Rob McDougall, President & CEOThe common approach to managing customer interactions in contact centers is to develop platforms that integrate multiple customer service channels using back-end programming. But most existing channels and related applications were not built with back-end merges in mind, resulting in a lack of compatibility among technologies. The result is a set of isolated channels and systems that leave information gaps and hinder the agent’s ability to deliver great customer experiences.
For Upstream Works, the solution to omnichannel integration lies in the agent desktop. “Instead of trying to merge all of these systems together, why not just give them an anchor?” says Upstream Works CEO, Rob McDougall. By partnering with Cisco, they successfully created an “anchor” software solution that connects data from any channel and application and presents information via a single user interface for contact center agents.
This solution puts entire client histories in the hands of agents. “Rather than replacing all the back-end systems, Upstream Works for Finesse is pointing to them and connecting it all together in a way that is easy for the agents to use, improving the customer’s experience,” McDougall explains.
In addition, the system allows companies to implement a standard method of measuring performance metrics such as First Contact Resolution (FCR). In one example, McDougall describes how a healthcare company used the system to improve responsiveness and internal efficiency. They were able to leverage Upstream Works for Finesse reports to gather data on internal processes, then used that information to enact changes that resulted in a 15 percent reduction in call volume–about 300,000 per month. This reduction in calls freed up agents to focus on more critical tasks, including revenue-generating interactions, and made a significant impact to their bottom line.
Best of all, the solution is future-proofed. Their internal mantra, “We are easy to work with,” is reflected in their ability to integrate with any system, be it a legacy business system, CRM platform or newer SaaS services.
We are simplifying and improving customer engagements
“We’ve been integrating to different back-end desktop systems for 17 years now—if you name it, we can integrate with it,” says McDougall. They provide bidirectional information exchange, making it easier for organizations to collect information from any channel and business application and use that information to gain deeper insights to make more informed management decisions.
Likewise, Upstream Works for Finesse is designed so that new and emerging channels, such as IoT, can be easily integrated as technology advances. It doesn’t matter if service calls comes from a person or from the person’s air conditioning unit; a service rep would be notified of contact, see the full history for this unit, and schedule repairs— all through a single interface. Therein lies the beauty of their “anchor”—a single agent desktop-as new channels, applications and technology are released, they can be successfully integrated.
The primary goal of Upstream Works’ collaboration with Cisco is to improve the quality of interactions with customers and provide a user interface that makes an agent’s life easier. The user interface enables the agents to effectively manage interactions through any channel the customer chooses. And it helps reduce training time and turnover in the contact center.
Upstream Works provides a personal approach, so that customer realities and preferences become the driving force behind customer service decisions. They provide the omnichannel integration needed to connect all channels, and empower customer representatives with the tools they need to drive successful customer relations outcomes.