Being the largest contact-center market in Europe, Germany has always been on the cutting edge of contact-center technologies and business practices. This highly saturated market constantly imposes new business challenges on its participants, making them look for new ways to improve efficiency of their operations. Mature contact centers embark on projects for enhancement of their functional capabilities and technologies to compete with younger but more technologically advanced companies and to ensure financial stability of their business. This article will focus on the technologies and business practices that are offered by Noda to help companies to address their most important operational challenges and to achieve better financial and technological performance.
Reducing the CapEx
Capital Expenditures (CapEx) has always been a prime source of worry for many businesses. When a company needs to make a cost effective acquisition, the CapEx amount may become an important decision-making factor, since it influences the company’s financial position and reduces its free cash flow for the rest of the business. This is why companies prefer obtaining capabilities and equipment as an operating expense (OpEx) instead of the CapEx.
Noda easily solves this issue offering its software products as a service – on a paper-use basis. Our customers do not need to buy the software outright; they only pay a small setup fee, and then use the product paying it per use. This delivery model has proven its efficiency since the payment depends only on the current usage of the software, and the customer does not need to pay anything beyond this amount. At the same time, additional resources can be easily released in case of significant growth of the business.
Solving Staff-Related Issues
Hiring staff for a contact center is another important issue that can cost a lot to businesses. It is hard to be attractive for qualified personnel if you do not offer convenient work conditions or do not provide environment for personal growth and realization of your staff’s potential. People do not want to be “talking machines”, they want to solve complex tasks and derive satisfaction from their work. Let us look closer at how modern contact-center software can help to increase the prestige of the profession and to retain the staff.
First of all, Noda provides tools for smart and effective processing of customer queries. Agents work in a convenient system via a user-friendly interface with access to pre-integrated knowledge warehouses and reference data. Solving cases, agents actively use prompts offered my bots and follow agent scripts, which allow them to reduce their efforts and save time when dealing with standard types of requests. All of these tools transform an agent into an expert capable of solving any customer task, even the most complicated and unstructured one, and lead to higher satisfaction of people with their job. Importantly, researchers prove that happy agents lead to happy customers and better business results, which means that when a company invests in this type of technology, it actually makes ground for the profit.
Another important area effectively managed by Noda solutions is listening to agents’ personal needs. There is a global tendency to provide agents with more freedom when scheduling their work hours and also to hire home-based personnel. Besides being cost-effective, this approach allows making a job of an agent more valuable and attractive. On the other hand, it requires using appropriate technologies to manage geographically distributed staff, ensure effective shift planning and still provide the same quality of services.
Noda’s solutions go the extra mile to make the work of an agent more comfortable. Noda Contact Center comprises the Web Phoneapplication for home-based employees, which allows supporting geographically distributed agents, reducing contact-center expenses and at the same time ensuring access to all agent functions. It also comprises comprehensive reporting and quality assurance tools. Using advanced WFMtoolsprovided by Noda, agents can flexibly manage their work schedules and even exchange their shifts with other staff members via the smart mobile application.
Effectiveness and high performance of Noda’s WFM solution have been proven by industry accolades and customer appraisals. The product generates a month’s schedule for 100 agents just within 1 minute. It ensures seamless integration with HR systems and provides convenient visual tools to track, manage and exchange work shifts. When managing agent schedules, the solution observes all applicable regulatory requirements and internal policies. Besides convenient planning, it allows predicting contact center loads and planning agent schedules in such a way that helps to reduce idle time and to effectively manage the payroll.
Another issue related to the staff costs is the training. Unfortunately, the contact-center industry is infamous for the high personnel turnover. The change of employees is only half of the problem, the other important aspect is the need to train newcomers, which is a time-consuming and expensive process.
To reduce high training costs, Noda’s solutions provide advanced agent scripting tools combined with virtual assistant services.Dialogue scripts allow contact centers to support the desired service quality in different projects and reduce the contact processing cost. At the same time, scripts help to speed up onboarding of new agents. They are integrated with internal and external knowledge warehouses and minimize the amount of information agents have to learn and remember before they start their work. Significantly, Noda’s visual script management tools allow creating scripts without involvement of software developers, while the ready service scripts can be applied via any channel and in any project.
