Banish complexity – 5 ways to turn theory into practice

Calabrio’s Ross Daniels shares his top tips for overcoming contact center complexity to improve the customer and employee experience…

In my last article, I discussed how to keep things simple in contact center operations and presented the importance of incorporating a human-centered approach to operational thinking, processes and to technology. Now is the time to consider how to translate theory into practical steps for success.

A great opportunity to do things differently

When Calabrio invited CX consultant and practitioner Clare Muscutt to present at a recent webinar, she asked delegates about the state of customer service digital transformation in their organization. Although the majority (51%) have already deployed digital technology to support their customers, only 8% think their digital service is “great”.[i]

As the pandemic has accelerated the adoption of digital technology, making it a rewarding and effective tool to boost both customer experience (CX) and employee experience (EX) can be a challenge for center leaders of contact. At the same time, the explosive growth of digitalization offers a unique opportunity to do things differently and find a better way forward.

5 ways to banish complexity

Here are five ways to get started. The first four are based on Clare Muscutt’s innovative human-centered model[ii]. The fifth reinforces the importance of getting stakeholder buy-in, training, and how to fully maximize the wealth of data that exists in every contact center. Combining these five steps provides an integrated approach to overcoming complexity:

1. Discover – start with a meaningful baseline. It means spending time listening to the right people and gathering critical data points like complaints or service KPIs to really understand where you stand and what you’re trying to accomplish. Talk to customers, hold focus groups with employees, and talk to the board. Examine what technology is well used and well received and what other new innovations might be worth looking into?

2. Define – use all the data you have for customer journey mapping. Ideally, do the exercise with other people – think of everyone who is affected by or can influence customer journeys. This is great for engaging people across the organization and they will become more engaged and likely to come up with better ideas. Don’t forget to map the impact of these customer journeys, for example, “How much will solving the root cause cost in terms of technology or training versus return on value?” Aim for low-cost, quick-impact ideas that have the maximum impact on customers, employees, and the entire business.

3. Develop – these ideas, however, visualize the target experience and test with users before changing anything to save time and money and get it right the first time. Next, create an “experience model” that illustrates the organizational changes needed to achieve your vision of the target experience.

4. Deliver – use learning from the testing period and incorporate it into a plan that includes timelines, clear measures of success, and is communicated effectively.

5. Deploy – finally, consider the latest advances in AI-based analytics. They help overcome complexity by translating raw data into powerful business intelligence from the perspective of customers, employees, and operations. Gain buy-in from IT and senior decision makers by promoting benefits, such as:

• The latest speech, sentiment and predictive analytics can combine to leverage valuable data that gives a complete view of all customer interactions, regardless of channel. This provides contact centers with the real-time data they need to identify pain points and specific customer moods, anticipate future needs, and quickly and efficiently redesign entire customer journeys.

• Combine voice management and workforce management systems to create a smarter, more efficient contact center where agent skills are fully maximized and training is efficiently scheduled during quieter times so staff can focus 100% on its customers. Add to that employee sentiment analysis and quickly identify where agents are dealing with upset and distressed customers or even where the agents themselves need additional training or support.

• Why not introduce workstation analytics to better support agents working from home? These really go under the hood of the technology that serves frontline officers. It’s possible to detect which apps are being used during customer interactions, then dig up any slow or poorly designed apps or integrations that are making the agent’s life harder than it should be.

Above all, remember that managing complexity is an ongoing process that needs to be refined as the needs of customers, employees, and the business evolve. For more ideas and inspiration, download Calabrio’s latest webinar “How to improve customer and employee experience by applying human-centered design” or visit

Ross Daniels is Marketing Director at Calabrio

About Calabria

Calabrio is the customer experience intelligence company that enables organizations to enrich human interactions. The scalability of our cloud platform enables rapid deployment of remote work models and gives our customers precise control over operating costs and customer satisfaction levels. Our AI-powered analytics tools make it easy for contact centers to uncover customer sentiment and share compelling insights with other parts of the organization. Customers choose Calabrio because we understand their needs and provide a best-in-class experience, from implementation to ongoing support.

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Sharon D. Cole