“Hey Honey… Do you think you could wait until the end of my workday to finish that episode of The Real Housewives of Toledo? I’ve got sales to close, and for the life of me I can’t hear my customers ‘cause you’re using up the bandwidth!”
Whether it’s your agents’ spouses streaming Netflix, their neighbors jamming to YouTube’s endless It’s Raining Tacos ballad, or their 20-something offspring who haven’t yet flown the coop and are, instead, holed up in the basement playing Fortnite, contact center agents who work from home are battling against things like environmental issues, sub-par Internet, low-grade equipment, or technical misconfiguration as they take your customers’ calls.
And, while you may have already been considering, dabbling with the idea of, or planning on making work-from-home an option for your contact center agents before 2020, COVID-19 made at-home agents a firm reality... and one that won't likely dissipate.
Today, research and surveys say that the majority of contact centers are now accommodating this work model full or part-time. Why? Because it offers many benefits, including lower costs, time-savings, and employee satisfaction. But making sure that at-home agents are still delivering flawless customer experiences to your callers presents many challenges, several of which are yet unsolved despite the rapidly growing need.
With this fast and vast shift to of agents to home-based operations, contact centers just don't have the same control over their operational environments, which has lead to a significant influx of voice quality issues that affect customers and the representatives who are working with them. And the massive shift from on-premise to cloud-based contact center platforms that was already gaining speed ahead of 2020 and picked up momentum as a result of the pandemic has only exacerbated this challenge.
As agents quickly moved out of office cubicles and into their homes, they left the safety of standardized, uniform and controlled environments that had been carefully configured to provide them with the hardware, software, and connectivity necessary to deliver clear communication during calls with customers, as well as direct access to IT support who could walk to their cubicles, work their magic to solve voice quality issues, and get them back to taking calls. Physical separation has left agents on their own to identify problems without technical training; contact center operations teams frustrated at the lack of ability to help troubleshoot and determine root-cause; and IT without the technical data necessary to fix the issues quickly.
Consequently, at-home agent voice quality is constantly at risk, and… therefore, so is your customer experience. It shows up in the form of poor Average Handle Time (AHT), agent utilization, or a lower Net Promoter Score. When these pesky voice quality issues rear their ugly heads, at-home agents must take themselves offline until the problem somehow gets fixed, impacting productivity and their ability to serve customers and make sales. Or they stay online, taking calls, which inevitably takes longer as the agent and caller repeat themselves, thereby driving up AHT and reducing customer satisfaction.
One customer shared that, without the right data about the problem, IT can only recommend a system reboot, which takes about 15 minutes to reload all applications and get back to taking calls. And that’s only IF the magical “have you tried turning it off and on again” tactic worked. Now imagine if that agent had 3 more bad calls during a shift. How many sales did you lose in that hour of downtime?
When voice quality degrades, callers are left to suffer through bad connections, leading to lower customer satisfaction and, heaven forbid, more dropped calls, higher churn rate, and – for contact centers focused on sales – loss of top-line revenue.
In response to these challenges, Cyara is thrilled to announce LiveVQ, a solution that helps ensure, no matter where agents are working, that your customers are being treated to quality call experiences. LiveVQ is our new automated CX assurance solution that enables contact centers to assure flawless CX through real-time voice quality monitoring for at-home and remote agents. The first release of LiveVQ supports Amazon Connect environments.
In a nutshell, LiveVQ is a lightweight, secure, and privacy-compliant Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution that runs in the background of Amazon Connect workstations, passively monitoring calls and providing real-time data on things like Internet and network stability, reliability and hardware configuration. Any time quality degrades, agents can use LiveVQ’s desktop application to alert support teams to the issue. LiveVQ will also automatically send alerts if custom, pre-set quality thresholds have been breached. Every alert -- whether initiated by an agent, or automatically generated -- contains all the data necessary to facilitate faster troubleshooting and resolution. This data is visually displayed in customizable dashboards that give contact centers and IT teams historical, real-time, and trending views of voice quality metrics at the individual, team, and aggregate levels.
We’d love to introduce you to this product in a little more detail, so please learn more here, or view this LiveVQ demo to get a peak at this real-time voice quality monitoring and diagnostics solution for at-home agents in action.
LiveVQ will be available starting in mid-November of 2021. Please contact us for more details.