Revolutionary User Experience (UX) for the Contact Center

Jerry Grassi, VP Sales, Skuid
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The Contact Center CX Challenge

Everyone wants to ensure customers receive the type of service that keeps them coming back. Contact centers focused on outstanding customer experience (CX) monitor metrics like response times and call duration knowing they make or break customer satisfaction. For this reason companies spend millions of dollars on contact center infrastructure and CRM systems (like Salesforce or Microsoft Dynamics) to provide their customers an optimal experience.

Bespoke goes far beyond light customizations and tweaks and makes a huge difference in your call center response times and support level 

Many companies integrate separate invoicing systems, product catalogs, and other systems with their CRM system. Combined, all these data-driven systems could make a huge amount of information visible to contact center employees (CCEs). But trying to navigate multiple systems to find, filter, update and create data can be a huge challenge, particularly when response times and call durations are stretched to the breaking point already.

In an industry that measures performance in fractions of a second, it seems strange that navigating an industry leading CRM system still requires a CCE to navigate multiple screens to perform a single transaction. Screen-hopping, scrolling, and confusing navigation unnecessarily extend a CCE call. 

Top 3 root problems in call center CRM systems.

Here are the top 3 reasons why CRM systems are often the culprit of long call durations and response times:

Problem 1: Off-the-Shelf CRM Generalization. Vendors design off-the-shelf CRM systems based on a given set of cross-industry use cases. The assumption is that if a generalized configuration can provide enough functionality for a broad group of customers, they can maximize their R&D investment. The problem is this: a generalized system rarely works well in a specialized practice. A CRM designed for almost everyone will not work for your specific, individual business case. Off-the-shelf CRM systems make a poor match for your processes and your desired look and feel. When your call center cannot be tailored to your business, you will experience significant negative impact to CCE productivity including fewer calls completed and missed sales.

Problem 2: User Interface Disparity. Whether your CCEs use a single CRM or access data from multiple systems (e.g. invoicing, product catalog or maintenance management) you will need them to access, create or edit data across multiple tables or objects (e.g. Contacts, Accounts, Service Records, etc.). All this cross-object access requires the CCE to navigate from screen to screen and then either scroll or tab through additional sections to find the relevant data field(s). This wastes time. As if the user interface of the CRM system isn’t bad enough, the situation gets even worse when accessing multiple systems. Different systems have different interfaces. They have different ways to enter data, save data, search data, and navigate from screen to screen. This UI disparity increases training costs, but most importantly, it wastes precious time that could be spent on better serving your customer.

Problem 3: The Cost of Custom Code. Historically, the only way to solve the nightmare of CRM generalization and user interface disparity has been to spend millions to customize your CRM or to integrate disparate systems with custom code. The problem, of course, is that except for companies with nearly unlimited budgets, a custom-code solution is much more expensive to build and maintain. Once you pay to own it, you have to pay to keep it updated. Plus, if your business needs change, you have to pay again to update your customizations.

Custom is not bespoke.

How are companies dealing with these challenges? Most are muddling through doing the best they can with a combination of off-the-shelf CRM software with some minor customizations. While this can improve CRM systems, it’s nowhere close to being an optimal solution. To get the ultimate solution, you need a bespoke, made-to-order system.

The word “bespoke” comes from the clothing world, and it refers to clothing that is designed to the exact measurements and specifications of each individual. Rather than buying a suit off the rack and then having it altered (like buying a CRM and then “customizing” it around the edges) a bespoke suit starts with your measurements, tastes, and fabrics. Bespoke is designed and sewn by a professional tailor from scratch, with no starting pattern.

Bespoke software works the same way. You start with the unique needs, style, and patterns of your users. Bespoke never starts with whatever is on the software “rack” a vendor happens to be pushing today. A bespoke solution wraps fully around your own business cases, processes and look-and-feel. Bespoke goes far beyond light customizations and tweaks and makes a huge difference in your call center response times and support levels.

The Good News: Bespoke without code.

Bespoke apps no longer require ground-up custom code. You can now create fully declarative, bespoke solutions for your contact center—without writing any code! You can now assemble a made-to-order solution without custom coding and within weeks or even days at a fraction of the cost.

Unlike custom code or most off-the-shelf software, code-free platforms like Skuid offer both affordability and scalability to deliver radically innovative solutions for small and large companies alike. Market leading companies are taking advantage of this revolutionary technology to make quantum leaps in contact center performance.

Need proof? Here are two examples: one from a small software company and one from a Fortune 100 insurance company:

Example 1: Procore

Procore (Procore.com), a Construction Management software company, needed a UX for their outbound business development team that provided them with specific data on prospects in a automated cadence to maximize their outbound calling and opportunity development. Procore implemented a new declarative solution, and within a few weeks they had built a complete bespoke UX for their team. When they tested the new UX against their CRM solution UX during a weekly “Power Hour” call challenge, the results were dramatic.  The representatives using the new bespoke UX were able to double the number of calls and appointments made compared to those using the CRM solution.

Example 2: Fortune 100 Insurance Company

The CCEs at this company used a leading CRM solution to track customer data and to generate new insurance quotes. Using the “customized” CRM solution, their CCE’s spent 15 minutes on average to complete a call. The CCE was required to navigate to 13 different screens and complete 38 mouse clicks to generate a single quote. They rebuilt their UX using a fully declarative solution based on their users’ specific needs. The results were astounding. They reduced the time to log a call and generate a price quote from 15 minutes to less than one minute with only 10 mouse clicks. 

UX Revolution

As seen in these examples, a UX revolution for contact centers is underway. It is critical that companies of all sizes and budgets provide their employees with bespoke solutions that dramatically improve CCE productivity and reduce call durations.  

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