Are Your Agents Driving the Best Results for Your Contact Center?
Are your agents driving the best results for your contact center? An interesting question perhaps! But here’s a thought: Engaged agents equal happy customers, and happy customers mean good business. Not a complicated idea. But possibly a challenging one for many contact centers.
It’s a Juggling Act
Why? Because contact centers traditionally look to optimize the needs of the customer with those of the business. It’s a tricky balancing act, a constant struggle to meet increasing customer expectations against the need to stay cost competitive in a hyper-competitive world.
This balancing act is critical. But it’s not enough. Extensive research shows that unless you also focus on improving employee satisfaction and staff retention – elements of employee engagement – in the contact center, you will struggle to meet your other objectives. Improving employee satisfaction and ensuring agents are engaged are essential to securing happy customers and delivering good business results.
Start with the Agent
Easier said than done, I agree. But here are a few ideas to help improve agent morale, capabilities and motivations:
- Provide proactive and regular coaching sessions with timely, accurate and relevant contextual key performance indicators (KPIs), call evaluations, and preparatory learning
- Undertake regular assessments and evaluator calibration to fairly measure agent performance
- Provide opportunities to identify competency gaps and receive role-appropriate training, delivering the skills required to create knowledge workers
- Provide tools and self-service options for agents to monitor and manage their own performance, e.g. manage their requests for holidays, time off, and schedule preferences
A Unified Workforce Optimization Solution Can Help
An integrated and unified WFO solution is great for agents. It helps enable contact centers to refashion cumbersome processes, freeing frontline management to pursue high-payoff activities involving root cause analysis and one-to-one coaching.
It helps ensure they are fairly treated, development issues are spotted early, and coaching and eLearning are delivered in a targeted and timely way to empower, motivate and please agents. A unified solution, coupled with streamlined processes, can help transform a contact center culture from a tactically-focused cost center into a strategic operation in which employees are knowledgeable, motivated and understand what is expected, how they are doing, and how to improve their performance to achieve specific business goals. Do this and everyone wins – the agent, the company and its customers.
Which brings me back to my first thought: Engaged agents equal happy customers and happy customers, in turn, equal good business – not a bad thought, eh!
If you’d like to know more about enabling your agents to drive the best results for your contact center, watch the replay of the recent CRMXchange and Avaya webinar Engaged Agents – It Makes Good Business Sense.
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This article is a guest post from Natalie Keightley, who is responsible for Portfolio Marketing within Avaya’s Customer Experience Management Product Marketing unit, and is based in Guildford, UK. In this role Natalie is responsible for developing Avaya’s strategic messaging and thought leadership in Customer Experience Management, to promote Avaya’s market leadership with customers, analysts and media.
Natalie’s 18 year career in IT and Telecoms has focused on helping businesses deploy IT and Communications solutions to achieve business results and covers business analysis, strategy development, product marketing and IT consulting.
Natalie has been with Avaya since 2000, and holds an MBA from Henley Management College, UK, and a Bachelor of Commerce Honours from the University of the Witwatersrand, RSA.