Last year, COVID-19 and the resulting lockdowns sent shockwaves around the world. Many industries felt the pressure from COVID-19 and had to change how they operated. No industry was hit harder than the customer service industry, however. As many people went under lockdown, the customer service industry had to adapt to the challenges of a remote workforce and remote customer service.
This year, with the vaccine coming out in huge quantities, the pandemic is beginning to come to a close and life is expected to go back to normal. With the rush to go back to normality and with the changes to how customers will interact with the businesses they love, many businesses and organizations should prepare for success in the post-pandemic world.
In the first post about how to succeed in a post-pandemic world, we’ll cover the role of the knowledge worker, and how important turning your remote agents into knowledge workers will be after COVID-19.
Knowledge Workers in the Contact Center
The knowledge worker in the contact center is the center of knowledge for customers. Knowledge workers focus on creative problem solving, subject matter expertise, and high quality customer support. As expectations from customers continue to increase due to factors like more digital channels use and higher technology literacy, so does the need for skilled support and knowledge from agents within the organization.
The COVID-19 pandemic has only sped up this process. More people now than ever are on digital channels, and reliance on technology has only increased. This means that the expectations placed on agents is higher now than ever before. With many rushing to return to normal, call centers should expect more specialized interactions now than ever before, since customers are not only going to stick to their newly adopted channels, but will also require high amounts of customer service as they transition to a post-COVID environment.
Empower Agents as Knowledge Workers
To help empower agents as knowledge workers in the contact center, there are many tools contact centers can utilize to help empower agents.
One tool that contact centers should start with is AI. Artificial intelligence is innovating how companies do customer service. For example, self-service AI can help triage calls and collect basic information from customers through conversational IVR and chatbots. This information can then be used by the agents to help the customer once the customer wants to talk to a live agent. The AI can then perform a seamless bot-to-human handoff.
Another AI-related tool is agent assist. Google, Microsoft, IBM, and proprietary AI solutions can all assist agents during interactions through things like sentiment analysis and response suggestions based on the context of the conversation. Agent assist can really help make conversations seamlessly and helps empower agents as knowledge workers.
Another tool that can help empower agents as knowledge workers is through internal messaging, namely business communication platform integrations. With Bright Pattern’s platform, businesses are able to utilize platforms like Microsoft Teams through the Bright Pattern platform. This promotes a culture of knowledge sharing among agents and can help agents get the information they need quickly. This, in turn, helps empower agents as knowledge workers when interacting with customers.
Bright Pattern’s Knowledge Worker Tools
Bright Pattern’s cloud contact center solution offers the tools your contact center needs to help empower agents as knowledge workers in your organization. Tools like our Microsoft Teams integration, AI-powered agent assist, and conversational IVR all help increase the knowledge of agents and promote a culture of knowledge sharing within your customer service team.