Let’s face it, being a contact center CSR is not an easy job. Agents must be extremely proficient in the wide variety of workflow processes, call scripts, protocols, offerings, deal with multiple complex systems, and engage with customers, all at the same time. With so much on their plates, they are bound to make errors on a daily basis. After all, these are humans, not robots right? Well, in this blog post we will see how contact centers can reduce these “human mistakes” with “robot-like” automation and real-time guidance.
Common CSR mistakes
There are many types of mistakes made by contact center agents. Although there are endless examples, I tried to group them into three main categories:
- Data entry errors – data entry may be the most prevalent type of mistake. From entering the wrong address for delivery or onsite service, to entering the wrong birth date in an insurance claim, these mistakes can cost a fortune for both the company and the customer, while hurting customer satisfaction.
- Missed steps in the systems – missed steps are also very common, especially when the agent has to deal with multiple systems. Forgetting to check a simple checkbox in the service provisioning system, for example, can result in a technician going on site to repair a connection problem that does not exist.
- Missed information/questions and non-compliance – during the customer interaction the CSR has to provide important information and often ask questions (e.g. troubleshooting questions). Some industries, such as health and insurance, have regulations that require the agent to ask specific questions or provide important information. Usually these important questions and information are covered in the protocol/call scripts that the agent uses during the call. In regulated industries these calls are usually recorded and monitored. But discovering these mistakes after they were already made can only help reinforce the guidelines for future cases. Contact centers need a way to prevent these mistakes in real-time.
Who is making these mistakes?
A common misperception is that mistakes are usually made by novice CSRs, who lack experience or even proper training. Although novice users are more likely to make mistakes, experienced agents also make many mistakes as they become “too confident” and miss important steps, or they “think” they know how to perform a certain task, but still miss something.
How to prevent CSR mistakes
As mentioned above, making mistakes is human, so the most logical solution to prevent these “human mistakes” is through automation. Of course this does not mean that robots will replace the CSRs, but desktop automation and guidance solutions, such as Kryon’s LEO, can help avoid these pitfalls in various ways:
- Real-time guidance – the system displays balloon tips in real-time especially when there is a likelihood of a mistake or in critical fields. These guidance tips can include alerts and warning on critical fields, guidance on what to say to the customer and what questions to ask, and even tips on how to use the system. Desktop Automation solutions that are based on real-time image processing monitor the data entry process in real-time and provide specific guidance based on the data that has been entered by the CSR. By knowing the context, these solutions provide proactive guidance also to experienced CSRs that are not aware of their knowledge gaps.
- Validation – often fields or checkboxes are interrelated. Desktop Automation solutions, which are based on real-time image processing, monitor the data entry in these fields and based on the entry or selection, the system validates the data on other fields. If the CSR entered wrong information or forgot to enter/select a value (e.g. forgot to check a checkbox), a message pops up asking the CSR to make the correction.
- Automation – some of the data entry can be completely automated. For example, instead of copying and pasting information from one system to another, the system can automatically enter the information across multiple systems. The system can also automatically enter relevant data based on the selections or other data that has been entered by the CSR. For example, the desktop automation solution can open the customer view/screen on multiple systems automatically based on the CSRs entry of the customer ID in the first system.
Desktop automation and guidance can dramatically reduce, and often completely eliminate CSR mistakes. Unlike traditional knowledge and training solutions, Desktop Automation solutions monitor the activity of the CSR and provide the necessary assistance at the most critical moment, even across multiple systems. These solutions are of course extremely important for novice CSRs, but they are especially important for the experienced CSRs, as they do not think they need to look at knowledge articles when performing their tasks.