If you’re anything like most contact centers, you’re probably drowning in calls. You might not know it, but that overload of calls can actually be a double-edged sword. That is, unless you have a service-oriented architecture (SOA) in place.
With an SOA, your team can integrate customer service agents into self-service workflows so agents can answer common questions and queries before they even reach the front desk. With an SOENDed contact center , you can also scale your operations with more efficient service-level agreements (SLAs), automatable services and services external to the call center itself. Read on to learn more about how these four elements of an SOA help scale your operation without compromising customer experience.
What is an SOA?
An SOA is a type of software architecture that allows for the integration and automation of different systems. This ensures that each system is able to function independently, but also be integrated into one another. With an SOA, you have the capability to integrate customer service agents into self-service workflows so agents can answer common questions and queries before they even reach the front desk and scale your operations with more efficient SLAs.
How a Service-Oriested Architecture Scales Operations
First, an SOA opens up many opportunities for efficiency. One way to scale operations is through automation and services. With an SOA, you can create a set of workflows that automatically kick off at different times throughout the day and have them go through various stages before reaching the customer service agent. This helps keep your call center under control and gives employees more time to focus on conversations with customers instead of juggling instructions.
Next, SLAs are easier to manage when you have a service-oriented architecture in place. An SOA allows for more granular SLAs because you can automate tasks with services according to different customer use cases. That means if a customer is using your product for something specific, it’s easy to provide them with access so they don’t need to worry about asking for it again during their next visit.
Lastly, deploying services externally ensures that your contact center doesn’t suffer from downtime or outages while still maintaining high-quality customer service standards. Services outside of your call center ensure that there are checks and balances in place even if something goes wrong during normal operations.
Automation: The Key to Scale Without Compromise
With automation, you can scale your contact center with as few resources as possible. When agents are answering questions and queries before they reach the front desk, it lowers the number of calls that need to be answered. And when you create an SLA for your contact center, you allow your agents to focus on providing exceptional service without increasing costs.
Another way automation helps scale is by making sure your services are up-to-date. With SOA, you can take advantage of services like Google Maps or Amazon Web Services and integrate them into your service-oriented architecture rather than being dependent on outdated information systems. In addition, if there is a new version of an app or software in the market that meets your needs, automated workflows will help you integrate it seamlessly into your operation.
The last benefit of automation is the ability to automate certain tasks within the call center itself to increase efficiency and reduce errors. You could use this technology for things like routing calls to appropriate agents or creating data for reports.
Self-Service: Agents in the Driver’s Seat
Self-service is a powerful way to scale your contact center by bringing agents into the driver’s seat. With self-service, customer service agents can answer common questions that lead to high volumes of calls. Instead of wasting time with repetitive tasks like transcribing voice mails or typing notes, they can spend their days working more productively and handle more calls at once.
In order to accomplish this, you need an SOA that includes automatable services and services external to the call center itself. This will enable you to integrate these two types of requests into one system without having to give up control over any tasks or responsibilities. An automated service is an externally provided service that empowers your customer service agents with new information and tools. For example, if someone needs help with a technical issue on their laptop, they might get an email from a technical support agent with instructions and links that help them do so. You also may want to create a central knowledge base for all your customers so they have access to the same information when they call in as well as when they are interacting with your website or social media channels.
SLAs: The foundation of a scalable operation
An SLA is an agreement between your contact center and the customer. It sets the terms and conditions of a given project, and outlines what service level you’ll provide to clients. In general, an SLA will include such things as response time, support hours and availability, ticket turnaround time and service levels.
An SLA can be customized for different types of customers- like remote employees or high-volume callers. So let’s say your contact center has a certain response time for remote employees (like first responder status-level emergencies), but it doesn’t have one for high-volume callers like nonstop service desk coverage. With an SOA in place, you can quickly develop an SLA that suits your needs.
The modern contact center is a complex beast that requires every aspect of the operation to be highly automated and scalable. A Service-Oriented Architecture is the answer to these challenges.
But what exactly is an SOA? The acronym stands for Service Oriented Architecture and has been around since the 1980s with the idea of creating a standardized, reliable system architecture which addresses the complexity of the modern contact center. From there, service-oriented architecture revamped into an industry-wide acronym, including software-based solutions as well as hardware-based systems.
A service-oriented architecture can help you avoid costly overheads. It can also help you achieve greater scale without compromising on quality. And finally, it can give your contact center a huge boost in productivity.