5 golden Nuggets to Improve your ShoreTel Contact Center – Part 1
By Chris Recio, Director of Contact Center and Advanced Applications
This is part 1 of a two-part guide uncovering two broad “golden nuggets.” Learn about data integration, IVR dynamic decisioning and call treatment. Next week, in addition to major contact center pillars, we’ll go over three more nuggets: Agent screen pop, IVR variable data, and Reporting.
Let me start by saying, I dislike the term “Best Practices” as it implies there is one best way to achieve success in your contact center operation. While there are certain benchmarks to a best practice, I often find what is best practice for one operation can be something completely different for another organization. Not all things are equal when it comes to your contact center operation. Each operation takes on a personality of its own.
However, there are some golden nuggets that can open up several options for improving your contact center operation, and ultimately, the customer experience.
Keeping a Best Practices approach in mind, I will outline what I find to be integral concepts for any contact center solution that will immediately improve your operation, agent morale, and – of course – the customer experience.
With ShoreTel ECC and ShoreTel Connect Contact Center, these options are readily available and easy to configure. Likewise, these options are finding their way into almost every contact center product offering today, with varying degrees of simplicity, and they offer your contact center operation a fantastic method of gaining more control over your contact center and the customer experience.
Integration is often too broad a term and conjures up thoughts of excessive development, programming, and lots of expense. Today, most applications are created with the thought of integration as a standard practice. However, the process for each solution can vary widely, with varying degrees of simplicity and/or difficulty.
Because data is pervasive in every contact center, using data whenever possible can pay huge dividends for the contact center operation, agent morale, and most importantly, for improving the customer experience.
When I first began working with ShoreTel ECC, one of the items I immediately found value with was the natively accessible ability to create an ODBC interface to an external database repository.
This meant, no matter what information I needed or desired to access, as long as I had an ODBC option, I could retrieve any information necessary to facilitate the customer experience. But, it didn’t stop there. Having access to data via ShoreTel ECC and ShoreTel Connect Contact Center provides these key options for customer service:
- Immediate access to client-based information
- Ability to make immediate routing decisions on-the-fly
- Ability to personalize the customer messaging
- Ability to show data to Agents – turning their focus to the customer
- Ability to push client-specific information to applications by automating the much loved Screen Pop
Having access to data opens so many more options than are listed here. However, the options above are certainly the starting points of streamlining the customer experience and, the often forgotten, agent morale.
Another golden nugget of ShoreTel ECC and ShoreTel Connect Contact Center and any contact center solution is the IVR and its ability to use data for making dynamic routing decisions and call treatment.
One of the key benefits of using ShoreTel IVR within ECC and Connect Contact Center is the drag-n-drag simplicity of the IVR tool, also known as GCCS – Graphical Call Control Scripting. When the ODBC interface is configured in either ECC or Connect, the connection is immediately available to IVR.
With IVR and access to data, IVR can perform on-the-fly call treatment based on a variety of needs. Here are some more common options:
- Ability to change Call Priority
- Ability to change Menu Options
- Ability to present on-the-fly Marketing messaging
- Ability to personalize the call flow messaging and experience at every turn
The options above are only a small sampling of what can be accomplished using IVR coupled with real-time access to data through an ODBC interface.
Today, most contact center solutions offer this flexibility with varying degrees of ease. While some solutions require a bit more technical know-how, ShoreTel ECC and Connect Contact Center offer a dramatically simple approach to its configuration.
Vendors should be very selective about the choice of contact center solutions they place in front of customers. Make sure the solution must be flexible and require minimal professional services for deployment. And most importantly, the solution must be nimble and easy to use and maintain by our customers.
In addition to being selective about which contact center solutions to offer, your vendor should also spend a great deal of time working with you at deeper levels in your contact center operation. At Inflow we launched a program for doing this : CCSM (Contact Center Success Manager) program. Our goal is to maximize our client investment in technology through ongoing operational consulting, education, and product knowledge. We gain great value through our business partnership with our clients, while simultaneously assisting our clients in constantly improving their contact center expertise and efficiencies leveraging products they already own.