5 Reasons for Inefficiency and Time Loss in Contact Centers
If you have ever doubted the importance of customer service to the success of your business, a recent pilot study may change your mind. It shows that 78% of customers permanently change their attitude towards a company after just one negative interaction with the contact center. This confirms what we already suspected:
- If everything runs seamlessly and customers receive exactly what they want, this strengthens their bond with the company enormously.
- If the experience is negative, e.g. if the customer has to wait or does not receive satisfactory assistance, you are very likely to lose them.
For this reason, the experience your customers have in direct contact with your company is decisive. Reason enough to pay even more attention to your contact center and the agents working there!
In this blog post, you will discover:
- Why working conditions can affect the performance of your employees
- The reasons for inefficiency and time loss in the contact center
- How intelligent technologies help your employees do an excellent job
1. High Time Pressure Increases the Error Rate
If a customer has an inquiry, they should receive an answer as soon as possible. It doesn’t take long for your customers to lose patience when it comes to waiting times. In an email, patience breaks after one hour, in a chat it only lasts a few seconds. Customer service employees are therefore measured primarily by their speed: how quickly they accept a ticket, how long a conversation takes to complete and how many inquiries they handle per time unit.
As a result, contact centers are often a hectic place to work. Agents try to stem the flood of tickets by multitasking. It is common to have many masks open at the same time during customer contact and to make the necessary entries and protocols.
However, stress and lack of time quickly lead to careless mistakes. Those who are urged to pay more attention to quantity rather than quality will hardly be able to conduct an empathetic conversation or absorb subtle nuances of the customer. But it is precisely this capacity for empathy that distinguishes people from their non-human colleagues such as chatbots.
2. Monotonous Work Routines Lead to a Drop in Performance
Numerous studies demonstrate that recurring work, which is therefore perceived as boring, is a psychological burden for employees. A lack of stimulation causes increased feelings of meaninglessness, powerlessness and aimlessness, while researchers have discovered this can have a physical impact too. Test subjects became tired, inattentive and showed slower reaction times.
Especially in the contact center, where questions and reasons for contact are largely always the same, monotony is inevitable. Significantly more than half of all inquiries are what we might call standard inquiries (“Where can I find my invoice?”).
Resolving these inquiries is no longer satisfactory after a very short time, which is why customer service employees often complain about the dilemma of having to remain highly focussed due to time constraints, while the actual work content is tediously banal.
3. Excessive Work Demands Cause Stress
In many contact centers, employees work in a strictly timed manner under permanent supervision and with deliberately ambitious, hardly achievable goals. This is the underlying reason for the enormous stress levels and high burnout rate in this sector. Performance and compliance are declining.
Many agents are psychologically at the brink of exhaustion and end up leaving customer service prematurely. In turn, a constantly changing workforce leads to inefficient processes and requires additional training time.
4. Precarious Working Hours Put a Strain on Employees
Nowadays, round-the-clock availability is considered standard and is a prerequisite for customers. In order to reflect this reality in contact centers, employees are often bound to inflexible shift schedules.
The varying shift patterns with strictly regulated breaks are perceived by many as physically and mentally draining. Contracts require agents to work longer and longer, while overtime is not uncommon. These conditions are far from ideal when it comes to ensuring successful customer service.
5. Insufficient Software Systems Cause Friction Losses
Another reason for poorly organized processes is often technically inadequate software. Conventional VoiP systems alone are no longer sufficient as they lack possibilities for cross-channel classification, internal control and automated processing of tickets.
Inadequate systems produce unnecessary errors. For example, if an inquiry ends up with the wrong employee, it will inevitably lead to inefficiencies:
A call or email must be forwarded, while a chat history has to be transferred. In the worst case, the inquiry cannot be processed. Both agents and customers lose time and become more stressed. What’s more, crucial information about the inquiry is often lost during these processes.
The first contact resolution rate, i.e. the percentage of tickets that are resolved upon first customer contact, suffers particularly because of this. This is rightly regarded in the industry as a vital indicator of customer service excellence.
The Solution? Opt for Quality and Efficiency
Your contact center agents face a variety of challenges every day. If these are not addressed, the performance of your customer service will diminish over time. Proactive action is required here.
“More of the same” probably describes the industry’s reaction to this problem. With tighter timeframes, targeted competition and longer shifts, managers tend to increase the pressure on their agents to perform better in order to achieve their targets.
This solution may potentially work in the short term, but even the best employee will reach their limit at some point. Once this happens, it seems like the only way of increasing the number of agents in the center is to invest more money.
Make a better choice as a responsible manager. Opt for more quality and efficiency in customer service by relieving your employees with AI-driven software that is able to qualify, assist and automate all at the same time.
Artificial Intelligence Increases Operational Efficiency in the Contact Center
- AI in the contact center optimizes all processes and thus has a positive impact on important KPIs such as response time, waiting time, productivity and service level.
- With the help of intelligent software, your agents have more time and a greater mental capacity to deal with particularly complex inquiries. Monotonous, recurring tasks are almost completely handled by the AI.
- AI-driven solutions are available at all times, reduce the workload during peak periods and can handle inquiries independently during the night. This solves the problem of unpleasant working hours.
- While employees work on maximizing customer satisfaction, the AI collects important information about the processes in the background and provides helpful evaluations. This way, employees no longer have a reason for error-intensive multitasking.
- Artificial intelligence reduces the ticket load by automatically answering numerous standard inquiries and formulating suggestions for further inquiries. As a result, employees feel less stressed and perform better overall.
- AI-driven omnichannel solutions pre-qualify customer inquiries and assign them to the most suitable agent who is currently available. This significantly reduces the first contact resolution rate.
In order to meet the increased demands of customer service, omnichannel systems with intelligent automation are needed. parlamind’s software is characterized by an accuracy in recognizing reasons for contact that is unmatched by the competition. As a result, inquiries are immediately put in the right place and can be resolved more quickly.
Ensure your customer service is well prepared for the demands of today and tomorrow with technical excellence made in Germany. We are happy to advise you personally on our software solutions.
parlamind is a Berlin-based start-up for Artificial Intelligence in Customer Service. The parlamind AI understands incoming messages from customers on a semantic level and thus determining intents, specific content and the mood of the customer in the message. Equipped with these skills, the AI engages in customer dialogue independently and quickly carries out the associated processes. Latest research results from the fields of computational linguistics and machine learning form the basis for the continuous further development of parlamind AI technology. parlamind has been part of the 4TechnologyGroup since July 2018. The 4TechnologyGroup is an association of technology companies from the communications and AI sector. Today companies worldwide in the industries of e-commerce, information and communication technology, energy management, logistics and financial services use parlamind’s AI solutions. More than 20 employees work continuously on the further development and marketing of this unique technology “Made in Germany”.
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