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Moving Your Contact Centers to Real-Time Resolution

The wise Benjamin Franklin once said: "Lost time is never found again."

Our time is precious, and spending it waiting for a contact center agent to find the information needed to resolve an issue is lost time that we can never regain. Most organizations understand this, and the smart ones are doing their best to utilize technologies and solutions that reduce the time between customer contact and question answered or issue resolved.

How many businesses let their customers know they truly value them and respect their time? An exceptional customer experience depends on quick issue resolution, and while contact center agents generally have the information and knowledge they need to provide an answer or resolve an issue when a customer calls or contacts them, they will need some sort of assistance for a portion of the inquiries they handle. That's why for years I've been talking about allowing agents to reach out beyond the walls of the formal contact center to subject matter experts (SMEs) within their organizations. When agents have access to additional information from SMEs, they're often able to provide first call resolution (FCR).

Until recently, however, agents have had a difficult time knowing which SMEs to contact and the best way to contact them. If agents needed to speak with product specialists to answer technical questions, they could either put the customers on hold or call them back after they got the information, in which time the customers may have gone to a competitor instead. Both options resulted in additional costs to the organization, and dissatisfied customers. But now, with tools like Microsoft Skype for Business and cloud contact center services such as those from Five9, we can address not only FCR but also take that one step further to real-time resolution, or RTR.

Leveraging Skype for Business for RTR

Thanks to the integration of Skype for Business, cloud contact center providers like Five9 can provide RTR for customers. Leveraging Skype for Business' UC tools such as presence and IM, they can see which SMEs are available and quickly get the needed information during a customer call.

Many organizations have deployed Skype for Business to improve worker productivity and efficiency, taking advantage of its UC capabilities, including PSTN voice. But what about their contact center agents? While businesses can't get full-featured contact center capabilities from Microsoft itself, they can turn to contact center providers that have integrated with Skype for Business to provide a best-of-breed solution.

The list of contact center vendors that have integrated their products or services with Skype for Business is growing, as the need for a well-integrated solution is critical.

SME Through Single Pane of Glass

As a case in point about integration, AMSURG, one of the largest surgery center management companies in the U.S., uses Five9's cloud contact center with Skype for Business to better handle patient claims and run its in-house service desk, as I learned in a recent conversation with Corey Cross, key systems engineer at the company. AMSURG moved to Skype for Business as its phone system several years ago, and needed to replace its legacy call center product with one that worked with Skype for Business and leveraged its call control and PBX capabilities. After a failed attempt with one product, the company turned to Five9, Cross told me.

"Skype for Business and Five9 provide a single pane of glass. All of the agents have Skype for Business licenses, and our agents can go to their Five9 enhanced address book and see all of the Skype contacts in the company, and easily send them an IM or conference them in," Cross described.

In addition, everything is HIPAA compliant, and "being able to securely establish a line of communication between Five9 and Skype for Business is key," Cross said. AMSURG gets added functionality from Five9, while improving the customer and agent experience.

If you're interested in learning more about how AMSURG addresses RTR, join me for a Five9-sponsored webinar on Sept. 19 at 11:00 a.m. PT/2:00 p.m. ET. You'll hear from Cross on how AMSURG improved its contact center operations, as well as created a better customer and agent experience, by using Five9 and Skype for Business. Don't miss this chance to learn how you can help your agents be more effective while making your customers happier faster!