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Seasonal Demands Require Scalability and the Human Touch

Tony Dolan 12 December 2019

When we talk about contact centre scalability, we tend to focus on the automation of the underlying technology. However, the ability for a contact centre solution to scale during the onboarding of a large workforce is equally important, especially during a period of peak or seasonal investment when much of your workforce is temporary like Christmas or Sale promotions.


While the Genesys® PureCloud® application is highly scalable, there are three attributes that simplify the traditional expectations of working with seasonal agents — training, employee or agent utility, and workforce management.


To keep up with the shift in consumer behavior, traditional contact centres have done their best to integrate new channels into their core systems. This could include SMS, messaging apps, social channels, email, web chat and chatbots. In many cases, these integrations aren’t seamless — they’re “bolted on.”


By this, I mean they’re integrated in a way that requires special handling of training, reporting, call routing and agent staffing to manage them. During day-to-day operations, companies compensate to get value out of these disparate systems.


However, during an influx in agent talent, when you need the scalability to meet seasonal spikes, the complexity reduces your ability to get the most out of your agents in a short period of time.

Training and Onboarding 

Think of the different channels that you need your newly hired agents to learn. If these are disparate systems, then each one has a different “linguistic” for each system.


Perhaps interfacing with your SMS customers is different than email, chat, WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook and voice. Disparate systems lose synergy and tax the speed in which your agents can be ready for a given customer season. This can feel similar to driving a large delivery truck — it has a regular steering wheel and brakes that you are used to, but you’re forced to relearn how to drive it specific to that vehicle’s environment.


Some companies solve this problem by focusing agents on just one or two channels. This reduces the utility of their agents and, when the call volumes surge across different voice and digital channels, agents aren’t agile enough to compensate.


The PureCloud application decreases onboarding costs by providing a single user experience for all contact centre employees — from agents to supervisors to back-office staff. All integrated channels are described equally with the same “linguistic.” This creates a unified synergy, also called “functional effectiveness,” so that reporting has familiar qualities to the after-call work and the SMS interaction is familiar to the voice interaction. Some agents find they can learn to navigate in just a few hours, rather than the traditional week or more.


With reduced training time, agents can be effectively equipped across all of your channels. This adds scalability and makes a company agile enough to handle a surge of voice calls in the morning and a peak of social and chat interactions in the afternoon.

Routing and Employee Utility  

It’s not enough to have a unified interface. The PureCloud application also unifies channels so they share the same routing engine. This enables you to increase agent utilisation through interaction concurrency.


For example, supervisors may tell the PureCloud application to allow an agent to have multiple SMS and chat interactions at the same time, but to only route a new digital interaction if the agent isn’t already involved with a prioritised voice interaction. Because the routing engine has full knowledge of all channels — and you no longer need to focus agent talent onto a single channel — your workforce requirements are reduced.

Workforce Management

There is also added complexity for workforce management with regard to seasonal staffing. Every contact centre manager has to ask themselves if their day-to-day methods of workforce scheduling can scale to a large influx of new agents. Many times, the answer is no.


Without seamless automation, you’re likely merging multiple reports together to determine your agent assignments — and all agents might have a level of skills that are maturing at different speeds during their onboarding process. The complexity explodes if you’re performing next-day scheduling practices in a digital world that demands intraday evaluations across a volume of agents that you weren’t managing just weeks prior.


A cloud-based contact centre brings a whole new value to workforce management. The PureCloud product has an artificial intelligence (AI) option that lets you schedule recommendations within a minute — and that has 95% accuracy based on your anticipated interaction volumes.


Even without AI, the PureCloud application offers the ease of intraday scheduling, which has become commonplace for contact centres adopting the wider fluctuations of most digital channels. This adds scalability to workforce management capabilities. Your normal scheduling operation remains simple before, during, and after your peak workforce fluctuations.


Because channels are integrated, so is reporting. Companies are no longer limited to end-of-day reporting. The PureCloud application uses real-time reporting and real-time dashboards across all channels and agent pools to get a holistic understanding of performance and effectiveness. Merging reports from disparate systems is a thing of the past.


The PureCloud application was designed to with scalability for the human factor. We’re entering one of the most intense seasons for customer service opportunities. Design a customer experience that improves your reputation — no matter the season.


This blog post has been re-published with kind permission of Genesys. The original post appeared on the Genesys Blog authored by Chip McCoy. To find out more about Genesys, visit their Conn3ct Partner page.

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