Millennials demand more! According to Pew Research[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][i], as of Q1 2015, over one-in-three American workers are Millennials. These tech savvy individuals were born between 1980 and 2000 and are more comfortable with new technology and are more likely to embrace Unified Communications and Contact Centre technology, but only if the technology in question offers them the flexibility and collaborative qualities packaged in a visually appealing and easy to navigate manner.

Millennials have been brought up in a very visual world and their expectations are higher than the older generation, however it is often senior managers who make the purchasing decisions so could there be a mismatch between the needs of Millennials and the choices of senior managers?

As visual communications technology improves and the levels of design flexibility and feature sets previously reserved for the largest call and contact centres become available for as little as £99 per month, there are still a large percentage of IT Directors and Contact Centre Managers who only want to see simple digital screen designs containing basic call handling metrics.

Using complex, flexible software primarily for the display of the same Call Handling Metrics that were pushed to dot matrix wallboards and reader boards before some of the agents forced to use them were even born, is a missed opportunity to tap into the visual nature of Millennials.

Any visual communications solution worth investing in should be able to do more than gather data from an ACD or PBX and display call handling metrics onto a TV screen. To really engage with agents and create an environment that will attract talented individuals, TV screens should be awash with exciting information; agent anniversaries, new employee introductions, new office openings, corporate announcements and so on. They should allow customer sentiment, social media analytics or live customer feedback to be featured on screen designs which include strong branding and company values. HR and Marketing departments should be consulted to ensure brand engagement and messaging is consistent and the messages passed to agents at induction and training time is continued on a day to day basis. Good visual communication software will put the customer in control of screen designing and branding, without the need to constantly ask the manufacturer to adjust fixed templates and connect into back office systems; CRM, Helpdesk, Workforce Management and other systems should be possible with the use of simple API techniques.

According to Deloitte’s 2015 Millennial Survey[ii] The younger generation is aligned with its current leaders’ priority of “ensuring the long-term future of the organization.” Beyond this, though, Millennials would place a far greater emphasis on employee wellbeing and employee growth and development.

Giving contact centre agents a transparent view of customer sentiment, a balance of performance metrics from multiple sources and key information, will allow them to deliver great customer care, reduce stress, improve wellbeing and promote employee growth.

“When looking at their career goals, today’s Millennials are just as interested in how a business develops its people and its contribution to society as they are in its products and profits,” said Barry Salzberg, CEO of Deloitte Global.

[i] http://www.pewresearch.org/

[ii] http://www2.deloitte.com/global/en/pages/about-deloitte/articles/millennialsurvey.html[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

Many of today’s contact centre problems can be solved without large investments. It’s not always the big things that deliver the greatest returns, if executed incorrectly and left unsupported by many smaller ongoing activities, return on investment (ROI) on large projects is lengthy and can be disappointing.

So what are some of the common problems which exist in almost every call or contact centre today and how can low cost actions deliver high yield results?

High staff attrition – Let’s face it any attrition is going to cause disruption and cost money and with contact centre’s experiencing some of the highest attrition rates of any work environment everyone is being affected.

Disengaged employees – Your agents might not be planning to leave but unless you are able to motivate them to contribute towards the success of your organisation their contribution will fall short, and in cases where strong feelings of employee dissatisfaction exist, the few unhappy employees you have are more likely to sabotage the efforts of your committed agents.

Lack of focus – Having a common goal which your employees can believe in sounds like something every employee should have, but it takes clear communication, constant reminders, a mix of the right performance management metrics and customer feedback to keep your teams pulling in the right direction.

How many contact centre wallboards have you seen lately showing live Social Media Monitoring Analytics, Social Feedback or Real-Time Customer Sentiment data?

Lack of knowledge – Nothing stresses us out more than not knowing the answer to a question, especially when customers are showing signs of dissatisfaction. Anything that can be done to furnish agents with the information they need to answer customer questions has a positive impact on agent confidence and employee satisfaction. After all contact centre agents simply want customers to be happy.

There’s no one solution to any of these problems, and with the landscape changing all of the time it’s not always easy to see through the fog, thankfully the one thing which remains the same is human nature. Research has proven many times that customers want answers fast and from the first person they speak to. Ironically, this is exactly what agents want and the one thing that is guaranteed to make them feel motivated and satisfied. Both sides of the customer – agent relationship want the same thing and this simplifies things considerably. Think about it, every time a contact centre agent has a positive experience while working with a customer he or she feel fulfilled, valued and motivated to feel this way again and again, equally customer needs are met and the a mutual feeling of satisfaction and positivity occurs.

It’s up to customer care managers, IT directors and technology vendors to find the best tools to ensure each customer interaction has the very best chance of success, and to my mind this means ensuring agents know what is expected of them, what the brand they represent is all about and have access to the information they need to meet the needs of their customers, expensive? It doesn’t have to be.

Stephen Pace CEO

Stephen Pace (CEO)

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Are you a contact centre customer experience specialist? If you or the organisation you work for promote the skills to deliver contact center solutions as opposed to communication solutions and you are involved with tenders where the contact centre environment, agents and customer experience are a high priority then you probably need to understand the role visual communications plays in creating a positive, engaging environment for agents and supervisors.

Selling telephony is one thing, providing the knowledge and advice companies need to create a successful, optimised call centre or contact centre environment is something completely different, and in many cases many organisation who promote these services fall short of customer expectations.

Are you missing a piece of the puzzle?

Knowledge of your core products is not always enough to win tenders. Tools which allow you to engage with customer care departments give you the edge and allow you to position yourselves as contact center experts.

If you would like to help your customers build highly effective contact centers and leave a lasting, visual impression of your expertise and professionalism consider introducing the subject of employee engagement, agent awareness and knowledge transfer to your tenders.

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