By: Chris Dellen On: August 28, 2014 In: Contact Center Comments: 0

I have been sitting in contact centers for years listening to calls, crunching numbers, speaking with everyone from CEO’s to agents. I am continually amazed at what is on an *agent’s desktop.

On average, I see agents tabbing, clicking and dragging between 10 – 20 unique programs and windows (databases, CRM’s, websites, Excel documents, binders, sticky notes, printed emails, and even shouting over their cubes to their colleagues) to get the answer their customer needs. It is a situation that is right in front of our noses and yet the challenge persists.

How does this happen?

Each center has its own story. However, one of the common things I see is that as the business grows, customer support has to grow along with it to meet increasing customer demands. As a result, contact center managers cobble together solutions, workarounds, and for lack of a better term, “hack” a solution together to just be able to solve the customer’s problem.

What impact does this chaos have on the agents?

We have been working with a customer supporting a large-scale ecommerce initiative on redesigning their agent desktop. After implementation, overnight (yes, actually overnight) their Average Handle Time (AHT) dropped 50%. Imagine the impact of doubling the productivity of your contact center – literally overnight!

How to achieve these results in your contact center?

Below are a few steps to get you started as you redesign for resolution in your contact center:

1. Identify the top 10 reasons customers call your center. Of course, these will be specific to your business, but here are a few examples.

      • Placing an order
      • Getting product, organization or industry information
      • Troubleshooting a product
      • Resetting a password
      • Reporting an unpleasant experience

2. Make a list of all of the programs, websites, databases, customer information systems, erp system, inventory management, email, and all other tools that your best agents have open on their computer at any given time and use to resolve customer issues. Don’t leave anything out!

3. Put together a spreadsheet that lists out which programs are used to solve each type of customer question. It should look something like this:







4. Put them in the order that the agent uses those tools:

      • Phone/Client
      • ERP
      • And so on…

5. Use a tool similar to the one we use with our clients, Oracle RightNow Cloud Service, to incorporate all of this information into one seamless flow that presents the specific information needed by the agent at just the right moment.

6. After implementation, continue measuring the efficiency of the process. After you take this first leap, you’ll be amazed at additional opportunities for improvement that you never even realized were available before.

I hope these were helpful insights! Please drop me an email if you have questions or are interested in learning more.

*Agent Desktop: all of the programs on an agent’s computer screen that is needed to solve a customer question