How to use Microsoft Teams to supplement your Contact Center

August 31, 2022
6 minutes

The ability to deal with and rapidly resolve incoming issues while providing a personal touch in the sales process is a hallmark trait of productive organizations – especially in this recent transition to a digital work environment.

While traditional chat and ticketing systems can be a great way to get alerted if there is a problem — teams often struggle to multitask. The fact that your team doesn’t have a centralized platform to communicate effectively between tools, rely on agent queuing or routing, and manage the day to day of contact center workflows can result in things falling through the cracks.

In our current digital work environment, messaging apps like Slack and Microsoft Teams have already become critical to an organization’s real-time collaboration. In the majority of cases, most people end up going back to these tools anyway to message their support or sales team directly as a bandaid if a problem arises.

Leveraging Microsoft Teams as your centralized contact center tool allows your team to stay on top of incoming requests without leaving the app they already use to collaborate, chat, and make video calls. This makes the entire escalation process much more efficient, helping you transition from a piecemealed support workflow to creating a smooth interconnected customer support operation.

A better customer experience for the modern organization

Professor Kit Sims Taylor found that people spend nearly two-thirds of their time searching for content and information and communicating it to others. In today’s on-demand, real-time world we live in, consumers expect to be able to find the information they’re looking for quickly and easily. The most common frustrations reported by consumers included websites being hard to navigate (34%), not being able to get answers to simple questions (31%), and basic details about a business — like address, hours of operations, and phone number — being hard to find (28%). Furthermore, the International Data Center (IDC) reports that an aggregate of Fortune 1000 companies lose out on a staggering $2.5 billion per year due to the domino effect of issues that arise from a poor customer experience.

The takeaway: the online experiences businesses are providing no longer match the way people prefer to buy.

The new hub for customer interactions

Today’s in-house support teams and third-party contact centers provide much more than support – they act as a critical lens into the day-to-day interactions, unfiltered feedback, and overall experience your customers are having with your brand. The ever-growing volume of touchpoints that make up the present-day purchase journey has made it clear that consumers want to be engaged through their preferred channel — on the top of the list are web chat, text, and voice.

While most organizations are well on their way to building processes to cater to these present-day needs, many have realized two additional realities:

  • In order to keep up with this record number of interactions, teams require tools that help them drive internal efficiencies, deliver consistency, and scale as the organization grows.
  • Every member of the organization has the potential to be involved in engaging a customer directly and therefore needs to be equipped with the appropriate tools.

If your organization already uses Microsoft Teams, it’s time to stop expecting your employees to switch from platform to platform whenever a customer has a problem.

If you are still on the fence, here’s why it’s right for you.

It’s easy to use and part of the same ecosystem

Microsoft is omnipresent within hundreds of thousands of organizations across the world with their Office 365 suite of products. If your team has access to that Word or Powerpoint, then it is safe to say that you also have access to Microsoft Teams. Their internal communication product has amassed over 115 million users, meaning countless organizations and teams have access to the tool and engage with it every day.

Now you can have your support, sales, IT, and operations team work together from a single place instead of having them jump in and out of different platforms to provide answers in a timely manner.

Organizations of any size can use it

Microsoft has had enough time to learn from other players in the space on how to create a communication tool that works for businesses of any size. Microsoft Teams is used by small companies as well as enterprises with tens of thousands of employees.

It takes startups and small companies only a few minutes to set up a contact center app within Teams. Now they no longer have to worry about questions, comments, or time-sensitive deals getting lost in threads without any way of tracking them. For larger companies or enterprises, this type of implementation can take a few days at most, with a quick turnaround on the initial investment as a result of better internal communication and productivity.

We know Microsoft Teams can support your customer interaction workflows by acting as the hub for internal and external customer connection across its many forms of communication (chat, video meetings, and calling). Now, imagine what your employees could do if you add more power behind your Teams instance with an easy to install app.

Leverage The Full Power Of Microsoft Teams

Turn your Microsoft Teams instance into a centralized communication tool to augment your contact center and increase productivity. Now your team can work together to respond to and manage requests directly from Microsoft Teams.

AI-powered Intelligent Assistants for Microsoft Teams

Times are changing. Real-time messaging has led to a fundamental shift in how consumers prefer to educate themselves about the products they are shopping for.

In the age of hyper-informed consumers, your business needs to be always on, data-driven, and customer-centered. Automation is the key to staying ahead of the competition. Your customers demand it.

The combination of natural language processing (NLP) technology and Microsoft Teams, swivl acts as the first line of defense to save your team time. Intelligent Assistants are the smart alternative to email, phone, live chat, and other chatbots. Start automating repetitive tasks like on-boarding, product recommendations, and customer support.

The benefits of AI-powered Contact Centers

There are obvious benefits to incorporating AI-powered automation into your workflows, such as speed and efficiency. But we understand that in order for senior executives to invest and take automation seriously, a more compelling business case requires consideration of the impact of ancillary benefits across the company.

Let’s take a minute to step into the shoes of somebody that really “gets it”. Mari, a Contact Center manager, has an arsenal of tools and systems to manage everything from routing customers to the right agent to assigning her agents overflow tickets to ensure her organization maintains a high NPS score. Throughout her day to day, she needs to stay on top of the countless requests for support coming in from phone calls, texts, direct messages, emails, group channels in Microsoft Teams, push notifications, and even in person (or through Zoom).

People are only focused on their problems and getting an immediate response to move on. They think this will only take a minute of an agent’s time, while Mari and her agents struggle to keep up with all of the different requests. By the end of the day, Mari and her team have to dive through hundreds of request details spread across email, DMs, and their ticketing system in order to resolve their customer’s questions.

Good news! We are bringing swivl to the 500,000 organizations using Microsoft Teams today. Teams is such a natural place to respond to and connect with your customers when your brand’s Intelligent Assistant can’t handle the interaction, enabling a more personalized experience.

69% of consumers prefer chatbots because of their ability to provide quick replies to simple questions

How to use swivl in Microsoft Teams to connect with your customers

With swivl added, your agents can seamlessly take over a conversation from one of our many AI-powered assistants straight from Teams in order to start a conversation with a customer coming from desktop, mobile, or an SMS interaction — creating an instant personal connection.

Microsoft Teams swivl App

This image is a view of the swivl conversation interface on our Microsoft Teams channel. On this screen, an agent can search through or configure lead information automatically captured by swivl’s AI chat. They can also integrate and send information to a CRM, and use quick replies to provide immediate answers to common questions already in your user journey templates.

Seamless takeover combined with agent queuing enables your team to always be ready to provide the human touch. Agent Queueing chooses from a pool of agents and intelligently routes escalations based on availability, agent load, time of day, groups, and more. For example, if an agent is not available or denies a conversation, the system will try to find the next available agent. After a defined number of tries, it will go to your default escalation (I.e. contact support or create a ticket).

swivl also integrates with dozens of systems your company relies on. From your common ticketing solutions such as HubSpot, FreshDesk, HelpScout, and Zendesk, to your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Customer Data Platform (CDP) tools. All of this to provide a robust two-way sync between your conversations and systems of record.

Now, Mari and her team are better equipped to stay on top of the mounting number of support requests and sales questions they face day in and day out, giving everyone the ability to work more collaboratively and efficiently.

No matter the size of your company, using Microsoft Teams as an add-on to your contact center is a smart solution. Leverage it so your support and contact center teams can remove communication barriers, cut response times, and, ultimately, be more productive.

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