Jon Dawson, chief revenue officer, Cirrus, explains why the contact centre should be embedded in Teams.
Over 90 per cent of UK businesses are now using Teams, enabling colleagues forced apart by the pandemic to collaborate. However, its value to the wider business risks being limited unless the contact centre is embedded within it, providing true collaboration between back and front office, as well as audit and reporting capability.
UC + CC = CX?
Integrating the contact centre into Teams empowers users to manage all of their communication tools in one place is a worthy goal but will require a change of thinking in order to truly deliver a great customer experience.
On average 30 per cent of contact centre calls end up needing help from elsewhere in the business, from resourcing and legal to finance, which, if not joined up, at best is the caller waiting on hold and at worst being told to wait for a callback from another department and needing to repeat their request all over again.
Teams is helping to resolve this challenge by making everyone’s availability visible. By integrating the contact centre within Teams, agents can see the availability of colleagues across departments without needing to swap applications, offering them immediate access to the right people to aid in real-time customer interaction. Sounds great, but how does this play out in practice?
Integration is only half the story
Frankly, it is doomed to fail in an environment where SLAs and KPIs are not fed throughout the business – including those departments that help resolve those third of customer calls requiring specialist knowledge.
Contact centres have always been subject to strict performance metrics and, unfortunately, the failure to solve a customer query either at the first point of contact, or within a certain time period, will be blamed upon the contact centre. This is patently unfair yet will always be the case while performance metrics are not extended and monitored through to supporting areas of the business, creating a reporting black hole.
It may be uncomfortable for some organisations to face, but a business that hides away from such scrutiny is in trouble either way. Worse, a failure to do so risks disengaged or angry customers all too liable to take their business elsewhere.
So yes, Teams needs a highly adaptable contact centre solution that can overlay customer’s existing technologies, but it also requires joined up performance monitoring and reporting capability – across the whole estate – to truly measure customer journey and experience.
By adopting a set of KPIs and SLAs that are relevant not just for the front office agents – but those in the back office as well – will turn the tables and show where the barriers to great customer service truly lie. The answer may be a surprising one.