The adoption of collaboration tools within many enterprises has created a revolution that’s driving a new age of customer service. This revolution is shifting to an evolution as businesses over the years have looked to extract added value from services such as Microsoft Lync and Skype for Business and latterly Microsoft Teams.
The arrival of Microsoft Teams in particular, has changed the approach of many businesses as they move to unified communications environments and omnichannel customer interactions. Driven in part by the pandemic, Microsoft Teams has become the collaboration platform of choice for many businesses. In April 2020, it reportedly reached 75 million daily users, up from 44 million in March.
So what impact has Teams had on the Contact Centre? With the customer journey continuing to become ever more important to organisations over time, more businesses are handling more of the routine or predictable interactions they have with customers through self-service or automated channels. The remaining queries and interactions tend to be complex or awkward, often requiring the involvement of multiple parties to resolve. That is why we are seeing a growing number of organisations adopting Microsoft Teams to pull in expertise from across the business to resolve the more complex issues resulting in first contact resolution and an improved customer experience.
Reaching out across the Enterprise
Take for instance someone applying for a mortgage. If they were just looking to re-mortgage their property, the application would be straightforward and could be done online or handled by front office staff. However, if there were certain conditions to the mortgage or covenants on the property it may need the involvement from middle and back office teams for final approval.
Traditionally, before the advancement of UC, this could be a long-winded and protracted process, potentially involving multiple interactions with the customer, and inevitable delay and frustration. The advantage of integrating your contact centre with Microsoft Teams means that agents can handle calls effectively by engaging with back office experts to provide the best resolution available for each call.
Teams effectively allows organisations to extend the contact centre from the frontline agent into the middle and back offices enabling them in turn to streamline the business process and improve the customer experience into the bargain. The tool combines workplace chat, video meetings, file storage, and application integration to deliver a powerful collaboration environment. In the mortgage example above, an agent could potentially use it to get almost instant access to relevant people in the middle and back offices and get answers straight away so that the customer isn’t left hanging on.
Benefits for all
Integrating your contact centre with Microsoft teams offers highly-fluid means of communications, ideally suited to customer-facing businesses who want to build a highly responsive; interactive and productive customer service environment.
The core concept of Microsoft Teams is around bringing everything – from people to conversations, content and tools – together. Users can share assets like calendars, files and emails in real-time. Moreover, because it is cloud-based, it is easy for anyone to access them wherever they are in the world and whatever device they are using.
This has really come into its own in the recent pandemic. As with most of the nation’s workforce, contact centre agents have had to set up an office from their dining room tables. The collaboration and integration of the contact centre with Microsoft Teams means “business as usual” for their customers. Agents can answer calls, pull in experts and have access to documentation to provide answers or share with customers all from the comfort of their own home. These collaboration capabilities mean staff, particularly experts with specialisms in key areas, can work from anywhere in the world. This contributes to job satisfaction and helps retain their skills within the business.
All this capability helps make the customer service team much happier of course. It reduces friction in the process and agents have the peace of mind of knowing that they can draw on the expertise of the wider team and through the latest collaborative technology get relevant information back to the customer faster. And the old saying – “the happier the agent, the happier the customer” continues to hold true.
In today’s complex customer interaction environment, collaboration is key to delivering the best possible customer experience. Thanks to the emergence of the latest communications hub based technologies that kind of collaboration is increasingly within the reach of most businesses today.
Enghouse Interactive and Microsoft join forces to host webinar on how Teams can take customer experience to the next level. Flogas will also join the event to showcase how Microsoft Teams is building a collaborative contact centre.