Can Self-Service Automation Help Contact Center Agents?

by | Aug 21, 2020

Consumer expectations have shifted rapidly over the past few years. The rise of social media and other technological innovations have changed how everyone operates in our new digital world. Despite the speed with which consumers have adapted, many businesses haven’t kept pace. With the outbreak of COVID-19, the need to change is as dire as ever. The time for change is now. Four key challenges stand in the way of digital transformation — which we call the “The Weight of Legacy.”

Today’s customer self-service tools help customer service agents in many ways. Agents working from home can complete interactions faster and be more prepared for customer needs, deliver secure methods for handling sensitive information like payment processing, and more. As more businesses implement self-service capabilities, customer service representatives stand as well as consumers stand to benefit.

“As more businesses implement self-service capabilities, customer service representatives stand as well as consumers stand to benefit.”

1. Fast Interactions

According to research from Microsoft, more consumers rank “getting my issue resolved quickly” as the most important aspect of a satisfying customer service experience than any other issue. Today’s self-service capabilities instantly speed up customer service for any interaction where end-to-end automation is appropriate. Customer service agents benefit from added speed during interactions between customers and live agents as well.

Self-service tools like Zappix Visual IVR allow businesses to authenticate callers and gather critical information while customers wait on hold and push that information directly to agents, who can deliver the faster, more convenient experience customers desire. The added information makes experiences more enjoyable for callers and empowers CSRs to provide the best possible service.

2. Secure Interactions

Customer service agents working from home during COVID-19 have needed new ways of handling sensitive information like payment processing and other tasks. Modern self-service tools let agents deliver the empathetic, human interactions they’re trained for, while allowing them to pass the final payment process off to secure self-service to complete a successful resolution.

PCI and other critical compliance issues can become complicated for businesses and agents working from home and during hybrid workflows. By providing agents with a simple, straightforward solution to compliance, contact center leaders allow their talented reps to focus more energy on customers instead of having to manage yet another change to their training and operations.

3. Meaningful Interactions

Contact center agents excel at delivering empathetic, human experiences to consumers calling about complex, stressful situations. Their skill and expertise provide interactions that even the most advanced automation can’t match. When agents get bogged down in simple, straightforward, tedious calls, the ability to deliver powerful interactions where agents’ skills are really valuable diminishes.

Self-service tools deflect these tiresome, repetitive tasks away from agents. Tools that deliver end-to-end automation and completely contain these tedious interactions empower agents to focus only on calls where their skills are most valuable. As call volumes increase during the COVID-19 pandemic, these tedious tasks are only becoming more overwhelming. Freeing agents with successful automation takes the most simple interactions off their plates and empowers them to deliver the best service they can.

Many business leaders see customer service automation and self-service tools as a threat to customer service representatives. Automation isn’t about to take agents’ jobs — they’re in the process of empowering agents and providing them with just as many benefits as customers experience. Today’s self-service platforms like Zappix Visual IVR benefit live agents, consumers, and businesses as well. A successful resolution for everyone involved.

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