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Everyone wants to think of their own job as important. And they are.
Everybody seeks the same thing: fulfillment and purpose at their job, whether they’re fast food workers, marketers, executives, or contact center agents. And these professions can be fulfilling and satisfying. When we talk about agent experience working in a contact center work environment, we talk about ways to improve it by better equipping agents with the right tools and letting them be free to use their own ways of connecting with people to deliver top-tier CX. When the agent experience is good, it’s rewarding.
Unfortunately this is not always the case. There are several reasons agents get discouraged, from illogical metric goals to poorly-administered tools. When they feel they are under-served, this can lead to agent attrition. Here are a few examples of challenging situations and what CCaaS platforms can offer to respond to them.
One of the main pain points is gaps in standards & processes. When Knowledge Management (KM) databases contain outmoded instructions, agents can encounter trouble even with simple things such as helping a customer raise their daily spending limit, which adds extra dissatisfaction for the customer.
Guaranteeing the right level of skills and competencies is crucial. For instance, in the lead-up to offering a new service or product from a brand, a contact center should set aside adequate time for agents to get prepared to offer support for it, from campaign training to setting realistic targets and metrics. Moreover, it’s essential to assess what level of assistance agents need, not only from their immediate supervisors, but from the IT department and central office as well.
To offer the best contact center work environments, companies should invest in Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) solutions that are reinforced with close support right from the go-live. This begins with the technical side, from staying in close contact with your contact center’s IT team to ensure both proactive maintenance and reactive support, through escalating problem tickets and following up and making sure issues are handled properly. What’s more, it should help the business side of CC operations better understand how using the solution properly — and how training agents properly as a result — is part of their contact center’s project life-cycle.
Another challenge that contact centers have to take into consideration is sufficient training on tools essential to the job, or tools that fall short of expectations. If an agent is poorly trained on a particular tool, or those tools malfunction, metric-minded supervisors may not even be aware of these facts and will only look at customer satisfaction (CSAT) or average handling time (AHT) scores. The risk comes about when you consider only underperforming metrics that do not actually reflect the agent’s performance. When tools fail and agents are unable to resolutely carry out their duties as customer service professionals, the amount of frustration rises which is not a good sign for agent retention.
Modern CCaaS technology helps bring metrics in line with expectations by feeding vital info to agents through unified consoles. Effective CCaaS providers also give support at every step, optimizing solutions for specific contact center contexts and guiding everyone involved as they learn to use the new tools. Management’s role at this stage is key. To keep up a dynamic contact center work environment, listening to agent feedback will make their involvement grow.
We’ve talked in the past about how symmetry of attention between the agent experience and customer experience is paramount to strengthening brand-customer relationships. Providing every opportunity to connect with your customers through a seamless, omnichannel experience is a must. But it has to go both ways. Contact centers must also provide agents with the tools necessary to help them stay on top of their game, manage all these interactions coming from different channels and enable the use of their soft skills. In turn, both agent and customer become brand ambassadors.
Magical things happen when symmetry of attention is heeded. It is true that the contact center work environment is full of trials and tribulations, but there are a lot of positive, uplifting experiences that agents can have when the agent experience is properly attended to as well. Agents do take notice when the environment is right. And thanks to the tools and support now available, the work environment of a contact center can be not just satisfactory, but beneficial for agents and drivers of growth for brands.
Odigo, recently named Global Leader for the third consecutive year in the ISG Provider Lens™ CCaaS 2022 report, has CCaaS solutions that work for agents and customers alike. Be equipped with the contact center tools needed to ensure not just that agents do their job thanks to supervisor dashboards, but that agents can do their job with minimal hassle owing to the attentive support Odigo’s team gives contact center work environments. Through technology and support, Odigo makes everyone’s job important.
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