The company also provides a modern tool for implementation of customized chat bot services at contact centers – Noda Virtual Assistant. Besides reducing the workload on the contact center, bots can help the staff to better navigate in the complex structure of multiple business offerings across different contact-center projects and to select pre-integrated templates to quicker respond to customer queries.
Streamlining the Workload
Discussing the agent role, we cannot help mentioning issues associated with uneven workload on contact centers during different periods. Peak hour overloads change into idle time and make contact centers to either hire more people than they really need or face the overload challenges during such rush periods.
Noda’s forecasting tools and support of agent blending help to easily solve this issue. Agents can work on several different projects simultaneously and switch to specific projects when they require more resources, for example during rush hours or holiday seasons.
Another modern tool offered by Noda to reduce agent workload is the Virtual Assistant technology that is used to create customized text and voice robots (microservices). Such robots manage different types of incoming contacts and solve simple standard tasks that do not require human presence (provide product and service details, collect meter readings, accept and confirm purchase orders, track delivery statuses, etc.). They do not only provide valuable help to agents, but actually transform the way how the business is arranged.
Transforming the Business to Improve Loyalty
Another effective approach to improve the customer’s satisfaction is to find ways to transform everyday services. We live in the word where the words “robots’ and ‘AI’ are not a fiction any more. They exist and they help to change the world of services.
To save customers’ time and to increase their loyalty with flawless services, an advanced contact center should look at innovations in the world of virtual assistants. IVRs are no longer a trend, and the most advanced technological companies have already set a goal to replace IVR services with virtual agents that communicate with customers in a natural way.
Modern speech recognition and synthesis technologies teach robots to extract meaning from the natural speech. Impressive results of such efforts already help contact centers to reduce their workload and to increase the quality of their services.
All routine operations can and must be automated. Bots can start a dialogue and obtain initial information, which will be analyzed and used to prepare a response. A human will be involved at the last stage of contact processing, when the problem is already clear and requires expert involvement. Rapid processing of information and access to the company’s knowledge allow bots to improve the way how the contact center addresses customer needs.
Noda’s bots work hard to help customers. They define customer needs and rout them directly to appropriate agents, collect meter readings, provide reference information (such as details of a bank account or product information), enable or disable services, track order statuses. They learn using the knowledge accumulated by the company and provide more personalized services due to instant access to the customer’s details. In addition, all robots are flexible customized without programming via a convenient user interface to cover individual business features.
Addressing Customer Needs via a Broad Range of Channels
Today’s customer is a very busy person who relies on himself and greatly trusts self-service channels. Businesses are actively moving to omni-channel to be able to reach or be available for their customers any time and anywhere. This means that the future of contact centers greatly depends on their ability to keep in pace with this trend.
To support this market requirement, Noda created a truly omni-channel contact-center platform that supports all modern communication channels and allows easily adding new channels when they appear. The solution supports both traditional and popular emerging channels: phone, email, SMS texting, live web chat, video chat, IVR, messengers (Facebook, Viber, Telegram, VK), smart apps, social networks (Facebook, Twitter, VK), self-service / assisted self-service channels, WebRTC and others.
To learn more on modern omni-channel capabilities, read the article Going Omni-Channel and Beyond
It is important that Noda’s digital channels were initially designed as part of the solution architecture and are delivered on an out-of-the-box basis. This allows the company to implement any new channels quicker than other vendors would do. This also ensures that the solution can use the same common agent scripts via any channel and supports customer identification regardless of where a contact comes from. It also maintains the unified history of all customer contacts over all channels, cross-channel interaction and channel blending (i.e. the ability to start communication with a customer in one channel and easily switch to another one).
Supporting the Future Today
Significantly, modern technologies do not only help to easily overcome today’s challenges, but also provide a reliable support for the future. Noda’s technologies are constantly developing and exploring new functional areas that will help the industry to transform and stay in pace with the world. Follow our blog to learn more on modern trends in the contact-center industry