Case Study: Reimagining the Omnichannel Contact Center Experience

Helping SingleComm modernize their contact center platform for the expectations of a present-day customer service environment.

Client
SingleComm
Date Completed
2016
Duration
4 months
Role
UX, Visual design, Product design

Overview

After two years of rapid growth and bug fixing, SingleComm’s Omnichannel platform was in need of a unifying design to connect the previously separate voice and chat customer interaction products. I began the design unifying process by identifying shared elements and common patterns for each product.

The Challenge

SingleComm provided a solid telephony offering for over a decade but in a changing market they needed to grow. During initial research it was clear that the growth of alternate communication channels such as SMS and web chat were emerging as desired support channels for consumers and a multichannel platform would be an inadequate solution. A true Omnichannel platform would allow SingleComm to provide a fully integrated solution allowing customers to communicate with the business in the channel of their choosing.

Design Process

My process and key deliverables

As the sole user experience and user interface designer, I spearheaded the information gathering process, synthesizing of that information, and the final visual design.

Stakeholder Interviews

Defining the vision

I started the process by conducting stakeholder interviews to get an idea for the vision of the product and how it matched up against competitors. In addition to the vision, I was able to get an idea of the successful aspects of their current product and what they desired to improve.

UX Review

Understanding what currently works

After meeting with and interviewing multiple stakeholders, I turned my focus to the company's existing interaction platform. While the existing interface performed sufficiently, it was clear it would not be able to satisfy the vision of the stakeholders. They outlined a vision that encompassed the need to support multiple new interaction channels and increasing an agent's ability to positively resolve interactions.

Design Goals

Creating an engaging agent experience

The focus for this product iteration was creating a better experience for agents because happy and productive agents lead to satisfied customers. With that in mind, I focused on providing agents with easier access to the customer information they needed, direct access to common answers and FAQs, and the ability to work across multiple communication channels. These primary goals aimed to increase an agent’s ability to satisfactorily solve complaints and increase income potential by working across support channels.

Competitor Analysis

What is the competition doing?

Contact center facilitation is a well established industry with plenty of high-level competitors. While not quite a startup, SingleComm was introducing a brand new product into the market and needed to be careful to not overcommit resources. We used this competitor analysis to get an idea of the minimum viable product we needed to enter the market.

Secondary Research

Incorporating industry knowledge

To supplement the knowledge I derived from the stakeholder interviews I utilized industry research reports and some published research pertaining to contact center management. This research provided valuable insights into new trends in the industry and the shifting needs of customers and their communication habits.

Findings

Consumers desire a better customer support experience

  • The industry is embracing omnichannel solutions instead of multi-channel or single channel.
  • Customers are expecting the agents to know "who they are" when making contact with a company.
  • Consumers increasingly prefer text-based communication over voice communication.
  • Agents need the tools and resources to solve customer complaints on first contact. Every customer transfer decreases customer satisfaction and likelihood they will switch products.
  • A significant portion of agents desire increased training and coaching to increase skills.

Personas

Who am I designing for?

Agents have a lot of interrelated tasks that they need to accomplish throughout an interaction. I started off by analyzing the relationship between these tasks and how they are used to accomplish a successful customer interaction.

Jobs to be Done

What needs to be done?

After analyzing the research I discovered two primary use cases. These were the Support Guru who fields customer complaints and the Seller who engages in guided interactions to sell products and services.

Task Analysis

Analyzing workflows

Based on the discovered jobs to be done, I started breaking down each of those jobs into individual task flows. This helped me identify the areas where our new features would shine through such as accessing previous customer interactions across channels and utilizing FAQs or suggested answers to resolve customer complaints.

Sketching

Exploring some concepts

Console interface - Voice

To start I began sketching some ideas for a unified console which included voice and chat products.

Channel Icon Design

Here I sketched out a few concepts for icons to use as unique identifiers for each of our communication channels.

History component

An important component of this new design was providing agents with a comprehensive history of previous customer interactions.



Checkout Cart

In the spirit of providing agents with the necessary information to alleviate customer concerns, the cart was designed to prominently show the most vital information in the forefront.

Visual Design

Bringing it to life

After iterating a few cycles on the sketches and getting sign off from stakeholders, I jumped into Adobe XD to create the hi-fidelity mockups. As this redesign was part of a large company rebranding, I was provided the liberty to develop a new color scheme and iconography. Once I finished translating the sketches into colorful mockups I created multiple flows using Invision (not available) to test out specific functionality with select agents and product managers.



Voice Console

The reimagined voice interface includes most of the features of the original voice console along with the inclusion of additional agent features. The new interface gives agents the ability to quickly reference prior customer interactions and product documentation from the same interface.

Chat Console

The dedicated chat console allows agents to seamlessly work across multiple channels including email, Facebook, SMS, and webchat.

Dashboard

In the spirit of providing agents with the necessary information to alleviate customer concerns, the cart was designed to prominently show the most vital information in the forefront.

Detailed Interaction History

Making previous interaction history available to agents affords them the ability to more quickly solve a customer's problems. Removing the need to utilize multiple applications and screens dramatically increased the agents ability to be productive.

Real-time Coaching

Based on a finding from the secondary research, I designed a solution to provide agents with real time coaching tips based on their customer interactions and resolution stats.

Shopping Cart

The final cart design after one iteration based on feedback from the product team included the addition of the Quantity dropdown.

Channel Based Icons

The initial sketches proved fruitful for the icon design. The base ideas were good with the incorporation of a few suggestions from stakeholders.

Retrospect

Connecting with users (agents) proved to be a tremendous asset in pushing this product to its version 1.0 launch. Both direct user research and the inclusion of external research helped me get a great understanding of what was important. As a rapidly changing startup, having an anchor point helped keep the project focused. The one thing that did remain constant was the vision of ensuring that agents have a great experience so they can provide a great experience to consumers.

Next steps:

  • Provide agents more tools and “workspace” to complete tasks
  • Concepts to promote agent happiness and satisfaction
  • Expanded coaching platform
Thank you for reading.
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