Thursday, April 24, 2014
Today I had a conference call with an existing customer of ours that wanted to go over the latest version of our software. They told me they were looking at another desktop reporting provide because our software did not work. The results of our software not working is calls in queue, very long wait times, high abandoned rates, low service level rating and very low customer satisfaction numbers. Well I was concerned that the software does not work and asked for details about the problem.
So the customer gave me a list of the problems with the software. There priority list of the problems: Calls in Queue not causing the agent desktop wallboard to pop up and alert the agent; Messages not running on the agents desktop either on schedule or because of a threshold alert; The audio alert is not loud enough so they cannot hear when something has gone into threshold.
There are a lot of calls in queue and abandoned calls because the agents are not being alerted, on their desktops, that there is a call in queue after a 15 second wait time. Is it possible that the 15 seconds is too long of a wait time for their business? They assured me that it is not too long and in fact customers have been known to wait over two minutes to talk to an agent. But too many potential customers are abandoning the call because of the wait time.
When the manager or supervisors see a change in call volume for one group and a drop in call volume in another group they would like to notify agents to change the group log in status. The messages are not appearing on the agents desktop wallboard alerting the agent to change their group log in status.
The audio alerts are either too quiet or not working at all. Agents are not aware of a call in queue threshold alert and therefore are not trying to end a call quickly or stop the after call work and pick up the call that is waiting.
I asked the customer IT manager to look up the threshold settings within our software to see if that threshold level was set. The software was set up as requested but still not alerting the agents. Next we checked to see if messages had been set up to send out an alert message if conditions were right for the alert. Messages had been created and were set to go out when there is a Call in Queue and the wait time was over 15 seconds. The audio alerts were also set up. So something must be wrong with the software just as the agents said.
We decided to test the software live. We went into the Spectrum Agent Logged In Report to see who we could talk to about the test and quickly found out that none of the agents were logged into their desktop software. So the IT Manager asked a few agents why they were not logged in and the response quickly varied from the software does not work to I do not like it.
When we were able to get an agent to log in and work with us we found that the agent desktop wallboard was able to alert an agent when there is a call in queue. The threshold settings were accurate and the alerts were working as soon as a call hit the thresholds.
We tested the messaging to see if it was sending out a message when the threshold was met. And the again the software was working and alerting the agent with a message. The desktop wallboard was minimized and popped up when a message was starting to run.
Finally we tested the audio alert for the thresholds and immediately we knew the audio was working as well.
So what is the actual problem with the agent desktop wallboards? The IT Manager and the Call Center Manager set up a meeting with the agents to talk through the desktop wallboard problems. I was not invited to attend the meeting and I would not have gone anyway. Later the IT Manager told me some of what was discussed in the meeting.
The agents did not like the desktop wallboard so they started to make claims that it was not working and therefore why keep it on their desktops. The reasons they did not like it were: It takes up too much room, it always comes up over the form I am filling out, it makes too much noise and I do not know what the stuff on the desktop wallboard really means. All of these were easy to solve changes to the desktop wallboard settings. But what was the real problem.
It wasn’t until one agent told the truth that the real problem was exposed. He did not like the desktop wallboard because it showed him there was more work to do and he did not like being told by the computer to answer the phone. Other agents finally spoke up and said similar things about the desktop wallboard. After some time the call center manager, who had not said a thing while the agents were complaining, repeated back to the agents the problem with the desktop wallboard.
That is when the manager very quietly but with conviction explained the importance of the customer on the phone, how much each call generates in revenue and how that pays the agents compensation, pays the bills around the office, etc. Much more was said and goals were set for most agents and the desktop wallboards were turned on again.
Spectrum made some changes to the desktop wallboard settings such as location, size, sound volume and multi-channel threshold settings. Most importantly agents were no longer allowed to shut off the desktop wallboard.
The moral of the story is do not automatically believe something is broken. Check out the problem in detail and confirm it, if possible, at your own desk. If you cannot duplicate the problem work with multiple channels of people to try and duplicate the problem. Investigate the data sources stating the problem and see if everyone has the same problem. Do you trust the information you are getting is accurate.