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Helping Contact Centers Rise to the Occasion
Back in December I wrote about a presentation by contact center industry veteran Shai Berger discussing how contact centers should set expectations during times of crisis. Texas is experiencing just such a moment now, and this article about Austin’s public-service 311 number suggests that this city agency’s call center is handling the situation well, and that this particular news outlet, at least, treated the story accurately.
The crucial piece of information the city needed to convey was that the 311 response center was not down; it was just overloaded with phone calls. However, it was still accessible online. That’s a vital distinction, because if people think the system is down, they won’t try to contact it at all. In fact, the city wanted to get out the message that the 311 system was still available to help people if they are able to get online to reach it.
This Texas example reinforces one of Shai’s main points, which is that contact center success in a crisis is as much about PR and communications outside of the contact center itself — it’s using whatever channels are available to keep the public informed.
The news report mentions another important factor for the Austin agency that will likely be true in many different types of crisis: The contact center workforce is itself affected by the situation. In any sort of disaster, agents will be among the affected population, and that may impact the contact center’s ability to be fully staffed for a situation where you can expect overwhelming call volume.
A situation like the Texas weather disaster is likely to overwhelm any contact center trying to serve the public, but there’s certainly reason to hope that, as contact centers adopt AI in the coming years, improved processes will be able to make a difference. This could happen by helping clear calls more quickly, letting information flow more readily into the business process systems that serve customers, and shifting customers to self-service more seamlessly.
Robin Gareiss of Metrigy will discuss all of these benefits in an upcoming presentation, “AI for Customer Experience: Plotting Your Roadmap,” taking place as part of Enterprise Connect’s upcoming virtual event, Communications & Collaboration: 2024, March 9-10. And that’s actually just a small piece of Robin’s presentation; she’ll reveal Metrigy research that dives deep into the benefits enterprises are seeing from AI in the contact center today, which capabilities offer the most promise for the future, and how you can build a plan that works for your enterprise when it comes to implementing AI in your contact center.
So I hope you can join us March 9-10 for a program aimed at helping you plan your enterprise’s strategic technology investments for the next three years. In addition to AI and the contact center, our conference sessions will cover the gamut of technology, from video to team collaboration, remote work, cloud, network infrastructure, and more.
And if you want to help people in Texas impacted by the storm and its aftermath, here’s a list of agencies that CNN compiled.