Hold Up: Are You Still Stuck on Hold in 2024?

18 Apr 2024

"Is it okay if I place you on a brief three to five-minute hold?"

These words are so common that we've begun to expect them when interacting with customer service agents. I've worked with enough contact centers over the years to know that the agents aren't just putting you on hold to take a break. Typically, delays like this involve agents switching to another application to look something up or to log a ticket.

They must perform a cumbersome dance repeated dozens of times daily.

First, they must find the right application. This can take longer than you think, as some agents must access up to 40 different applications during a workday. The subsequent steps involve logging in to the second app, toggling back to their primary app to access information in their CRM or Contact Center application to gather customer data, then going back and forth between these apps as they look up information, fill in data fields in multiple apps, and try to solve the customer's issue in a timely manner.

This all leads to wasted time for both the customer and the agent. But it isn't just wasted time; it is a poor customer experience that also costs the organization money.

Traditional approaches to solving this problem typically involve a massive consolidation process where you rip and replace different systems and try to get as many apps as possible in a single suite. For some organizations, this is impossible, as there are systems that they are simply unable to replace for many reasons.

For others, they don't have the money or resources to go through a massive consolidation.  

Another approach is to build back-end integrations to all the various platforms. Integrations can help with some of the functionality, but they can be expensive and time-consuming and often don't offer the agents the functionality needed to help them do their jobs.  Additionally, you are dependent on your software vendors to allow for and provide support for ALL of your integrations.  

It's in this disjointed mess where OpenFin really shines and adds the most value.

OpenFin provides agents with a desktop experience that intelligently ties together all the applications they use. For the most frequent applications, OpenFin offers a customizable desktop, giving agents access to all customer data they need, regardless of where the data is stored.   OpenFin doesn't replace your contact center application, CRM, or HelpDesk, or force you to use a third-party application to manage them. The desktop simply ties the applications together in an agent-friendly view, prepopulating the app windows with the relevant customer data for the call.

This eliminates the need to find other apps, log in, search for the customer in the other apps, and the "toggle tax" of switching back and forth between apps.  The Toggle tax refers to the time wasted on switching back and forth between apps.  

As soon as the agent connects with the customer, they are prepared:  they have the customer contact history, purchase history in the CRM, and a history of support requests from their trouble ticket system, all on the same screen. It is entirely customizable and includes the most relevant apps to the agent. 

Another reason for the three to five-minute hold is the agent must look up information in multiple systems. This involves some of the tasks listed above – finding the right app, searching for information, toggling back to their primary apps, re-entering information, and more.

With OpenFin's integration, agents can conduct universal searches across all applications, including premise systems, cloud applications, communications apps, CRMs, etc. This allows agents to search for anything or anyone in a single search bar, providing results across all applications with clickable links to access. This also helps reduce the "Toggle Tax" and helps agents focus on delivering quality service.

The ABCs of Success

There are tools on the market that can improve the Customer Experience. Some tools can improve the Agent Experience. Other tools help the business reduce expenses. Using the features mentioned above, OpenFin checks all three boxes.

Agent Experience – The agent experience is streamlined and organized and can be designed to intelligently present them with the information they need from a myriad of apps with minimal effort. The key is to allow agents to spend more time helping customers and less time digging through data in multiple systems. This reduces burnout and turnover and results in happier, more productive agents.

Business Outcomes – The time savings resulting from more efficient agents can result in significant hard dollar savings and a strong ROI. Additionally, many organizations struggle with retaining and hiring contact center agents, placing enormous stress on the business to staff enough agents to provide any level of service. Not having to hire, onboard, and train as many new agents can alleviate the pressure and allow for the hiring of higher-quality agents.

Customer Experience – More efficient and happier agents translates to an improved customer experience and higher CSAT scores. Taking care of customers without the dreaded three to five-minute hold is a win for everyone. It isn't just a matter of saving the customer time; it's about delivering a better quality experience, leaving a positive impression, and ultimately retaining them as a customer.

Using these tools, OpenFin is hitting the trifecta of driving key metrics across the agent experience, the customer experience, and the business bottom line.

(The image of the OpenFin booth from Enterprise Connect 2024 included with this article highlights an OpenFin guaranteed 20% boost in workflow efficiency.)


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