One App to Connect Them All: Integrate All Interactions through the Single Agent Desktop

With customers demanding service over an increasingly broad range of digital channels, businesses are recognizing the gaps in their service delivery and looking for ways to meet the demand.  With so many disparate systems, applications, and channels, it can be an integration and reporting challenge. In this post, we help set you on the right path, where a single, simplified agent desktop is the anchor for connecting the entire organization and the key to delivering a great omnichannel customer experience.

Gen Ys and Millennials – Driving Change in the Contact Center

Not too long ago, the prevailing mindset when it came to emerging channels was “let’s have an agent monitor this email account and respond when there’s a lull in calls”, or “let’s add a chat capability on our website”. Blissfully ignorant of a future where digital channels would become a legitimate and preferred method of contact for many, these systems were implemented, but not really seen as part of the contact center. In fact, measurement of First Contact Resolution (FCR), Agent Solve Rate, and other contact data was not an anticipated need beyond the scope of phone calls.

For many organizations, the contact center continued to operate with a “phones first” mentality, where answering emails was something a few select individuals were asked to do on a best effort basis. But then came chat – it didn’t take long for early adapters to realize that offering customers the opportunity to chat online meant someone needed to be “on” to answer the person on the other end. The gaps and lack of reporting on this channel were manageable with techniques like posting chat “open” hours on the website, and anecdotal reports from those handling the chats.  But then came texting – another live contact channel – and social media. And now here we are today with new markets and new expectations.  Gen Ys and Millennials prefer self-service and digital channels over phone calls, and contact centers must evolve quickly to support these channels and these customers.  This evolution presents an integration challenge: how to offer all these choices while maintaining measurable service levels and a consistent view of contact activity and agent success. Moreover, how to evaluate and continually evolve the contact center to support the emerging channels of the future.

It doesn’t just stop at channels – the contact center mix has much more in it than email servers, ACDs, IVRs, and SMS providers. Other key ingredients are CRM platforms, Workforce Management, backend databases and Quality Monitoring systems.  It’s a mess of systems and channels that have very little awareness of each other’s existence, with little or no ability to ‘play nice’ with one another.

What to do? It’s impractical to continue with the existing systems as is, and equally impractical to replace them all with a non-existent “it does everything” solution.

Start with the Single Agent Desktop 

What’s missing is connection. Connection between channels, between systems, between customers and agents, and even between customers and their own previous interactions with your organization.

The solution lies in the agent desktop – the heart of the customer experience. Customers are reaching out to get help from an expert who knows at least as much as they do, hopefully more, about their order/support issue/inquiry. The Single Agent Desktop is the tool that the agents have at their fingertips. It needs to provide them with the knowledge, resources, and context from all the systems that influence the customer experience. Purchase history, recordings of calls, transcripts from chat conversations, support tickets, forms that have been filled out and submitted online – all this and more makes up the context of this customer’s unique journey and the agent desktop is the tool that can bring it all together with as little effort as possible for both the agent, and the customer.

One App to Connect Them All

The Upstream Works for Finesse (UWF) Single Agent Desktop provides a single, intuitive interface to easily view, organize, and manage the entire customer journey. With the click of a button, or even automatically, it can pop records related to the customer in CRM systems, trouble ticket platforms, call recording systems, backend databases, and any other system or application. In this way, you’re retaining and leveraging every relevant piece of information that you have about a customer in a single web based application that brings it all together.  UWF’s latest features empower agents to have visibility and control over any task, whether tasks are active, historical, in queue, or with other agents. Let’s say you have a caller who sent in an email an hour ago but decided to escalate to a phone call. Even if that email is being serviced by another agent, the agent who received the call can preview the email related to this customer, look at the form they filled out, and can pick the email to complete it as part of this interaction.  The customer benefits from a responsive, informed, and personalized experience – and the agent saves time and successfully resolves the customer’s issue.

Not every business needs all the channels and integrations right away – the pace at which you offer additional services and digital capabilities is up to you. It’s simple to add what you need, when you need it. Maybe your greatest need is still voice – start there.  Maybe include email too, and plan to add chat later, followed by Facebook messenger…the point is, you don’t need to have it all figured out up front. Let the needs and expectations of your customers determine the ongoing evolution of your offerings.

With customer service as the last great competitive differentiator, it’s simple to set your business apart with UWF as your Single Agent Desktop.  With more digital channels coming online all the time, businesses now have a tool that streamlines integration and helps set them up for success as the contact center continues to evolve.

Read our whitepaper 7 Key Decision Points for Implementing an Omnichannel Contact Center to learn more about how to succeed with your digital customer experience transformation.