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How automation can meet demand for incredible customer experience

(Image credit: Image source: Shutterstock/Vasin Lee)

It’s not unexpected for employees to have monotonous tasks to complete from time to time. However, research shows that this is becoming a major burden on the working day, with more than 40 percent of employees spending at least a quarter of their time handling manual and repetitive tasks. When those tasks take up too much time or become all too common, dissatisfaction and boredom can prevail.  

For the contact center industry dealing with large call volumes, it’s crucial agents are freed up to focus on higher-level tasks which can support customers in the best way possible, while reducing the stress caused by too much admin.   

The answer lies in workflow automation. This eliminates repetitive tasks so that the contact center can be a smooth-running, less process-intensive machine. It connects and integrates systems to consistently create exceptional customer experiences by aggregating information, providing comprehensive views of data and performance, and automating sophisticated, cross-platform workflows. By freeing up valuable employee time and automating complex processes, organizations can boost employee productivity and drive consistent customer outcomes, creating happier employees and customers. 

Cease serving customers in isolation  

Failure to focus on customer service has a clear impact on brand loyalty. A recent study carried out by Five9, which analyses the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on consumers, found that 61 percent of respondents said they are unlikely to continue shopping with a brand based on poor customer service. Meanwhile, a quarter of respondents (26 percent) said their contact center experience over the past 10 months was worse than it had been before.   

Empathy is key to creating a more human experience with customers and building long-term loyalty. This is based on a solid understanding of what customers want, as well as how they are treated by the brand in terms of awareness, engagement, learning, and measuring. To create that experience and demonstrate empathy, organizations need to connect their internal departments and processes and cease serving customers in isolation. 

By eliminating time-consuming manual processes for employees and automating system interactions, their time is freed up. This means they can better focus on their customers’ needs, enhance the customer experience, and provide solutions successfully. In doing so, it empowers and enables agents to be more empathetic in their interactions.

Integrate new technologies  

Supplanting human action with automation will modernize the contact center and streamline work. Most businesses identify that improving the customer experience is a key goal of their digital transformation initiatives. But to do this, the work behind the scenes that is invisible for the customer must be modernized to cater and better improve the processes that happen front of house.  

Contact centers work with a wide range of systems like CRM, service management, order entry, billing, and more that support different functionality and store unique information. Difficulties developing and maintaining system-to-system integrations mean that manual workflows are needed to coordinate actions and keep information in sync. Workflow automation is built for the contact center to seamlessly connect these disparate systems, aggregate information, provide comprehensive views of performance, and automate simple to sophisticated workflows.  

By utilizing automation, agents’ time is spared, and the contact center is able to produce more predictable results. A library of pre-built connections to popular business systems and a visual “low-code” approach to workflow design lets businesses easily create intelligent, automated workflows. Streamlining and supercharging work through automation can improve efficiency, productivity, and the overall customer experience.

Learn from previous interactions 

The contact center environment is ready for integration of new technologies. Most businesses have identified that improving the customer experience is a key goal of their digital experience (DX) initiatives. Good DX demands connected solutions, and 76 percent of customers expect consistent interactions across departments.   

To join up knowledge sharing, organizations need to implement key performance indicators (KPIs) that report on customer interactions using shared metrics. While improving the customer experience is the key goal, the insights from KPIs allow businesses to service customers holistically without an end-to-end ecosystem and process. Each interaction learns from the last and is able to service customers effectively by understanding their needs and feeding that back through the entire business. Workflow automation can tune into the needs of the contact center and make these vital contributions.  

Prepare for whatever is next  

Approaching customers through the contact center with agility and adaptability is the most important factor when implementing new technologies, and businesses can reap the benefits. The last year has proven how quickly things can change. Businesses have been left not knowing how to adapt to the dramatic shift in consumer demands. The need for digital solutions to remain agile is paramount, especially since so many high-street names have closed their doors permanently due to the ongoing effects of the pandemic.  

Amazing experiences start with organizations delivering a modern, seamless, omnichannel service. Only then can brands make their customers feel special and valued. To do this, organizations need to deliver a modern, seamless, omnichannel experience by implementing integrated solutions. Workflow automation brings both efficiency and context to customer handling by using insights and interacting with customers in ways that exceed expectations.  

The contact center industry continues to evolve, and businesses need to be prepared for whatever changes may come next.  With the right tools in place, brands can be ready to meet the ever-changing needs and expectations of their customers, improve customer satisfaction and drive brand loyalty.

Brian Atkinson, GM & VP EMEA, Five9

Brian Atkinson joined Five9 in 2019 as the GM/VP EMEA, where he is responsible for growing the EMEA region.