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The collaborative contact center: How the agent wins


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In my last blog, The Collaborative Contact Center: How the Customer Wins, I talked about what is meant by the phrase “collaborative contact center.” A truly collaborative contact center, I wrote, gives both the customer and agent access to the right tools to make working together successful. I then went on to detail the benefits customers received when interacting with a collaborative contact center. In this blog, I’ll talk about exciting new tools that are available to assist agents in bringing these benefits to customers.

The Key to Happy Customers? Happy Employees

When I think of the phrase, “happy employees lead to happy customers,” the name that comes to mind is Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group. He is well-known for his aphorism, “Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.”

When it comes to customer care, it is contact center agents that are on the very frontlines. But an agent’s ability to meet the needs of a customer, and thus keep them happy, is dependent on companies providing a rich set of collaborative tools. Click To Tweet

Provides a Single Pane of Glass

One of the most significant strains on agent productivity, and sanity, is having to flip between two – even three – computer screens, with multiple tabs and applications open on each to complete a customer interaction. This juggling act impacts both the quality and quantity of queries that can be handled. Errors are inevitable, and compliance missteps can easily occur.

Cloud software is a cost-effective enabler for simplifying both the agent and supervisor desktop. Can premises-based contact center and customer relationship management software be integrated into a single desktop? Sure. But the expense and IT time required usually puts that kind of integration project low on most prioritization of projects.

Can every application and data source that an agent or supervisor needs access to be incorporated into a single screen? Cloud-based agent desktops, with open application programming interfaces, have allowed countless businesses to decrease from 10+ windows to just two or three the number of windows or tabs and agent has to manage.

Supplies Real-Time Feedback

Another tidy truism is, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it,”  from business strategist Peter Drucker. You might say that in the contact center, we measure things all the time. We are the poster child for measuring behavior.

But who is typically seeing the reports being generated, and when are they getting the data? I remember running a call center in the late 1980s, and every morning I would get a report of the calls my agents had made the day before. The only way feedback was delivered to agents was in monthly meetings to review some limited number of calls they had completed, and I had scored.

The current state-of-the-art cloud contact center solutions not only provide real-time information to supervisors and managers but to agents, via real-time dashboards. The most forward-thinking companies have added a gamification component to their agent dashboards – cleverly incentivizing agents to do more and better to be recognized.

Gamification is good for the company, but it is great for the agents as well. It helps keep them motivated and engaged. Measurement and improvement go hand and hand, and the collaborative contact center treats agents as a critical component of that virtuous cycle.

Managers Do Things Right. Leaders Do the Right Things

The subtext here is the second phrase that Peter Drucker is well known for saying. Customer experience has been called out in the last few years as one of the most important attributes that consumers use to compare companies, products, and services. It is not enough to just give agent tools. We should strive to provide them with the best tools.


As I finish writing this blog, the world is coming to terms with a likely prolonged change in family and business life as the result of COVID-19. Now, more than ever, your agents are on the frontlines with your customers – who need more empathetic support than ever before.

The collaborative contact center, allowing agents to quickly communicate not just within the contact center but across the business, will be an invaluable tool for handling customer interactions as seamlessly as conditions allow. Click To Tweet Often, there are features made available in contact center software that may not be implemented initially. Now is the time to make sure that managers, supervisors and agents are not only aware of the collaborative capabilities embedded in RingCentral Contact Center, but how they can be used to meet the new demands being placed on all.

Originally published Mar 25, 2020, updated Sep 10, 2021

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