Contact Center Agents Key to Customer Experience

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email

Companies around the world spend billions of dollars every year on technologies meant to improve the customer experience. Key areas of investment include data management, cloud-based platforms, omnichannel communications, artificial intelligence and predictive analytics.

It makes sense. Research suggests that more than two-thirds of consumers rate customer experience over price when making a buying decision.

Yet, it only takes one careless remark by an indifferent or impolite customer service agent to undo all that planning and investment. According to a Harris Interactive poll, 89 percent of consumers have switched from one company to a competitor following a poor customer experience. As the old saying goes, it takes years to win a customer and only seconds to lose one.

While technology investments are certainly essential for delivering responsive, smooth and consistent customer service, it is important to remember that the agent experience is equally important. Engaged, efficient and professional agents play a crucial role in creating brand loyalty and delivering a positive customer experience.

That’s why more organizations are implementing workforce engagement management (WEM) programs as part of their customer experience (CX) efforts. Such programs focus on motivating and inspiring agents throughout the employment lifecycle.

Gartner defines WEM as a set of contact center applications that help improve agent engagement. However, the challenge is to use that software in ways that build a positive work environment, encourage skill development and provide growth opportunities. Too often, using performance management metrics to try and boost efficiency can create unintended consequences. For instance, agents may rush through calls or ignore cross-selling opportunities when trying to improve their average call handling time.

Instead of focusing exclusively on metrics and key performance indicators, organizations should use WEM software to facilitate strategies that create a positive work environment in which agents feel empowered and see opportunities for growth. For example, here are some of the ways that WEM software modules can be used to boost agent engagement:

Performance Management

This software pulls data from various contact center systems to measure agent and group performance against a wide range of metrics. Instead of simply using metrics as a cudgel against poor performances, integrate training and self-improvement tools that will allow agents to do their jobs better. For instance, gamification is a great technique for team-building and motivating agents. Games in which agents compete for prizes and rewards by meeting or surpassing key metrics help promote a fun and competitive atmosphere.

Workforce Management

Managers typically use this software to forecast staffing requirements, track agent hours and adjust schedules. Incorporating self-service options can give agents a degree of control by allowing them to schedule vacations, trade shifts with coworkers or bid on open shifts.

Call Recording

Managers use this software to capture conversations between customers and agents. These recordings can then be used to conduct performance evaluations. However, you can also empower your employees with self-service options. Create a library of recordings so that agents can listen to their calls for training and improvement.

In addition to improving the customer experience, engaged and empowered agents will simplify contact center management in the long run by reducing turnover rates and improving the continuity of operations. The average annual turnover rate for contact center agents in the U.S. is approximately 45 percent — more than double the national average for all occupations.

Managers and supervisors say turnover is the No. 1 challenge to contact center operations. A workforce engagement strategy that creates a positive environment with growth and advancement opportunities can dramatically reduce turnover, improve morale and boost productivity. Call us to learn more about enhancing the agent experience in your contact center operations.

Recent Posts

Evaluating the ROI of SD-WAN

In several recent posts, we’ve described many of the potential business benefits of SD-WAN, including better cloud connectivity, improved administration, increased network visibility and reduced

Read More »
For Emergency Support call: (877) 423-7486
For other support requests or to access your Cerium 1463° portal click here
Stay in the Know

Stay in the Know

Don't miss out on critical security advisories, industry news, and technology insights from our experts. Sign up today!

You have Successfully Subscribed!