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Why Contact Center Scalability, Agility Matters for CX

Having recently moved homes, I’ve spent a lot of time in the last month calling into a variety of contact centers to get my utilities set up, billing information changed, personal information updated, and problems corrected. Some of these interactions went smoothly, while others left a bad impression.
As an example of the latter, take my experience with an Internet services provider I contacted regarding whether my residence falls within its coverage area. On its website, the provider offered chat and phone options. Because I didn’t have a solid Internet connection at the house yet and wanted to conserve my mobile data, I tried the old-school method of a phone call.
Upon dialing, I received an automated message that the contact center was experiencing a high volume of calls and I was placed in the call queue.
Ten minutes later, and still in the queue, I figured I’d try the chat channel while I was waiting -- just to see. I fired up my Verizon MiFi hotspot and clicked the button to launch a Webchat. Within about 30 seconds, I got through to an agent; meanwhile I was still waiting in that call queue. I was able to get all my questions answered via chat, so hung up on the still-unanswered call. Had I not tried the Webchat avenue, who knows how long I would have been waiting, only to find out that, no, my residence was not within the provider’s service area.
To a degree, longer on-hold times can be expected from most any customer service operation this time of year -- with the back-to-school season upon us, people across the country are shuffling to sneak in those end-of-summer vacations, shop for school supplies, and so on. Glad as I was that I was able to get my question answered via my second channel choice, my contact center calling experience doesn’t have to be -- and shouldn’t be -- the norm. Organizations must be prepared for traffic spikes – seasonal or otherwise -- coming into their contact centers.
Traditionally, contact centers would have handled seasonal business spikes by engineering for peak demand and hiring additional employees. These seasonal employees might have had the requisite skills and knowledge, but chances are they wouldn’t have known the business or have been able to provide the customer experience in the manner business executives desired. But in this modern era, organizations can take advantage of new tools that allow them to deliver digitally transformed customer care capable of scaling with their businesses.
This is the topic we’ll be exploring in the upcoming webinar with contact center industry analyst Sheila McGee-Smith, of McGee-Smith Analytics. Register now to hear from one of the industry’s all-stars on how businesses can design their customer experiences to be ready for the scalability and flexibility required by seasonal business demands. You’ll learn about new approaches to capacity scalability, how supporting work-from-home agents can be game-changer, and how you can apply new technologies like artificial intelligence to ensure that your contact center organization is agile enough to provide exceptional customer experience, even while dealing with the heaviest of call volumes.