The Customer Experience: the Role of the Agent Interface

Contact center agents. They are the sole point of human contact that customers have with an organization, and so have a significant influence on the customer experience. To deliver high-quality customer experience (CX), organizations must provide agents with the support and resources they need to best apply their skills. This includes having the right tools for the job, and as the gateway to delivering excellent CX, the agent interface plays an important role. Here are the qualities of the perfect agent workspace, and how they can promote greater CX.

1. Flexibility

In an omni-channel contact center, agents often service multiple digital channels, like web chat and social media, simultaneously. Then to deliver a knowledgeable and connected customer service, it is necessary to have different sources of information on-screen all at once. For example, a customer’s interaction history and information from third-party databases. With so much to manage, it is easy for the agent workspace to become disorganized. Switching between applications and tabs is difficult, time-consuming, and detrimental to a timely CX. Not to mention, having inadequate space to view information is frustrating, and a trigger for agent churn.

Agents work more efficiently with the right information in front of them, and a more efficient agent can deliver better CX. That’s why it’s crucial to empower agents with an interface that allows optimal organization of workflows. This includes the ability for agents or supervisors to remove any unnecessary components from view, and place information in the best position on the screen. In other words, the means to customize where and how information is displayed. A flexible agent interface is also responsive. Regardless of device, on-screen elements adjust to the size of the screen, making it perfect for agents to work on smaller displays such as mobiles and tablets.

2. Usability

The agent interface needs to be intuitive, and easy to use. If the agent interface is complex, it will stress agents, especially new hires, and delay them from being able to service interactions and deliver great CX. After basic training, agents need to be proficient with an organization’s tools and systems – spending any more time than necessary to train agents will cut into an organization’s bottom line.

Part of what makes an agent interface intuitive is the ability for agents to access everything they need from a single application. Hopping across tools and systems to find the right customer information, or knowledge to answer a query, wastes valuable time. This keeps customers waiting for a response, increasing Average Handling Time (AHT), and impacting CX negatively.

With an all-in-one interface, agents can streamline, and thus improve workflows. All applications and integrations are accessible from that single interface. From CRM systems and multiple communication channels, to knowledge bases and performance stats. Multiple integrations can be open at the same time, allowing agents to switch focus onto what they need quickly and easily. Without thinking about ‘how’ to do it, they can simply do it. So no matter how new the agent, they can understand and use the agent interface immediately.

3. Accessibility

To access a broader talent pool that will allow organizations to deliver superior CX, it’s essential to make it easier for users of all abilities to use the agent interface.

The remote and hybrid models implemented in 2020 have ushered in an era of more choice and flexible working options for agents, and determined how organizations resource contact center operations in the future. The ability to work from wherever, whenever, from whatever device, and for whoever is now crucial for greater operational agility, which is needed to cope with evolving market demands and changing consumer behavior. Having an accessible agent interface broadens the talent pool that organizations can tap into.

According to Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), web content needs to be perceivableoperableunderstandable, and robust in order for it to be considered accessible. To put it another way, the web content must be clear, easy to navigate and understand, and will remain accessible as technologies advance. The WCAG established these guidelines to make web pages and web-based applications more accessible to people with disabilities including blindness or low vision, limited movement, and photosensitivity. In relation to the agent interface, this means providing features such as keyboard-driven structures, high contrast color schemes, and support for screen readers.

Empower your agents with Content Guru

storm® DTA® (Desktop Task Assistant) – Content Guru’s browser-based, omni-channel agent desktop – is designed to improve productivity and accessibility for agents.

The DTA has a flexible layout that responds to the screen size of an agent’s device. Streamlining workflows has never been easier, as agents can access third-party data and integrated applications from a single interface, and arrange panes in a way that allow them to work more efficiently. The DTA is fully compliant with the most up-to-date Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG v2.1 AA) and is suitable for users with a broad range of disabilities, including blindness and low vision, limited movement, and photosensitivity.

Empower your agents to deliver best-in-class CX and customer satisfaction, and learn more about the storm DTA.