Contact centers around the world face a common challenge – how to expedite the onboarding process for new CSRs. Reducing the time it takes them to become proficient in the use of the contact center’s systems, in the knowledge that they need to answer customer questions, and the various procedures and protocols, can not only reduce costs, but also improve important key performance indicators such as Average Handling Time (AHT), First Call Resolution (FCR), and ultimately increase customer satisfaction. Here are a few tips on how to do it:
Tip #1 – Shift the focus to on-the-job real-time guidance
Research shows that most of the knowledge that the CSRs acquire during classroom training, is inevitably lost. Shifting the focus to on-the-job guidance not only reduces the costly classroom training, it is also more memorable. Desktop Automation and Guidance solutions such as Kryon System’s Leo, can provide real-time guidance within the production environment, on top of the real application/s. Leo provides step-by-step instructions, covering the knowledge on how to use the relevant systems, as well as business-related knowledge and procedures. Just like a GPS, Leo shows the user what buttons to click, what questions to ask the customer, and the answers that should be provided, even when these processes involve multiple system. Leo goes beyond the application, providing a comprehensive solution for the entire business process, as accompanies the agent along the way to a good call: on the system, in decision points, while providing precise answers to customers, etc. …
Tip #2 – Automate tasks and even entire procedures
CSR’s have a lot on their plates. They usually have to operate multiple systems and perform a multitude of tasks, all during the call. This challenge becomes even more complex for novice CSRs as they are less proficient. Fortunately, many of these short tasks can be completely automated by Desktop Automation systems, such as Leo. For example, often CSRs are required to perform calculations, such as calculating 14 business days to let the customer know when they should see the refund in their account. Another example is the re-entry of the customer ID across multiple systems. These and other small tasks can be completely automated by a desktop automation system that supports multiple applications.
Leo can even automate an entire processes. For example, when the CSR needs to add a communication service to an existing customer, the task involves navigating through three different systems (CRM, Billing and Operations). With Leo the contact center can easily build an automation process for the entire procedure (even across multiple systems). In this case Leo will perform the process for the agent, while automatically prompting the user for inputs (which are obtained from the customer). This of course allows the agent to be more attentive to the customer during the call.
Tip #3 – Allow immediate access to relevant information
In many cases during the call, CSRs must consult with their knowledgebase in order to provide answers or to properly operate the relevant system. Searching, finding, reading, and understanding and the information takes up valuable time and reduces the confidence of the customer, who is usually placed on hold. Instead of storing the information in a separate knowledgebase, Leo makes it extremely accessible, by displaying overlaid tooltips on top of the application itself, providing only the required information at the most relevant moment.
Tip #4 – Add safety nets around possible pitfalls
Novice agents are more likely to make mistakes, especially in rare and/or complicated processes, as they lack the experience and probably never encountered some of these situations. Using Leo, contact centers can easily add custom validations to the various processes and forms without the need for special programming or integration. Furthermore, advance validations can be also implemented to check multi-field combinations. These validations can work on ANY application, including web applications, desktop applications, and even legacy applications. Leo can make calculations and check the validity of the entered information. In this way, for example, it will not allow the agent to save a billing error in a client’s account. With these safety nets in place, novice CSRs can become more confident, knowing that they can perform their procedures more quickly without mistakes.
Tip #5 – Give them fishing rods, not fish
The famous saying goes – “give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”. In our case, contact centers that have a desktop automation and guidance solution in place, should avoid answering new agent’s questions, and instead focus on teaching them how to find the answers by themselves. This is of course also relevant when using a knowledgebase (teaching them how to find answers), but in Leo’s case they will not only get answers quickly, they will receive guidance for solving the call effectively. And the information will be provided in a way that they can consume it during the call without putting the customer on hold.
Seeing tangible results
In a recent article on icmi, it was reported that by using Leo, Pelephone communications, Israel’s largest mobile operators, was able to reduce its onboarding costs by 50% while substantially reducing the time to proficiency of new CSRs. In other words, the new agents received less hours of training and less assistance during the nesting period, while at the same time they performed better as they entered their job.