Call Center Automation: It’s Not A Single Pane Until It Includes Call Control

By on April 23rd, 2021

Read time: 4 minutes.

The world of call center management leans heavily on data.

From the managers’ perspectives, the interest is in metrics and KPIs. From the operators’ perspective, the data needs to revolve around the mission of serving the connected customer. I’m going to assume that you’ve chosen a great tool to visualize your metrics and KPIs (EdgeCore™ comes to mind). The automation and digital transformation of the operator’s experience within the call center have been slow coming to fruition.

Call center operators are bombarded with multiple tools to do their job.

For instance, in a typical product support setting, operators have their softphone, a customer-relationship-management (CRM) tool, a ticketing system, a parts inventory system, email, corporate
communication tools, a return-merchandise
-authorization (RMA) tool, and delivery status for
USPS, UPS, and FedEx.

“Digital Transformation” means many things to many people.

To most, this means consolidation of the many tools used in their business into as few tools as are needed to support the organization’s goals. To facilitate this transformation, software vendors have been making tremendous strides to open their systems via Application Programmers Interfaces (APIs). Call centers have been pulling together these applications through IT resources.

I can safely claim that there are no call centers that are fully integrated into a single point of operator control. (Because it would be huge news).

The choice to fully integrate is probably not because it can’t be done, but because the ROI necessitates discretion over what should be done. Let’s face it, IT resources are hard to find, expensive, and fail (a lot).

My argument is: Call control should be the center of any call center’s digital transformation. The reality, unfortunately, is that, in part due to complexity, in another part due to lack of vision, this is the last component on the integration list.

With tools like Amazon’s Connect™ and Twilio™, access to call control (and the rich metadata that they support) is closer than ever before.

Having call control at the center of your digital transformation project allows you to drive your operator’s interaction with your customer. The call control raises events that your dashboard can use to do very useful things. Better first contact responses (FCRs), lower average call handling times (ACHTs), better net promoter scores (NPSs), to name a few. This is all possible when you leverage call handling with your other tools. Call control can:

  • Load CRM, which can load active shipments and their statuses
  • Load tickets, cross-referencing tickets with shipments and their statuses
  • Provide instant visibility into recent attempts to solve customer tickets
  • Load recent email communications from clients and support personnel working to resolve cases

It’s all about serving your customer faster, with the information they need.

The primary reason to include call control in your digital transformation is rapid identification of the customer. Once you identify your customer, you can set about making them enthusiastic about being your customer. Once you identify the customer, you can start to titillate them with your awesome support. You can gain visibility into their entire interaction through the CRM, predicting which products or orders they are calling about. Also, you can easily see and track shipments they are inquiring about or have problems with. You can safely and confidently set expectations based on inventory management. Without starting at the gooey-customer-center, you’re setting your operators and customers up to frustration and failure.

Customer-centric call centers, as any call center arguably should be, shouldn’t start from the CRM nexus (though that’s close), one level deeper, one level more meaningful to your customer, is your call control. Through call-control-centered automation, your customer receives the experience they expect. One that gains insight from their call and stages the operator for the interaction.

To learn the full story, join my upcoming virtual masterclass on April 29th or check out the replay.

About Destin Valine

Destin Valine has been building cutting-edge solutions centered around reducing cost and error for most of his 25 years in technology. He has a computer science degree from the University of Virginia and his Juris Doctor from George Mason University School of Law. Destin has been with Edge Technologies, Inc in Arlington Virginia since 2018 and has been building software since 1994. He also consults with attorneys around the world about the practical implications of technology in business and the law.

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