Banishing Complexity – 5 ways to Turn Theory into Practice

Contact Centre/Telecoms, HR/People/Workforce

Ross Daniels at Calabrio shares his top tips for overcoming contact centre complexity to enhance customer and employee experiences.

In my last article I discussed how to keep things simple in contact centre operations and introduced the importance of incorporating a human-centred approach to operational thinking, processes and technology.  Now it’s time to take a look at how to translate theory into practical steps for success. 

A big 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 digital transformation for customer service in their organisation.  Although the majority (51%) had already deployed digital technology to support their customers, only 8% believed their digital service to be ‘awesome’.[i]

While the pandemic has accelerated the uptake of digital technology, making it a rewarding and effective tool for driving both the customer experience (CX) and the employee experience (EX) can be a challenge for contact centre leaders. At the same time, the explosive growth in digitalisation presents 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-centred model[i].  The fifth reinforces the importance of gaining stakeholder buy-in, training and how to fully maximise the wealth of data that exists in every contact centre.  Combined these five steps provide an integrated approach to overcoming complexity: 

1. Discover – start with a meaningful baseline.  This means spending time listening to the right people and collating critical data points like complaints or service KPIs to truly understand where you are and what you are trying to achieve.  Talk to customers, hold employee focus groups and speak to the Board.  Review what technology is being well used and received and what other new innovations might be worth looking at?

2. Define – use all the data you have for customer journey mapping. Ideally, conduct 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 whole organisation and they will become more engaged and likely to come up with better ideas.  Remember to map the impact of these customer journeys for example, ‘what will it cost to fix the root cause in terms of tech or training versus return on value?’  Aim for low cost, quick win ideas that have the maximum impact on customers, employees and the overall business.

3. Develop – these ideas, however, visualise the target experience and test with users before changing anything to save time and money and get it right first time. Then, create an ‘experience blueprint’ that illustrates what organisational changes need to be done to turn your vision of the target experience into reality.

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

5. Deploy – finally, consider the latest advancements in AI-driven analytics. They help overcome complexity by translating raw data into powerful business intelligence from a customer, employee and operational point of view.   Gain buy-in from IT and senior decision-makers by promoting the benefits for example:–     The latest speech, sentiment and predictive analytics can combine to harness      valuable data that gives a complete view of all customer interactions,   whatever the channel.  This provides contact centres with the real-time data they need to identify specific customer pain points and moods, anticipate      future needs and re-engineer complete customer journeys quickly and       

–     Combine speech and workforce management systems to build a smarter, more effective contact centre where agent skills are fully maximised and    training is efficiently scheduled during quieter times so staff can concentrate  100% on their customers.  Add employee sentiment analysis to the mix and quickly identify where agents are dealing with unhappy and distressed   customers or even where agents themselves need extra training or support.

–     Why not introduce desktop analytics to better support home-working agents?   These really get beneath the bonnet of the technology that serves frontline   agents. It is possible to detect what applications are being used during  customer interactions and then unearth any slow or badly designed   applications or integrations that make agents’ lives harder than they need to  be.

Above all, remember that addressing complexity is a continual process that needs to be refined as customer, employee and business needs change.  For more ideas and inspiration, download Calabrio’s latest webinar “How to enhance customer and employee experiences by applying human-centred design” or visit


Ross Daniels is Chief Marketing Officer at Calabrio

[i] Calabrio’s webinar entitled “How to enhance customer and employee experiences by applying human-centred design”

[ii] Calabrio’s webinar entitled “How to enhance customer and employee experiences by applying human-centred design”



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