With so much attention now placed on perfecting customer experiences in the contact center, the experiences of agents and employees can frequently be overlooked.
However, the reality is that empowered, engaged, and informed agents are crucial to driving business results.
The experience of agents in the contact center has a direct impact on the level of support and service companies can provide to their customers.
McKinsey found that happy, engaged agents are 3.3 times more likely to feel capable of delivering exceptional service.
This means if companies really want to compete in today’s complex market on the basis of customer experience, they need to get their agent experience strategy right first.
Here are five of the best ways business leaders can enhance agent experiences in the contact center.
1. Preserve Context in Omnichannel Interactions
Increasingly, customers are leveraging a wider range of tools and resources to connect with companies.
Today’s consumers want to be able to interact with brands on their own terms, on the platforms where they feel most comfortable, whether it’s a social media channel or a video conferencing tool.
However, simply implementing various disconnected platforms into a wider contact center strategy doesn’t lead to benefits for customers or employees.
Consumers don’t just want to be able to communicate with brands across all channels; they want reassurance they’ll receive a personalized, consistent experience on every platform.
Creating a true omnichannel ecosystem in which agents can access context and insights into the customer journey helps to accomplish this.
With a truly unified contact center environment, customers benefit from a more streamlined service, while agents enjoy a more convenient experience.
An omnichannel contact center platform eliminates the need to jump between different apps to access crucial customer information and provides agents with more of the details they need at their fingertips.
Building that often starts with connecting all channels to a central CRM, making it simple for agents to find the data they need to deliver a personalized service.
Yet, that is only step one. As Jason Roos, CEO of Cirrus, reveals:
“The end goal is to synchronize all communication channels, provide a single view of the customer on one dashboard, and leverage advanced analytics.
We support contact centers in that mission, helping them to boost customer satisfaction, drive operational efficiency, and fuel their growth as a customer-centric organization.”
2. Keep Tabs on Agent Workloads
Even the most efficient agents can only handle so much. As customer journeys become more complex and agents are tasked with more challenges to overcome every day, it’s important for business leaders to be mindful of the threat of burnout.
That is critical as around 62% of contact center agents define burnout as one of their top workplace challenges today.
Burnout decreases engagement among staff members, increases turnover, and causes productivity problems within any contact center.
Fortunately, workforce management tools can help. WFM suites can track occupancy rates in real-time and provide access to useful tools that help business leaders to make the most out of their human resources.
Intelligent WFM solutions built into the contact center environment can even provide staff members with self-service tools for shift-bidding, shift-shopping, and holiday planning, improving work-life balance and minimizing burnout.
3. Close the UCaaS/CCaaS Gap
Even with the help of an omnichannel contact center platform integrated with crucial customer data tools and CRM systems, agents can still lose productivity if the UCaaS and CCaaS landscapes aren’t aligned.
Frequently, today’s agents need to be able to collaborate with team members, subject matter experts, and supervisors to resolve problems quickly for customers.
Aligning the contact center landscape with a unified communication and collaboration tool makes it easier for staff members to access the support and resources they need.
For instance, companies can utilize innovative solutions designed to bring CCaaS functionality into existing platforms, like Microsoft Teams, to bridge the gap between different cloud environments.
“Microsoft Teams has become fundamental to so many businesses, and natively integrating contact center solutions is a natural evolution,” adds Roos.
“The ability to integrate contact center solutions natively within Teams provides agents with all the tools needed to better handle customer queries, without the need to chop and change between different systems. This means agents are empowered to handle customer inquiries with greater speed and accuracy.”
Yet, combining the UCaaS and CCaaS spaces in the workplace not only saves employees time on switching between apps but also helps to engage staff members wherever they are.
With a UCaaS platform integrated with the contact center, agents can connect with peers, share knowledge, and benefit from a thriving company culture.
4. Show Recognition and Appreciation
According to studies, 69% of employees say they’d work harder if they believed their hard work was being recognized by their employers and team members.
Recognizing staff members for their hard work doesn’t just boost productivity either. It can also increase employee engagement and motivation levels, lead to greater workplace satisfaction, and increase staff retention.
However, the bigger a company’s contact center team is, the harder it can be to spot which employees are driving excellent results.
Quality management tools powered by conversational analytics could be the solution. These tools allow contact center leaders to monitor agent performance in real-time, so they can provide positive feedback quickly and consistently.
The same tools can also provide supervisors and business leaders with the insight they need to provide useful guidance and support to teams when they need it most.
Business leaders can use the data they gather to create strategies for coaching and training agents to reduce handling and hold times, improve CSAT scores, and enhance business results.
5. Reduce Repetitive Tasks
Finally, one of the easiest ways to improve agent experiences, and enhance business outcomes at the same time, is to reduce the number of repetitive tasks agents need to worry about each day.
Most contact center agents don’t feel engaged by repetitive, mundane work. They want to focus their time and energy on projects that make a difference.
Contact center technology, such as conversational AI tools used to create self-service bots and automated workflows for agents, can make a huge difference to agent productivity.
The right software can help to reduce the number of calls agents need to handle each day by giving customers a way to serve themselves and even handle common processes like call wrap up and data entry.
This gives agents more time to focus on complex queries and provides amazing service to customers. It also ensures agents can work more effectively wherever they are, refining their schedules and making the most out of the hours they spend at work.
Empower and Engage Contact Center Agents
Improving agent experience doesn’t just have an impact on employee retention and engagement rates; it directly impacts business performance.
By investing in amazing agent experiences with the strategies above, companies can improve productivity, increase revenue, and ensure they’re delivering truly unforgettable customer service.