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Symmetry of attention: Why rethink your agent console?

Symmetry of attention: Why rethink your agent console?
Elisabeth De Longeaux
Elisabeth De Longeaux Product Marketing Manager at Odigo

To maximise customer satisfaction, you should start by making sure that your contact centre agents are happy to work there. This principle is called symmetry of attention. It is recommended to apply it to the design of your agent console, the primary work tool of your advisors.

November 27, 2019

If your goal is to maximise customer satisfaction in your contact centre, you should start by making sure that your agents are happy to work there. An excellent way to increase their well-being at work is to guarantee a symmetry of attention. However, it is not always easy to know where to begin. In this blog, we explain why rethinking the design of the agent console is probably a good starting point.

If you want your customers to love your brand, your employees must love it too,” explains Hervé Leroux, Director of Marketing and Communication at Odigo. This theory is symmetry of attention. The idea is simple: the quality of a company’s relationship with its customers is directly related to the quality of the company’s relationship with its own employees.

In other words, the ambitious objective of symmetry of attention is to support customer satisfaction through an improved quality of life at work and greater team commitment. In recent years, balancing this equation has become a major goal for companies in the customer relations sector who have clearly understood that to achieve customer satisfaction you first need to achieve employee satisfaction. The French consulting firm L’Académie du Service, which coined the term, nevertheless considers that its implementation in companies nowadays constitutes, “…the greatest challenge of management and customer relations.

Symmetry of attention: intelligently designing your agent console

92% of clients believe that the enthusiasm of agents has a major impact on their experience, according to a survey by the International Customer Management Institute. It is therefore crucial that agents in your contact centre are satisfied and committed to their role when talking to the client. But how can you make sure of this?

A key part of the answer is providing appropriate work tools that are designed by business experts. Your employees must be able to focus on their customers’ needs without having to juggle different tools in order to, “…visualise their journey at a glance, both their identity, the history of contacts with the company and the requests being processed,” as explained earlier this year by Éric Dadian, President of the AFRC, in an interview with Odigo.

In this respect, it seems logical to first focus on the agent console, your team’s main working tool. If it is well designed, it will allow your agents to spend as little time as possible on repetitive tasks so that they can focus on value-added work such as customer service and adopt listening and empathy postures. When focused on a detailed understanding of the customer’s problems and the solutions to be provided quickly, your agents become true brand ambassadors capable of crafting a lasting and trustworthy relationship.

A well-designed agent console for greater customer satisfaction

As a reminder, a large part of customers’ expectations and frustrations have to do with employees. They want to talk to polite and friendly employees who respond directly to them without a reliance on written responses and who are able to show empathy during each unique conversation.

A well thought out agent console limits the risk that the agent may seem uninformed to them, or that the information they give is different from what is visible on the website. This is a significant advantage when you know that it takes months to find a customer and only a few seconds to lose them.

A set of studies published by Aberdeen in 2017 found that more than 79% of customer service professionals say that their metrics are more focused on value than on meeting deadlines. This means that companies that set up an optimisation plan for their advisers’ working environment through the use of unified screens, customer context, response support tools, among other tools, were able to observe benefits such as:

  • An increase in customer satisfaction
  • An improvement in the Customer Effort Score (CES)
  • A decrease in the number of customer complaints
  • A lower average processing time.

The results of a 2019 Salesforce study also show that customer service metrics are entering a new era. Nowadays, employee satisfaction, which is followed by 75% of the professionals surveyed by Salesforce, is becoming almost as important as customer satisfaction, which is followed by 80% of the same group.

Symmetry of attention: beyond the agent console

While it is crucial to provide your agents with the right tools, their well-being also depends on elements like attractive working conditions, an engaging corporate culture, and the availability of specialised training.

Applying symmetry of attention in your contact centre is one of the best ways to improve both agent and customer satisfaction. To make your clients happy, make agent satisfaction a priority! To do this, it is necessary to have a set of tools that are adapted to your specific business needs. In this regard, Odigo experts, who put symmetry of attention at the heart of their work, can help you.

Discover Odigo’s Contact Centre as a Service solution.

Elisabeth De Longeaux
Product Marketing Manager at Odigo

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