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Everyday experiences and repetitive frustrations affect the quality of working life. What role can technology play in supporting agent satisfaction?
Every professional seeks the same thing at work: fulfilment and purpose. Regardless of career, be it teacher, marketer, executive or contact centre agent there are often roadblocks. To create great agent experiences in a contact centre work environment, it’s important not to overlook equipping them with the right tools and allowing them enough autonomy to engage their professional skills for top-tier CX. When the agent experience is good, satisfaction follows.
Unfortunately, this is not always the case. There are several reasons agents can be discouraged, from illogical metric goals to poorly-configured tools. When they feel their performance is the only concern and their experiences are at the bottom of the priority list, it 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 and processes. When Knowledge Management (KM) databases contain outdated instructions, agents can encounter trouble even with simple things, for example, helping a banking customer raise their daily spending limit. This of course also adds to customer dissatisfaction.
Guaranteeing the right level of skills and competencies is crucial. For instance, in the lead-up to offering a new service or product, a contact centre should set aside time for agents to prepare. This could include everything from campaign training and planning for anticipated FAQs to setting realistic targets and metrics. Moreover, it’s essential to assess what level of assistance agents may need, not only from their immediate supervisors but product experts or even other departments.
To offer the best contact centre work environment, companies can invest in Contact Centre as a Service (CCaaS) solutions. Not only do agents benefit from an intuitive solution they come with pre-launch training and ongoing support. By addressing technical aspects through close contact with contact centre teams, design and deployment is optimised with proactive involvement from both sides and reactive support. What’s more, migrating to a new solution can help the business side of a contact centre operation better understand how crucial an effective solution and adequate training is to agent performance and experience.
Agent experiences can directly influence performance evaluation. A challenge presents itself when contact centres have to take into consideration whether there has been sufficient training on essential tools, or if those tools fall short of expectations. If an agent is poorly trained, or tools malfunction, metric-minded supervisors may focus solely on customer satisfaction (CSAT) or average handling time (AHT) without taking into account the contact centre work environment. Risks then follow when these underperforming metrics are taken as the final word on agent performance. In the face of technical challenges, agents can be left unable to resolutely carry out their duties professionally. Even the best performer can be overlooked and frustration will rise, neither is a good sign for agent retention.
Modern CCaaS technology helps bring metrics in line with expectations by feeding vital customer info to agents through unified consoles. Leading CCaaS providers also provide support at every step, optimising solutions for specific contact centre contexts and guiding everyone involved as they learn to use the new tools. An active role by management is key. A dynamic contact centre work environment benefits from listening to agent feedback which yields valuable insights for change and opens the door to even more new initiatives.
We’ve talked in the past about how the symmetry of attention between agent experience and customer experience is paramount to strengthening brand-customer relationships. Providing every opportunity for customers to connect through seamless omnichannel experiences is a must. But it has to go both ways. Contact centres should also provide agents with the tools necessary to help them stay on top of their game; managing interactions coming from multiple channels and creating a contact centre working environment where skills can be developed and showcased. In this way agents can flourish and become brand ambassadors who inspire customer loyalty.
Magical things happen when symmetry of attention is heeded. It is true that the contact centre work environment is full of trials and tribulations, but there can be a great deal of fulfilment and purpose when agent experience is given the attention it deserves. And thanks to the tools and support now available, the work environment of a contact centre can be more than just satisfactory, but beneficial for agents and drivers of growth for brands.
Odigo, 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 centre 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 centre work environments. Through technology and support, Odigo makes everyone’s role important.
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