10 Ideas to Improve the Contact Center Experience for Agents and Customers

How to improve experiences for agents and customers

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10 Ideas to Improve the Contact Center Experience for Agents and Customers - CX Today News
Contact CentreInsights

Published: March 6, 2024

Rebekah Carter

For years, companies saw customer experience and employee experience as two separate concepts. A great employee experience in the contact center environment was essential to reducing agent turnover, while customer experience initiatives ensured companies could preserve the loyalty of their buyers.  

However, the research shows that “employee experience” and “customer experience” are actually two sides of the same coin. Improving the agent experience for contact center professionals simultaneously leads to higher levels of customer satisfaction. 

In fact, studies tell us that 70% of engaged, empowered agents are better equipped to address customer needs, and can even make businesses 21% more profitable 

Today we’re looking at 10 of the quickest, and most effective ways business leaders can improve the contact center experience for both agents, and customers alike. 

1. Make Personalization Easy 

Delivering personalized experiences is a must in today’s contact center landscape. No customer wants to be treated like just another number. While an all-in-one omnichannel contact center environment will help agents to deliver more customized experiences, companies can also take additional steps. 

Choosing a contact center platform with access to customer profiles, for instance, can help agents to collect and access valuable information about each client including last purchase, loyalty tier, preferred channel for communication.  

Some contact center solutions such as Engage by Local Measure   can even automatically surface this data as soon as an agent answers a call or message.  

“We’ve all been there; after years of loyal custom, we call a business’s contact center and even though they have all our details on file, they still don’t know who you are and why you are calling. And this is even though you have called 3 times this week about the same issue and repeated yourself to 3 different people. The data is there, it just needs the right platform to bring it all together.” Jonathan Barouch, CEO & Founder, Local Measure

2. Preserve Context in Conversations 

Speaking of context, customers don’t just want to be able to contact companies on any channel, they want a consistent experience, with as few friction points as possible. No customer likes repeating themselves when they’re transferred to a new agent or move to a new communication channel.  

With this in mind, it’s worth ensuring you can preserve context in conversations, giving your agents access to cross-channel history and valuable data whenever they respond to a customer. This not only creates a more consistent experience for customers, but it also supports agents by ensuring they can access all the right information to enhance a discussion, without multiple apps. 

3. Use an Intuitive Omnichannel Platform 

Today’s customers want to connect with brands through a variety of different channels, from social media messengers, to SMS, chat, and email. Ensuring your customers can contact you using their preferred method naturally improves their experience with your brand. However, it’s important to approach your omnichannel strategy correctly.  

Choosing an intuitive platform for contact center management, which unifies multiple communication channels into a shared inbox, strengthens the experience for customers and agents. With a truly omnichannel ecosystem, agents can retain context between conversations on different platforms, and serve multiple customers in the same place, without having to jump between tabs. 

4. Leverage Integrations 

The best contact center strategy for improving agent and customer experiences shouldn’t just make it easy to unify communication channels. It should also ensure companies can combine the features and information from multiple environments into one ecosystem.  

A flexible cloud contact center, with integrations available for CRMs like Salesforce, Ticket management, knowledge bases and marketing automation tools streamlines the agent experience, boosting productivity. Moreover, when agents can access all the tools and information they need in one place, they can often solve customer problems faster. 

5. Implement Automation 

Automation has quickly become one of the most valuable tools in the contact center. With the right automation strategies, companies can improve the agent experience by minimizing repetitive tasks, like summarizing calls and data entry.  

“Tasks such as change of address and checking a bank balance are examples of customer queries that happen multiple times a day and can easily become tedious for agents and frustrating for customers. If there is something that happens often in your contact center, you can probably automate it.”Hannah Milborrow CTO, Local Measure

Automated workflows can help agents to focus on the most important tasks in the contact center, increasing their productivity and engagement levels, and strengthening customer experiences. When agents have more time to focus on the tasks that really matter, customer satisfaction increases.  

6. Optimize Routing 

Ensuring your customers reach the right agent straight away is one of the easiest ways to improve their experience and empower your employees. Strategies like skills-based routing can allow companies to distribute customers among agents based on their knowledge and attributes.  

This reduces the risk of a customer connecting with an agent that needs to immediately transfer them to another employee. It also means agents spend more time focusing on the queries that they’re best equipped to manage.  

7. Offer Self-Service Options 

Similar to automation, AI is emerging as a must-have in an experience-focused contact center. This is particularly true now that LLMs and generative AI are allowing for the creation of more intuitive, humanized chatbots and virtual assistants.  

Bringing AI into the contact center means you can provide your customers with a more powerful self-service experience, helping them to solve their own problems quickly. This also means you can reduce the number of calls and queries agents need to handle each day, giving them more time to focus on the tasks that require their empathy, and creativity.  

8. Provide Agents with Guidance 

Even the best contact center agents need a little support at times. As the world evolves, contact center interactions are growing increasingly complex. AI tools are minimizing the number of simple queries agents have to handle. Offering automated guidance to employees can drive amazing results. 

Machine learning and AI tools can analyze chat transcripts and prompt agents with recommended next-best actions. This not only empowers agents to accomplish more, but it also ensures they can resolve customer problems faster, and more effectively.  

9. Support Collaboration 

Aside from offering agents step-by-step automated guidance, businesses can also empower their employees to accomplish more, with collaborative tools. When agents can easily reach out to back-end professionals and subject matter experts, they can more effectively solve customer problems. 

Integrating your contact center with a UCaaS or collaboration platform, like Microsoft Teams, can significantly improve agent productivity and efficiency. It can reduce the need for call transfers, leading to quicker problem resolution, and help to increase employee engagement.  

10. Use Analytics 

Finally, one of the best ways to ensure you’re consistently improving customer and employee experience in the contact center, is to track the right data. Using a contact center platform that provides access to real-time dashboards and historical reports ensures you can make data-driven decisions on how to enhance the customer journey.  

The right analytical tools can also help you to find ways of reducing frictions in the agent experience, improving productivity and efficiency, and reducing operational costs.  

Improving Experiences for Agents and Customers 

Creating a successful contact center environment means investing in incredible experiences for both your employees, and your customers. With the right resources and strategies, companies can empower and engage team members, increase customer satisfaction scores, and generate greater brand loyalty.  

With a focus on experience, every business can ensure they’re making the most of the potential the contact center can offer.  

AutomationCCaaSOmni-channelSelf ServiceWorkforce ManagementWorkforce Optimization

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