How to improve the contact center agent experience

Let’s face facts; being a contact center agent isn’t easy. Every day, your agents find themselves in the crosshairs of customer frustration. These encounters place enormous emotional strain on your agents. This is a major contributor to high turnover—a key contact center challenge—and can result in hundreds of thousands in monetary losses.

If you’re looking to improve agent experience (or AX), you need to equip agents with the tools and the motivation to deliver great CX. This blog outlines the facts and figures behind agent experience and the methods by which you can make the most of your most valuable resource.

Agent experience: The facts and figures

Enthusiasm is infectious. If your agents are happy, your customers will be too. Businesses are beginning to recognize this: 80% of businesses identify improving worker well-being as important or very important to their organization's success.1 Agents are your most valuable asset, but can also become your biggest cost. The estimated recruitment fee for sourcing a single customer service agent is £3,158, while the average cost of agent turnover is estimated at £202,125 per year for a typical contact center.2

The secret to delightful and cost-effective CX, then, is creating an environment in which your agents can flourish. Where they feel supported, empowered, and prepared to answer even the most challenging contacts. You need to tools to make this happen.

 

Revamp your routing with intelligent Automatic Contact Distribution

The first of these tools is Automatic Contact Distribution. Answering call after routine call, and facing the brunt of customer frustrations, your agents’ morale will erode quickly. But careful routing and distribution can ease some of that burden.

If you can offer your agents a single, blended queue, you can provide the variety they need to stay engaged. If you can route them to the contacts they’re best suited to resolve, you can easily provide the satisfaction of a job well done, and the productivity boost that comes with it. Whether you route by skill level, expertise, or even personality, intelligent routing is essential to driving first contact resolution and improving agent experience.

 

The secret to agent engagement? Workforce Engagement Management (WEM)

Effective contact distribution is only the first step on your journey toward improved agent experience. The second is flexible workforce engagement. As part of effective Workforce Engagement Management (WEM) you need a WFM solution that puts agent preferences at the core of your contact center. If you can maximize agent satisfaction, you can minimize attrition rates.

A WFM solution that provides intelligent scheduling makes boosting employee engagement easy. With AI-backed automatic scheduling, you can generate schedules that meet forecasted demand, whilst still factoring in agent preferences and flexible working patterns. When your agents begin to feel heard, your churn rates will plummet.

Once your agents are engaged, you can get to work on delivering the best possible CX. A whole suite of tools will help you here, from call and screen recording to real-time reporting. You need in-depth data on the performance of your agents. If you can drill down into the specifics of agent performance (for instance, contact resolution times) you can focus your training on individual needs, keeping your team at the top of their game.

 

Invest in your agents with Unified Communications (UC)

In the world of remote working, flexibility is everything. If you can offer your agents flexibility in their environment and work hours, their engagement will soar. As engagement rises, so will productivity. Your agents will handle more customer contacts, and be better able to cope with the challenging moments of customer service.

Even with a distributed workforce, your agents should never work alone. Browser-based, Unified Communications (UC) software can turn your contact center into a collaborative environment. With powerful UC features such as video conferencing and peer-to-peer Instant Messaging, you can enable seamless collaboration between agents. With a centralized knowledge database, you can ensure that your agents always have access to the information they need to resolve any inquiry. Investing in your agents is a powerful cost-cutting measure: 93% of employees would stay with a company longer if that employer invested in their careers.3

 

Liberate your agents – the power of Intelligent Automation

Even with active collaboration and flexible scheduling, when demand is high, your agents are going to struggle. Your single most powerful tool, then, is Intelligent Automation. If you can set up a Machine Agent™ that answers the most repetitive inquiries, you can take the pressure off your human agents. They will be free to answer only the most complex inquiries, focusing on the challenges that test their skills, not their patience. When focused on only the hardest tasks, your agents will become even more valuable to your business. The more valuable your agents, the more stimulating their work, the more invested they will be.

 

Improve agent experience with storm®

storm® WFO™ is Content Guru’s comprehensive Workforce Engagement Management toolkit. Leave behind your disparate systems and spreadsheets, in favor of a single-stack, AI-backed scheduling solution. Ensure that your agents continue to deliver the highest quality CX with recording and quality management, and relieve the burden of the repetitive and mundane with the brain® AI toolkit.

Are you ready make agent experience your competitive advantage? Read more about what storm WFO can do for you contact center.

Learn more about storm WFO.