The Contact Center Representative in Modern Customer Support

Modern information technology has changed customer perspectives and expectations regarding service and support. Once, customers would routinely call companies whenever an issue arose. Organizations needed to ensure that they had appropriate staffing levels, and had to invest in product and service training so that phone agents could handle customer concerns satisfactorily. Today, customers often prefer a DIY approach to issue resolution — at least initially. How has this change in customer preferences affected contact center operations, and the call center representative job?

Many customers look for information first before attempting to engage with a live caller, mostly because available information often makes calling unnecessary. Increased opportunities for connecting, such as through social media, messaging and email, augment customer experience. While organizations can effectively dole out some issue resolution through automation and other means without a live agent, many aspects of customer relations require human intervention. Since calling may be a customer's last resort, interaction with a contact center representative is a crucial moment of truth.

What is a Contact Center Representative?

A contact center or call representative is a crucial link in the customer communications chain. Call center representatives provide customer support in various areas, including inquiries, complaints and problems. As much as this role requires excellent communications skills, the ability to listen and process customer concerns is paramount. Some of the typical duties of a contact center representative include:

  • Answering or initiating customer calls
  • Troubleshooting issues
  • Seeking rapid paths to complete resolution
  • Using tools, such as technology, databases and scripts
  • Making sales recommendations as appropriate
  • Providing information to customers
  • Building relationships and representing their company

The most effective contact center agents combine people skills with self-motivation, empathy, accuracy, speed, and reliability. These attributes can also help ensure that modern customer support provides the engagement and experience expected by customers.

How technology is changing the traditional contact center representative role? 

New technology, such as Virtual Contact Center solutions, do not eliminate the need for live customer support agents. While organizations can tailor their systems to address common concerns quickly, Virtual Contact Center solutions excel in optimizing the total customer lifecycle. With user experience taking center stage in business today, the tools and features of the modern contact center can help engage customers and fuel efficient processes.

The modern call center leverages data to achieve greater productivity. Rather than replacing essential functions with cold, digital interactions, virtual call center software enables firms to understand the customer better and anticipate their needs. Contact center systems of old were necessary evils to a certain extent. Companies implemented teams to handle calls as individual transactions. Modern contact center solutions provide best in class telephony and add layers of functionality that allows for a holistic customer view. Instead of treating complaints as isolated individual events that have to be fixed, Virtual contact center solutions with CRM integration and data analytics open up expanded aspects of every interaction a customer has along their journey with a company.

Training is more important than ever

These additional features are only helpful if used appropriately. Like any technology, Virtual Contact Centers require training and monitoring. Luckily, the more advanced solutions, such as 8x8's Virtual Contact Center software facilitate agent onboarding. 8x8's Academy provides straightforward product training, through courses and certification. Managers and agents can get up to speed quickly with free online training in areas such as:

  • Virtual office end user
  • Mobile virtual office
  • Desk phone use
  • Switchboard
  • Virtual Office integration with CRM, such as Salesforce

Also, there are further training opportunities aims at Virtual Contact Center use, including agent functionality and setup of inbound and outbound calling practices and procedures. Managers and supervisors can increase their knowledge through the use of several learning paths, that unlock the full potential of Virtual Office Analytics.

With these training opportunities, organizations can take their contact centers to a new level of productivity. Since user experience is so crucial in today's customer relations, Virtual Contact Center tools and training can ensure that contact center representatives are ready to fill this critical role.

8x8 helps organizations fine tune their customer service models through responsive Virtual Contact Center solutions. Arm each call representative with the information that helps them solve not only a customer's immediate issue but also to provide an overall positive customer experience.

With 8x8's Virtual Contact Center you get world-class technology and everything your domestic or international business needs without the need for multiple disparate systems. Call 1-866-879-8647 or fill out an online form to request a no-obligation quote from an 8x8 product specialist

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