“Can I put you on hold for just a minute?”… If there are questions that customers calling a contact center despise, this is surely at the top of the list. You see, customers know that the problem that lies behind this question is the fact that the CSR simply doesn’t know the answer to the question that he/she was asked. Each time the caller is placed on hold he/she feels less confident about the proficiency and knowledgeability of the CSR and as they wait on the line they feel a kind of anxiety. All they want to do at this point is hang up and maybe find our way to someone else, but the notion of waiting in line again keeps them hanging on. This scenario is very common, especially among novice CSRs. In this blog post we will look at some solutions that can dramatically reduce the number of holds and the average hold time within the contact center.
What is the CSR doing when the caller is on hold?
When the CSRs are asked a question and they don’t know the answer, they have basically two options – to ask a colleague/ superior or to independently search for an answer in the knowledgebase. The problem is that superiors are not always available, so in most cases they have to find the answer on their own.
In most cases using the knowledge base to find answers requires putting the caller on hold for the following reason:
- Finding the answer – the CSR will have to search the knowledge base and will most likely find multiple search results. While the caller is on hold, the CSR will have to go through each search result until he/she finds the relevant one.
- Reading the knowledge article – Once the relevant result is found, the CSR still has to read the article while the customer is on hold. And if the process requires steps that run across multiple systems, the CSR will have to go back and forth between the knowledgebase and each application to complete the workflow.
The solution – Desktop Automation and Guidance
So the key to reducing the hold time comprises two objectives:
- To provide the relevant information at right time
- In a format that can be consumed during the call, without putting the caller on hold
Desktop automation and real-time guidance solutions do exactly that; they provide the relevant information exactly when needed by embedding instructions into the system so they could be consumed by the CSR in real-time, during the call itself.
Providing the relevant information at the right time
The key to providing the relevant information at the right time is context. Kryon System’s Desktop Automation and Guidance solution, Leo, constantly monitors the agent’s activities on the desktop and offers two options for providing the information at the time of need:
When users know they don’t know (pull) – the CSR was asked a question and he/she knows that he/she does not know the answer. Instead of searching for the answer in the Knowledgebase, Leo provides immediate access to the relevant support process in two ways:
- Automatic Suggestions – when Leo opens, it immediately suggests support processes that are relevant to the user’s current open and active application and window. In the following example, the agent is “stuck” on the Leads window. When Leo search bar opens, it immediately and automatically suggests support processes available for the specific application and even the specific screen. The user does not have to search for specific support process.
- Navigating the support catalog – users gain intuitive access to content catalog where accessible content is organized in an easy to navigate hierarchical structure. The specific structure is fully customized and organizations can set the catalog by systems (like in the example) or by job roles, functions, etc. In the following example, the user navigates the catalog to find the required support process.
- Smart search – Leo’s built-in search capabilities extends regular search and makes use of advanced linguistic technologies to overcome synonyms (e.g. searching for the word fast will also cover the word quick, etc.), single vs. plural, and verb tense challenges. Also the search results order takes into account the active application as the most relevant one. Lastly, Leo search makes use of tags (keywords) added by the content author to handle organizational terminology.
In the following example, when searching for the word “button” while on Outlook, the search results are ordered by the active application first (outlook) – although other results are available.
When users don’t know they don’t know (push) – even when the agent is not aware of a knowledge gap, Leo will automatically push important processes and information at the time of need using various techniques:
- Pushed support processes – Leo can push important processes to the screen in the time of need based on various triggers such as the application use, window and content/data/values that the user is using. For example, if a policy has changed and the organization needs to notify the staff, the only way they can ensure users will follow the changed policy, is if the change will be communicate when the user actually faces the relevant situation.
- Tool tips – organizations can use Leo to add overlay tooltips, with relevant and current information, on top of any application, without the need for code changes or integrations. Tooltips open on mouse-over and closes on mouse-out.
In the following example, when creating a new lead, the user must define the Lead Status a Leo tooltip is placed next to the relevant field and contains easily accessible essential information to help the agent to select the right status value.
Providing a format that can be consumed during the call without placing on hold
Unlike the knowledgebase articles, which is external to the application, requiring the user to switch in and out of the application to read the content and follow each step, Leo provides the information within the application itself (even when there are multiple applications) without the need for coding or integration. And instead of long knowledge articles, which require placing the caller on hold, Leo uses a “guide me” techniques, which just like a GPS, shows the way inside the live application and the user follows.
To reduce time even further, Leo offers a “Do-it” mode, where Leo performs the actions for the user by controlling the user’s mouse and keyboard, driving the target application to complete the desired task.
As we can see, LEO offers a variety of solutions that help the agent to quickly find the relevant information (and in most cases the information will “find its way to the agent”), and most importantly this information is consumed during the call itself without placing the caller on hold. In this way, Leo has proved to reduce contact centers’ average number of holds and average hold time by more than 20% and accordingly improve customers’ satisfaction. So the next time you call a representative and hear “Can I put you on hold for just a minute?”…, just tell them to visit www.kryonsystems.com… 🙂