Story image

Taking UC to the next level

01 Jul 10

Increasing customer satisfaction is the truest measure of success for contact centres, not operational effi ciency. This is   what Michael Meredith, CEO of the Australian Teleservices Association said when he recentlyly challenged some industry norms around which metrics matter the most. No doubt more people would like to raise the bar for customer  satisfaction, but assume it requires a trade-off against profi tability.
The question then, is how to satisfy customers effi ciently. The shift of focus towards improving the customer  experience presents a great opportunity for resellers to help make these improvements happen, in contact centres and  across the board. The business case is compelling if you can show how automating repetitive, predictable and  timeconsuming processes delivers better quality service at a lower cost.

Customers understand the benefits of unified  communications (UC), or combining voice, text and presence status for collaboration. What is really exciting is to build on this foundation, integrating UC with automated processes so that workfl ow can be directed to the right person at  the right time. Quality improvements from process automation, such as a greater percentage of queries resolved on the first call,  provide a very tidy ROI in terms of customer retention and lower labour costs. For example, typical inbound ACD  (automatic call distribution) queuing sends calls to the agent showing the longest idle time. However, the most available agent is not necessarily the best sales or customer service agent.

What if, instead, the phone system is connected to a  database housing agent skills and training data? The phone system could use the calls-per-agent and transactionsper- agent to calculate real time resolution percentages per agent. As calls come in, a calculation determines the available  agent with the highest satisfaction score and instead delivers the call to them. Think of the impact that would have on customer experience.

Other local results come to mind. In one  telecommunications company a helpdesk service automatically provides customers with the answers to their most  frequently asked questions, 24 hours a day with no hold music. In a local financial services company, most calls from  retailers seeking to validate a shopper’s credit card are automated, making them precise, measurable and fast.  Complex or incomplete validations are routed to an agent with the right skills to help.

In almost every company you walk into, there are significant opportunities for improving the business processes that determine the customer  experience. If it takes, on average, five steps to process a customer interaction and on average there are 500  interactions per day, this means there are 2500 opportunities to make a mistake, each one chipping away at valuable brand equity.

Every business is built on processes, so the good news is that process automation represents a sizeable opportunity. Even better, benefi ts can accrue from incremental improvements to existing processes. It may be as  simple as providing a receptionist with a caller’s account details based on telephone number recognition.
How do you  identify an opportunity? While every organisation’s specifi c needs require a customised response, candidates for  process automation often have:


  • Some manual process that can be partially or fully automated

  • A segmented clientele who need to be treated differently

  • A business workflow that requires more accurate and transparent management.


Process automation is about applying tried and tested technology to existing business processes, without requiring a  ‘big bang’ disruption. It offers a relatively low-risk way to introduce cost savings as well as differentiate with improved service. Resellers can make a  vital contribution. Think how you like to be treated and help your client walk in their customers’ shoes.

Proofpoint launches feature to identify most targeted users
“One of the largest security industry misconceptions is that most cyberattacks target top executives and management.”
How blockchain will impact NZ’s economy
Distributed ledgers and blockchain are anticipated to provide a positive uplift to New Zealand’s economy.
McAfee named Leader in Magic Quadrant an eighth time
The company has been once again named as a Leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Security Information and Event Management.
Symantec and Fortinet partner for integration
The partnership will deliver essential security controls across endpoint, network, and cloud environments.
Review: Blue Mic’s Satellite headphones are good but...
Blue Mic’s newest wireless headphones deliver on sound, aesthetic, and comfort - but there is a more insidious issue at hand.
Is Supermicro innocent? 3rd party test finds no malicious hardware
One of the larger scandals within IT circles took place this year with Bloomberg firing shots at Supermicro - now Supermicro is firing back.
Forcepoint and Chillisoft - “a powerful combination”
Following Chillisoft’s portfolio expansion by signing on Forcepoint, the companies’ execs explain how this is a match made in cybersecurity heaven.
David Hickling in memoriam: “Celebrate the life and the music it made”
Dave was a well-respected presence in the IT channel and his recent death was felt by all the many people who knew him as a colleague and a friend.