Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Call Centers Can Be Wasteful

I know, it’s an attention-seeking headline so don't take offense. Although it’s true, it’s not deliberate and if you think about it from a human resource standpoint, there really IS a significant amount of time that your agents are forced into wasting for things like redundant data entry, manual activities, inefficient system navigation and much more.

Ah, but there’s help!

There are new technologies that allow you to eliminate this massive waste in the contact center. Companies are realizing tremendous ROI – close to millions or tens of millions of dollars – so why not see for yourself what I'm talking about – Desktop Automation.

You see, Desktop Automation is the new secret of the world’s top class call centers – and you’ve probably never even heard of it! Yet, Desktop Automation is now the number one way to eliminate the costly waste I am talking about. So what do I really mean by “waste”?

Just one example of waste is perhaps, at the end of every call, your agents are trained to “manually” enter notes about the call and the type of activity that was performed to service the customer.  Sometimes known as “Call wrap-up” or “Disposition Notes,” it can be a pretty time-consuming, yet essential part of the customer interaction. Notes are important but it is wasted time if your agents are having to take the time to enter this data themselves.

To give a bit more clarity on this “wasted” manual effort, perhaps it’s easier to break this down to a more Monty Python like “sketch”:

Johnny (Trainer): “So Billy (Agent), what we want you to do, is type in what you did on the computer after each call, in that little box there.”

Billy: “Why?”

Johnny: “Why? We want to make sure all of the activity is included on the customer account so the next time the customer calls, we know how the interaction with them went”

Billy: “No, I mean, why do *I* have to tell the computer what I did? Doesn't it know?”

Johnny: “Of course it knows! It’s a computer – it knows everything!”

Billy: “Then why do I need to tell it, if it knows everything? Does it forget?”

Johnny ; “No, Billy, the computer doesn't forget, it remembers everything.”

Billy ; “Then why do I need tell the computer if it can remember all this by itself?”

Johnny: “Billy, I don’t know why but it only takes a minute for you to do it”

Billy: “Yes, but you said I was one of 300 people doing this, 40 times a day…so that's what…… 12,000 minutes a day, which comes to 4,200,000 minutes a year  ….. and that's about 70,000 hours that we are all sitting here, typing something into the computer -  that it already knows.”


Whether it would normally takes 20 seconds or two minutes for your agents to take notes during or after your calls, using Desktop Automation, you are effectively training the computer to collect the notes in real time and thus you get this same information, in seconds and error free.

Eliminating the agents’ wasted time in this case means the agents can move to the next call almost immediately, thereby increasing the number of calls they can handle during their shift. Time and money savings from eliminating this type of waste are astounding!

With Desktop Automation there are hundreds of these mini use cases that can be automated in just a few weeks, even if you don't own the applications you want to automate. This is not a massive IT project and this now means you are empowering your contact center with technology that enables agents to do their jobs better and faster since you are removing the time they waste having to do something the computer can do for them.

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