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Contact Center Providers Should Offer Engagement at Both Ends of the Phone

May 23, 2014
By Mae Kowalke - TMCnet Contributor

Engagement: It is a word that pundits are using a lot these days to describe the new way of doing business. Offering a product or service, and having employees clock in and out of work, is not enough. Customers need to interact with a brand, and employees need to be energized at work.

This presents an opportunity for contact center service providers. If ever there is a place where engagement is paramount, it is the contact center. The monotony of contact center work and high staff turnover rates make engagement an important concern for contact center managers, and ways to better engage with customers mean better performance at its core function of keeping callers happy.

On the staffing side, gamification can help drive engagement among contact center employees.

Gamification is the process of turning a task into a game, as we noted in an article earlier this year. This can include levels that agents can advance through, badges based on successful tasks, or even game currency that can be redeemed for perks at work.

Often there is a very fine line between what is work and what is play, and gamification makes sure that tasks fall on the side of play—which drives engagement among employees.

What can help drive engagement on the customer side is better customer relations management (CRM) and call recording.

“By putting all the relevant customer data in the same place – CRM and customer history plus real interactions – contact centers can maintain the most complete picture of the customer possible, ensuring that every interaction is personalized based on the customer’s true history with the company,” noted Tracey E. Schelmetic in a recent TMCnet article. “No longer will customer-facing company employees have to go searching for recorded calls in order to find the right one: they can simply click on it from the context of the CRM platform, saving time and providing the tools required to improve the customer experience.”

When a person calls a contact center, the engagement is much enhanced if the agent knows prior interactions between the company and the customer, and if they are able to quickly tap into the name and preferences of the caller. Instead of having the customer start from scratch when they contact a company, they are confronted with an agent that already knows their story and issues, and that acts as part of a larger, unified brand.

Contact center solution providers would be wise to play to these trends. Those that can offer the contact center compelling engagement, both on the customer and the agent side, should find their market share within the industry increasing.

Edited by Alisen Downey

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