The Hero Behind the Headset

As contact centers become multi-billion dollar businesses, service agents have taken the spotlight in various Hollywood films. Unfortunately, they’re not always portrayed in a flattering way.

In the movies, call center agents are sometime portrayed as incompetent and unskilled, as is the case in the following Transformers scene.


Other times, the agent is the resourceful star who saves the day, as in this funny clip from Outsourced.


While these may be dramatic or embellished scenarios, they all point to the human factor – the ability to exercise good judgment, listen attentively and make customers feel important – as the keys to a call center agent’s success.

But over the last few years, a frontline agent’s job has become increasingly complex. She may have 6-12 applications open on her computer desktop. She has to enter data, solve the customer’s problem, keep track of billing, and identify up-sale opportunities, all while being polite and making the customer feel appreciated.

When a service agent is juggling so many balls, it is only natural for one of them to drop. The results are familiar to anyone who’s been forced to hold the line for more than ten minutes, who’s been transferred multiple times, or who has failed to get their problem solved with a single phone call.

Real-Time Service Optimization (RTSO) automates and simplifies many of these complex cognitive tasks, allowing agents to focus on customers’ needs. It aggregates relevant data from multiple applications into a single view. It offers real-time guidance to the agent, displaying pop-up windows that recommend what they should do and say next.

The results are dramatic. One company realized a 50 percent reduction in its average handling time after implementing RTSO. Another saw a 27 percent reduction in calls transferred. Customers are happier, employees more engaged, and management sees huge efficiency gains.

Think of it this way: If you’re a stranded motorist or a writer on deadline with no Internet service, who would you rather talk to: the clueless operator from Transformers or the competent, helpful Asha from Outsourced? With RTSO, every contact center agent can be a Hollywood-style hero.

Visit the NICE Real-Time Guidance and Automation page to learn more.

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