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How to improve contact center efficiency -- without stepping on toes

Stuck in the "that’s the way we’ve always done it" trap at your contact center? Lori Bocklund has the answers to help you optimize your processes and improve contact center efficiency.

At my company, we have lots of business processes that seem to be the way they are because “that’s the way we’ve always done it.” I’m relatively new here and see all the issues these processes create. How do we go about addressing the mountain of changes that need to be made and avoiding stepping on people’s toes?

Most contact centers were not built with all the applications you would ever need, ready to scale with you. Rather, the applications were added as needed to respond to changing requirements. Your experience is quite common: less than ideal application integration and a re-creation of the old processes with new technology. Manual processes often bridge the gaps created by integration and process shortfalls at the desktop and at the “border crossing” as work moves out of the center across the organization. It is not efficient, effective, or scalable. You are right to question the status quo; your contact center processes offer a lot of opportunity for efficiency and service improvements.

To improve contact center efficiency, put together a cross-functional process optimization team. That way everyone with toes that could potential get stepped on will be part of the improvement process. Make sure you include IT as they can be invaluable in defining the problem and will definitely be part of the solution.

Start small in your process optimization initiatives. Focus on the desktop first. It provides some quick wins for most organizations. Talk to your agents. They’ll have great ideas on where to start. When you have had some initial success, look at end-to-end processes -- the work that flows from the contact center to other parts of the organization. Pick the most common, cumbersome, error-prone workflows. I’ll bet your team will identify the trouble spots readily. Before you know it, your customers will be noticing the improvement in first contact resolution, the reduction in hold time, reduction in overall process time -- all the things that are frustrating you and them now.

Submit your business process optimization question to Lori Bocklund

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