Why there’s never been a better time for channel partners to offer Workforce Engagement Management solutions

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Smart resellers are already adding significant value and stickiness to their contact centre deals with innovative workforce engagement management (WEM) solutions and it’s time to join them says Pippa Rhys at Calabrio.  Just be sure to check the label: is it true or fake cloud?

Contact centre, UC and CRM vendors are rushing to develop or acquire workforce engagement solutions consisting of quality and workforce management, AI analytics and performance monitoring tools – albeit to a greater or lesser degree of success.  Have you ever stopped and wondered why this is happening and why now? Quite simply, the exceptional conditions over the last few years have created an incredibly challenging environment for contact centre leaders already battling to maintain service, revenue and staff levels within tight budgets.

Contact centres have changed and there’s no going back

Press the replay button to early 2020.  Three deciding factors converged during the course of the last two years which have changed contact centres forever:

1. Simple economics - when the first lockdown was imposed, consumer spending hit the pause button as bricks and mortar shops closed and people didn’t know if they had a job to go back to after the pandemic.  Fast-forward to today - soaring household bills, inflation and economic anxiety mean people are again tightening their belts, reducing their spending on travel and subscriptions, hunting for deals and returning more of their purchases.  In parallel, the demand for support services has increased exponentially and no sector is untouched. 

2. Customer loyalty is changing – there is no doubt that customer attitudes have altered. Cost and convenience have turned the tide on loyalty. Customers now expect a seamless experience with more than 75% quoting consistent customer experiences and customer service will improve the likelihood of them doing business with a brand. 

In 2022, it’s safe to assume that most interactions that customers have with organisations will be digital - via their phones, laptops, smart TV’s etc. Loyalty is now a digital experience. Consumer research indicates that 70% of customers expect an omnichannel customer experience across all channels but only 29% of brands are successful in delivering one. From Calabrio’s own research, 70% of customers expect multiple channels and a similar amount want personalised communication with heighten levels of emotional empathy. What is more, as consumers switch to digital channels and re-assess what good customer service looks like, they are more likely to swap brands and share good and bad experiences. 

3. COVID has reshaped the workforce - until recently, the majority of UK contact centres worked on a traditional, centralised model, with fewer than 4% of agents working remotely at home on a permanent basis. Compare that with today when 65% of agents work remotely, either part or full-time. It’s a complete sea-change. In addition, flexible working has expanded the talent pool outside the traditional office-based locality, meaning agents have a greater choice of employers and expect the right tools and technology to be in place to support them, wherever they are. 

WEM to the rescue: one solution - additional revenue 

Advancements in WEM represent a modern-day miracle by boosting operational efficiency and improving agent and customer experience at a single stroke. Adding the right WEM solution to your portfolio is a fast, efficient way to deliver significant value to clients by solving today’s top contact centre challenges while increasing the value of your sales. 

Workforce engagement management (WEM) solutions driven by Artificial Intelligence (AI) are a ‘must have’ in the complex world of remote or hybrid work and increased customer expectations. Agent empowerment technologies like AI-powered Chatbots and self-scheduling facilitate a healthy work-life balance, helping remote employees to mark a clear distinction between being ‘on’ and ‘off’ duty. Meanwhile, clever interaction analytics that provide a complete view of customer journeys enable agents to deliver outstanding CX. Behind the scenes, desktop analytics in WEM systems quickly identify when clunky IT systems or processes are slowing agents down, while sentiment analysis and stress predictors nip employee motivation issues in the bud.  

Aim for an all-in-one package that combines integrated Workforce Management (WFM), analytics, data management, quality management and performance coaching then look for a vendor that takes data seriously. The best WEM solutions capture and analyse unlimited amounts of raw data and transform it into valuable intelligence and actionable insights. They have inbuilt data-silo busting capabilities to eradicate the dangerous black holes that get in the way of your customers delivering joined up agent and customer experiences.  

True versus fake Cloud – don’t get caught out

Finally, guide your customers towards a cloud-based WEM solution. It might sound obvious but many organisations still operate their contact centres on-premise and miss out on all the proven benefits that only the Cloud can offer - such as reduced costs, increased revenues, improved CSAT and ESAT scores. Overcome your customers’ fears and objections by choosing your WEM cloud vendor partner carefully. After all, there are a number of new kids on the block with dubious claims about their omnichannel and AI capabilities. Before signing on the dotted line, grill vendors to check they are not spinning a fake cloud story - that will land you and your customers in hot water at a later stage.   

True cloud solutions are easy to use, easy to integrate, are available anywhere and at any time. They also offer a range of capabilities including multi-tenancy, continuous delivery and the highest levels of compliance and real-time security.  Calabrio’s handy new guide leads resellers safely through the potential minefield of cloud jargon and myths with the key questions to ask.

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