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Call centres hit by agent productivity issues

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6th Feb 2007
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Four fifths of of UK contact centres identify agent productivity as 'a major issue' for their customer service business.

Research conducted by Genesys Telecommunications Laboratories highlighted that, even though many organisations had deployed technologies such as screen-pops, unified desktops, Workforce Management (WFM), self-service and reporting, only 25 percent were achieving agent productivity levels of 75 percent or above.

According to the findings, four out of every five contact centres across the various market sectors are already in the process of installing intelligent technology solutions to enhance their agent productivity. 82 percent are implementing a unified desktop and WFM approach, while 64 per cent are focusing their activities on the digital collection of data, screen-pop technology and intelligent data transfers to ensure a rapid, seamless transition throughout theseparate aspects of the call.

"There is such a great focus on maximising the value of the contact centre, and 101 suggestions of how to do that," commented Mark Turner, vice president and managing director, UK and Ireland, Genesys. "The one common denominator is agents, and how well they can perform within the contact centre.

“There are three key areas of focus for enhancing productivity, and our research shows that most contact centres neglect those aspects that are directly agent-related. Organisations need a genuine end-to-end strategy that optimises processes both at the infrastructure level and on an agent-by-agent basis.

"Pre-call optimisation is an infrastructure issue. A virtualisation project helps optimise service levels by ensuring the right agent is available to answer the call - they can be situated anywhere. Reporting, scheduling and automation technologies only help enhance this service and productivity. Using these solutions for effective identification and verification (ID&V) all but eliminates internal transfers, which means enhanced productivity and a smoother experience for the customer. This is complemented with screen-pops, giving the agent all the necessary knowledge to resolve the customers' problems quickly and easily.

"During a call, some form of scripting can help reduce any long pauses while agents look for the next action step. This can be backed up by real-time access to customer, product and billing information. The scripting does not need to be 100 per cent, or intricate in detail, but prompts at the very least can help ensure agents progress through the call at the right pace.

"Finally, after-call work is a critical part of optimising agent efficiency. During this time agents are doing essential work, but they are not serving the customers, who may be waiting in a queue. Automating workflows with the back-office can help the contact centre to speed up after-call work, as can a unified desktop, allowing agents to switch quickly and easily between applications to further reduce the time between calls."

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By AnonymousUser
09th Feb 2007 08:04

"only 25 percent were achieving agent productivity levels of 75 percent or above"
What is the target - surely not 100%? Anybody knowledgable about the often inhumane pressure on agents, knwos this leads to performance deterioration above a certain treshold.

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