The Contact Center Supervisor Workspace Gets a Makeover

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Improving the customer experience (CX) and employee experience (EX) is all the rage and for good reason, for without engaged and satisfied employees, customers and businesses suffer. But who is the captain of this ship, navigating the eddies and shoals of agent-customer interaction? Who monitors the metrics we live by that tell us about the customer journey, how interactions are handled, and whether issues were addressed in a timely fashion to everyone’s satisfaction? That task falls to the supervisor, the unsung heroes of customer contact.

At the center is the agent-supervisor desktop, which has gone through multiple iterations over the years, with the majority of improvements geared toward the agent. It’s not like things haven’t been changing; with each generation of agent desktop, things have improved for the supervisor as well, just not as well promoted. Avaya, Calabrio, Cisco, Five9, and Upstream Works are just a smattering of companies that have recently made targeted investments in improving the supervisor workspace, from basic desktop design changes, including enabling third-party data to be added through integrations, APIs, and widgets, to enabling easy customization. Supervisors have gone from a world of prepackaged and canned reports to real-time and customizable reporting, coupled with the ability for real-time coaching and collaboration. Things have improved immensely for the captains of the ship, and this is just the beginning.

Supervisor Needs Gain Visibility

Several examples stand out. For instance, in the fall of 2022, 8x8 introduced the 8x8 Supervisor Workspace, a purpose-built, single-pane-of-glass experience that seamlessly blends performance management, analytics, and team admin capabilities into a single interface. It enables the supervisor to create multiple workspaces to easily switch roles; personalize their work environment with a few clicks; or take advantage of out-of-the-box role-based templates for fast onboarding. Infused with AI throughout, it provides AI-enhanced decision making, assistance, and guidance. Similarly, the new Five9 Administrator Console provides a streamlined modern user experience with all new panels for each aspect of the workday. It greatly simplifies everything from performance management to outbound campaign management. It is also completely customizable and designed for both real-time visibility and interaction with agents.

The Supervisor has a Copilot

The almost overwhelming media splash of ChatGPT and myriad large language models set off a flurry of generative AI-related announcements within the contact center space, which was already awash with first-generation conversational AI solutions. Among these announcements are supercharged next-gen agent and supervisor assist applications. Built into the desktop, a number have been introduced with much fanfare at recent customer conferences, such as NICE Interactions and Verint Engage in June.

Verint introduced a slew of purpose-built bots, including customer-facing ones and ones that handle tasks for supervisors and agents, automating workflows across enterprise silos. CEO Barak Eilam of NICE introduced Enlighten Copilot, which offers AI-powered assistance for both agent and supervisors. In a demo at the Interactions event, Eilam, acting as a supervisor, streamlined his workday by simply querying Copilot with “What do I need to know about my service operations today?” Instantly up popped relevant charts and insights, and he continued to query just by asking simple natural-language questions, digging deeper, and easily navigating data and the desktop. On the same code base, Copilot provides agent assist capabilities to rapidly assist customers across a breadth of functions, but with greater speed and more capabilities than first-generation agent assist bots.

Equal Tools for Equal Responsibility

Everyone in a business is responsible for improving CX. I’ve often railed against the use of the acronym AX for agent experience because it leaves out the supervisor, who more often than not rose from the ranks of an agent pool. As more desktops provide built-in generative AI functions for both agents and supervisors, the more productive and engaged the entire workforce will be. It is nice to finally see a more visible industry push highlighting the development of tools that drive the success of those who are charged with helping everyone else succeed.

Nancy Jamison is a senior industry director in information and communications technologies at Frost & Sullivan. She can be reached at Nancy.Jamison@frost.com or follow her on Twitter @NancyJami.

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