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Leveraging technology in contact centers to reduce churn

by Helen J. Wolf
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Organizations worldwide have experienced significant disruption over the past two years, with many organizations accelerating digital transformation to better respond to changing market factors and business environments during the pandemic. Data shows that 90 percent of Australian companies have adopted new technologies to support business continuity during the pandemic, including technologies that have helped keep 3.2 million employees who transitioned to remote working.

Leveraging technology in contact centers to reduce churn

However, using technology to support remote working or streamline processes to achieve a better user experience isn’t the only way technology can help contact centers achieve results. Against the looming threat of the so-called “big layoff,” technology can significantly help organizations reduce employee turnover and sustain business growth.

Using new technologies to support remote working has been critical in helping companies adapt to a challenging environment and keep the ship stable during the pandemic. While rapid changes in the technology stack have enabled hybrid work environments, it has created challenges for employees now adapting to new working methods.

For example, recent global survey data from NICE found that 36 percent of contact center workers reported a lack of coaching and guidance while working remotely, and 44 percent did not feel well because they couldn’t compare themselves to their colleagues.

Sometimes contact center agents can work like a well-oiled machine, not unlike a high-performing athletic team. They benefit from collective team energy and are often driven by friendly competition and camaraderie.

It can benefit contact center agents working closely with their colleagues and supervisors. By collaborating and seeking immediate help from colleagues nearby, agents can quickly resolve calls when faced with challenges or need specific information from colleagues. This can elevate the contact center from a one-dimensional space to a more adrenaline-filled work environment, encouraging agents to perform against their peers.

However, this can be challenging for agents to achieve when working remotely, creating unwanted work environments that can lead to higher turnover when employees seek new opportunities.

If employees engage in a major layoff trend, it can lead to major business challenges. Significant employee turnover can lead to millions of dollars in lost revenue for companies due to investing in onboarding to replacing departing employees. In addition, it can affect agent morale and the continuity and quality of customer service.

Contact center organizations need to think about the next step in adopting their technology and invest in solutions that allow them to provide more support to agents when they work remotely and support tools to help them respond to calls. This includes investing in solutions that make it easier to collaborate and access expertise in teams while working remotely.

Failure to provide technologies that support employees while working remotely can decrease productivity and job satisfaction. Contact center organizations risk increasing employee turnover by failing to address problems or create new challenges for employees.

Organizations should consider investing in solutions that enable easy collaboration between distributed teams and harness the power of smart technologies such as AI, machine learning, and automation to streamline processes and deliver exceptional customer experiences.

In addition, they should consider investing in technologies and strategies that can bring the team environment to an external workforce, including team-building activities, skills coaching, and even internal competition within the digital work environment. Using digital solutions that encourage and facilitate team spirit and engagement can significantly reduce employee turnover.

When the location of work changes, so does the nature of the work itself, and new processes and tools must be introduced to ensure that it doesn’t ultimately negatively impact the customer experience. Organizations must be able to recognize and respond to this changing reality.

Using tools that support agents, such as virtual assistants, can provide a more streamlined user experience and ultimately lead to higher productivity. In addition, creating an efficient work environment and providing employee support tools can help reduce churn in contact centers.

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