-volume environments can seem like an impossible task: how do you find the time? Contact centre software that embeds development and learning through micro-coaching means that training won’t be forgotten and consultants will see that leaders are investing in them.

While a lack of people development opportunities isn’t the only driver of poor retention, it is one of the major reasons people cite when leaving a job. In fact, research suggests that up to 90% of employees will stay longer if they receive professional development and coaching.

Development provides a powerful way you can connect with your employees, helping them to achieve their goals too and daily check-ins, tracking and celebrating goals with your team is a proven way of lifting engagement.

It can cost more than 50% of an annual salary to replace an employee who leaves, making investing in software that improves retention a ‘no brainer’ because it will provide return on investment very quickly.

Capability

High turnover means you need to train your people ­– fast. Software that supports your leaders to focus on targeted outcomes and deliver on-the-job coaching for specific behaviours will mean you’ll be able to get people up to speed and continuously lift capability.

Embedding coaching in the day-to-day people development activity is a proven way of lifting performance. But it can be hard for leaders to find the time – daily reminders help build a cadence while tracking of goals keeps everyone accountable and focused on the outcomes they want to see. Even 5 minutes dedicated to coaching a day can make a huge difference.

So, when you’re considering the technological needs of your contact centre, consider how you can use software to improve the quality and the quantity of your people development activity.

For more tips on how to improve coaching in your contact centre check out our coaching resources.

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Find out how YakTrak can power your development and coaching activity