Top 4 Contact Center Challenges in 2023 and How to Solve Them

Contact center managers today are expected to do more than ever with less oversight and increasing agent burnout in a field already known for its stressful environment. Combating these challenges to provide excellent customer service in 2023 will not be easy, but there is a goldmine of opportunity for those willing to implement fresh contact center strategies. Here are four communication challenges and their solutions brought to you by the contact center staffing experts at CSS Professional Staffing Group 

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Turning disadvantages into opportunities  

The contact center, previously referred to as a call center, is as vital an organizational arm as it is intricate. For customer focused B2B and B2C organizations, contact centers are where customers air grievances and agents solve them. In a perfect world. However, that is not always the natural workflow of a ticket request, and a combination of sky-high customer expectations and fragmented workforces are making 2023 the most challenging contact center environment yet. With a turnover rate between 30 and 45 percent compared to the national average of just under 11 percent, contact center managers need to be as industrious as possible to retain skilled employees in a volatile sector.  

“Thankfully, contact leaders have plenty of opportunities to turn these perceived disadvantages in their favor to deliver excellent customer service while keeping their workforces happy and purposed in their work,” says Evan Violette, CSS Professional Staffing Group Managing Director.   

1. Staffing management and retention  

The first hurdle as mentioned above is staff management and stable retention of top contact center talent. Burnout resulting from disgruntled customers and long work hours creates a revolving-door effect, forcing managers into thinking they need to replace the departed immediately.  

Instead, managers should outsource their labor search to expert staffing organizations like CSS Professional Staffing Group. The staffing experts at CSS PSG know where the seasoned contact center talent is on the market on top of having an already extensive network of existing bench talent.  

2. Adjusting to remote call center ecosystems  

Like many roles since the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic, contact center roles went remote. With this move to remote work came growing pains. Training contact center agents is much harder without direct interaction, and many organizations have suffered from a lack of manager-agent communication resulting in a lack of customer communication standardization. In 2021 alone, a majority 64 percent of agents worked remotely. Employees worldwide are expressing preferences to work either hybrid or fully remote for the foreseeable future, so managers need to flex to these preferences and find efficiencies in these environments.  

To do this, managers should invest in virtual training and L&D initiatives to ensure their agents are in lockstep when addressing customer concerns. To maximize efficiency, employers must also emphasize a healthy work-life balance to make agents feel cared for. Ruling your contact team with an iron fist just does not work in the 2023 virtual contact center environment 

3. Fragmented reporting, data management, and analytics  

The paradox of choice is taking a chokehold on the contact center industry as companies are onboarding multichannel services too quickly for agents to learn them. Chatbots and AI call routing are absolutely necessary to keep up with ever-expanding digital customer demands, but these tools are all for none if no one understands where the efficiencies are.  

Managers need to buckle down with analytics teams to understand the exact reasons customers call in and correlate them with the most efficient combination of contact pipelines comprised of the technologies above to truly get the most out of their tools.  

Integrating these technologies as well as the repositories where valuable contact data is stored will break the silos and house data and tools in one easy, central location for all employees to visit.  

4. Heightened customer expectations  

The instantaneous culture we live in has customers expecting deliveries of goods and services at the drop of a hat. This expectation is spilling over to contact centers and agents are fielding calls from customers wanting solutions to their problems as they raise their phones to their ears.  

While managers can and should go out of their way to reward successful agents according to tickets closed and customer satisfaction or CSAT, sometimes it is just not humanly possible to solve an issue in a modern customer’s expected time. This is where we bring back the idea of leveraging chatbots and AI-enabled call routing to alleviate call pipelines. About 30 percent of contact center calls originate from previously unsolved issues, and the first step to lessening this number is to point customers in the right direction in the first place.  

Partner with CSS Professional Staffing Group for your contact center needs  

The CSS PSG team are expert in staffing for call and contact center support with almost 20 years of experience supporting clients’ inbound and outbound sales, customer service, and other contact center needs. Connect with the staffing professionals at PSG today and modernize your contact center today.   

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