What is a Blended Agent?
A blended agent is a person that works in a contact center and handles customer contacts in multiple channels. This originally meant handling both inbound and outbound calls. But in today's omnichannel world, it can also mean handling emails, text (SMS), chats, and social media. In practice, a blended agent may disconnect from an inbound call and next be presented with a chat interaction to respond to or an outbound call to make.
The primary benefit of using blended agents is efficiency. When the inbound call queue is empty, blended agents can respond to emails or chat with customers rather than remaining idle. Realizing these efficiencies depends on having the right software tools in place, ones that are smart enough to route contacts to agents regardless of channel, based on agent skill sets. Additionally, workforce management tools need to be able to schedule blended agents and the right reporting and analytics tools must be in place.
Can anyone be a blended agent?
No, being a blended agent takes unique skills and it isn't for everyone. Agents who are good at taking inbound service calls might not be good at cold calling sales leads. Agents who are great at speaking with customers may struggle with writing emails. Additionally, getting a random mix of contacts may be disconcerting to some agents. But some people are naturally inclined to be blended agents and thrive in this environment. Screening and training are key.
How NICE can help
NICE CXone is the market leading call center software in use by thousands of customers of all sizes around the world. Our sophisticated omnichannel capabilities facilitate a blended agent environment, helping businesses achieve significant efficiencies. CXone is a cloud native, unified suite of applications designed to help a company holistically run its call (or contact) center operations. CXone includes:
Omnichannel Routing – routing and interaction management that empowers agents to positively and productively interact with customers in digital and voice channels. These solutions include an automatic call distributor (ACD), interactive voice response (IVR), interaction channel support and proactive outbound dialer.
Analytics – turns insights into results by making data relevant, easy to consume and actionable to drive measurable improvements and understand the omnichannel experience customers receive. These solutions include interaction analytics, customer surveys, reporting and performance management.
CXone also includes pre-defined CRM integrations and UCaaS integrations with most leading solutions on the market. These integrations provide a holistic call center software solution capable of elevating customer experiences for companies of all sizes.