Reducing Information Overload in Contact Centers
Do you find that your contact center is struggling to keep up with the influx of information from various sources? You’re not alone. In a recent interactive workshop roundtable discussion at the Forefront Events Contact Centre Summit in Sydney, I explored how to create a knowledge sharing culture without information overload. Here are some key takeaways from the discussion:
Information overload is a common problem
In this roundtable, there were over 20 participants from various industries including finance/banking, insurance, government, healthcare, utilities, gambling, and retail organizations. They all agreed that information overload is an ongoing issue for their contact centers. While technology has made knowledge-sharing, collaboration and teamwork easier, it has also increased the volume of information that agents are expected to manage. With multiple communications channels like Teams, Slack, Yammer, email, websites, intranets, SharePoint, and OneDrive, it’s easy for agents to become overwhelmed.
Contact center agents need time to process information
I asked participants if their agents had time to read and process information. While some had regular huddles to share important changes and information for the day, others admitted that this did not cover everything. No one gave agents time off the phones to read and process needed information. It was expected that they did this on their own time or between calls. This is a problem, especially with a contact center’s compliance and regulations, data breaches, and fraud impacts. How can agents remain compliant and do the right thing when they don’t have time to read and process the information?
Contact centers are often disconnected from the rest of the organization
Most participants work within or for contact centers and have very little influence on the organization’s strategy or operational changes. They considered themselves change recipients and not change initiators. Teams without access to change initiators often felt unheard and frustrated by the volume and type of changes being delivered. The feeling was that project and change teams were disconnected from how contact centers operate and the unique challenges they face. This often leads to putting out fires and implementing workarounds resulting in even more information.
Tips to reduce information overload
While a top-down approach driving strategic change and communication is ideal, it’s not always possible. So, what can you do to create a knowledge-sharing culture without causing information overload? Here are some things to consider before you next share information:
- Understand your agents and the information they need to do their jobs!
- Remove any “nice to know” irrelevant information to reduce cognitive load.
- Ensure the content is simple to comprehend, understand, and that the agent’s call to action is clear.
- No one likes to scroll, so focus on short, sharp content.
- Choose a consistent way to communicate- don’t make them go hunting to find updates.
- Implement and follow an easy content review process.
Creating a knowledge-sharing culture in your contact center can be challenging, but it’s not impossible. A robust Knowledge Management Solution fast tracks the time to create, share and manage your organization’s information.
By reducing information overload and ensuring agents have time to process the information, you can help them remain compliant and do their jobs effectively. Don’t forget to involve your team in the process and follow the tips we discussed. With these strategies in place, you can build a knowledge sharing culture that benefits everyone.