ASAPP Report Reveals Contact Centre Agent Challenges

William Smith

The report found up to 1.2 million US contact centre agents leave their jobs annually

ASAPP Report Reveals Contact Centre Agent Challenges

AI Research Software Company ASAPP has released a new report into the US Contact Centre Industry. 

CX: The Human Factor was authored in partnership with the University of San Francisco’s Master of Science in Marketing Intelligence programme and consisted of in-depth interviews and a survey of 506 agents across the United States. 

The report examines challenges faced by the over three million US contact centre agents in an industry with a high turnover rate – with 40% leaving roles within 12 months. 

Among the findings were that 74% of agents viewed themselves as brand ambassadors for their company, although 51% reported being “pessimistic” about their careers. 38% of agents said that training and career growth opportunities would improve their jobs. That’s been hampered by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, however, with 37% of respondents saying it had been difficult to receive feedback during the pandemic. 

“74% of agents view themselves as company brand ambassadors and the voice of the brand they represent. When companies fail their agents with dysfunctional technology, training and coaching, they risk not only a frustrating employee experience, but a poor customer experience that will have consumers looking elsewhere,” said ASAPP Chief Experience Officer Michael Lawder 

“Contact centre agents want to be empowered and do their best to help consumers. They operate in a difficult environment with a frankenstack of poorly designed legacy systems that are difficult to use; policies and processes that prioritise cost and liability, over resolution and customer satisfaction—with a lack of ongoing coaching and training that does not help accelerate their progress.” 

Other standout findings included: 

  • The fact that 45% of agents thought their technology was behind the times
  • That only 40% of agents thought AI would improve the customer experience, with the same percentage fearing AI would take away their jobs

“Approximately 80% of B2C enterprise CX budgets is spent on labour. The industry has a culture of continuous improvement and focus on metrics, yet how we measure customer service and agent performance must evolve to identify the behaviours that drive customer loyalty and value for employees and customers. The environment we create for employees is the environment that customers experience,” said Barbara Porter, Managing Director, EY 

“Agents want to serve people, but current industry metrics measure only a fraction of an agent’s overall performance. Metrics, processes and technology investments must work in concert to serve both the employee and the company to achieve the significant business outcomes required to serve consumers.” 



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