By almost every account, 2021 was the hardest year in history to manage a contact center. In the words of one contact center leader: “2021 sucked”. And with 2022 off to a rocky start, many are questioning whether the light at the end of the tunnel might actually be a train.
Our latest guide, “The Great Resignation: Why Your Contact Center Won’t Survive without Automation,” provides answers to some of today’s most pressing challenges:
What’s Impacting Contact Centers Today
The Great Resignation
According to the U.S. Labor Department, more than 4.5 million people voluntarily left their jobs in November of last year. That was up from 4.2 million in October and was the most in the two decades that the government has been keeping track.
The Great Resignation has caused stress on contact centers as employees reevaluate what meaningful work is. This has caused new, unforeseen and unplanned workforce management issues and made retention that much harder.
The Global Pandemic
According to the Harvard Business Review, the pandemic has created 68% more call escalations, 50% more difficult calls and 34% longer hold times. The pandemic is upending every aspect of business. It has taxed organizations greatly, leading to agent shortages, higher stress for employees who are still working, and unhappy customers (which negatively impacts customer loyalty).
Unpredictable External Forces
Catastrophic weather events, cybersecurity threats, supply chain disruptions and other unpredictable crises are creating massive customer service challenges. Companies can’t scale up and down quickly enough to meet customer demand in the face of these events. No longer do the operations models of the past predict future forecasting needs as it relates to hiring and surges in customer service volumes.
Why Traditional Solutions are Failing
“Modern problems require modern solutions.” The old adage, cliche as it may be, could not be any truer that it is for today’s contact centers.
“The Great Resignation: Why Your Contact Center Won’t Survive without Automation” digs into the strategies long used by contact centers in times of crisis. Are they still fit for today’s challenges?
Seasonal hiring and BPOs don’t guarantee lower AHTs, higher CSAT scores, or lower queue times. And they can lead to cost overruns, inefficient training, and harm to your brand promise.
Legacy technologies like agent assist solutions, IVRs and self-service can force customers to sit through rigid menus, stay on calls for minutes to hours only to be deflected elsewhere, and have to repeat themselves once transferred to an agent.
56% of consumers cite automated telephone systems as the most frustrating aspect of poor customer service.
Why automation is succeeding
Contact center automation comes in many forms. The most comprehensive solutions leverage conversational AI which has received rapid adoption rates in contact centers due to its proven ability to solve the problems outlined in this guide. It is the only automation solution that directly partners with humans to create a seamless experience that benefits both customers and agents.
This guide explores the foundation of the technology as well as its ability to directly address today’s challenges:
- It solves pandemic-related challenges
- It immediately eases staffing and WFM strain
- It creates a safeguard against future unpredictability
How to Get Started with Automation
There’s a lot to consider before getting started with automation in your contact center. This guide outlines some of the most important considerations to make before adopting conversational AI, as well as what to expect after an implementation.
Should you build or buy a conversational AI automation solution? How do you choose the right use cases to start automating? How do you determine the ROI of an implementation? How do you assess your technology stack?
These questions and much more are answered in this guide to get your contact thinking proactively about the challenges you will face throughout 2022, and how you can come out of the year more effective than ever before.