Contact Centres: The Big Shift
The Australian contact centre industry employs more than 250,000 people and in 2022, it is undergoing perhaps the most fundamental change in its 40 year plus history.
This is due to the confluence of a number of factors; the legacy of COVID which changed forever the rules about where and how contact centre staff work; the onshoring of contact centres; decades low levels of unemployment which have given Australian based contact centre workers more power over how, when and where they work; and a workforce regulator crack down on wage theft, including in the contact centre environment.
The new Contact Centre
For contact centre leaders, these factors have brought into sharp focus, a sense of urgency to uncover ways to increase productivity, create better insights to drive improved efficiency, and improve customer service in an omni service environment. Most of all, the pressure is on to evolve the contact centre to take into account how management creates an environment which maximises human optimisation.
The journey towards best practice: Guidance from customers who are going beyond efficiency to drive human optimisation in the contact centre:
What does Contact Centre best practice look like in 2022?
- Take advantage of the increased role of technologies to drive productivity and remote working (according to the CX Central report, Pre COVID, 7% of contact centre agents worked remotely and that has quickly jumped to 58% of a contact centre workforce working from home on any given day.
- Use technology to modernise your contact centre – are you providing a human optimisation-based platform for WFM contact centre and back-office employees?
- Are you connecting your entire contact centre workforce, wherever they are located?
- Are you taking full advantage of the potential to supports the seamless integration of cloud-based Softphone technology to local and off-shore contact centres and remote-based agents?
- Ensure your work from home contact centre agents are working the hours and shifts they are legally obliged to – and no more. Facilitating optimised workforce connectivity must include Australian designed, globally applicable softphone solutions which integrate telephony software with workforce management system, ensuring workforce compliance, employee engagement, and best practice customer service.
- Migrate from a high fixed price model, with poor agent and customer experience, limited by manual reporting and lack of real time reports or visualised dashboards.
- Integrate your WFM software with industry leading Cloud services to efficiently store, analyse and predict agent activity in ways which were impossible in its previously costly, aging and slow on-premises solutions.
- Provide your agents, their team leaders and wider management with an unprecedented level of real time forensic analysis, enabling them to make investment decisions more accurately without increasing cost.
Taking action now to address the new contact centre is key. There may be unprecedented changes affecting how contact centres maximise customer and staff outcomes, but there are also new and improved ways to increase productivity and ultimately optimise humanisation.