A Better Agent Experience Equals a Better Customer Experience
How Happier Agents Can Add Value to Your Contact Center
Ensuring that every customer is satisfied with the service they receive should be the number one priority for every contact center – but is that all businesses should be focusing on when trying to achieve this goal?
After all, if the aim of the game is to keep customers happy, it should be equally as important to ensure that the agents who are communicating with them are happy and satisfied in their roles too. In fact, research from ICMI found that, when asked, 100% of contact center leaders agreed that agent morale and satisfaction directly affect the customer experience, proving that a happy agent makes a happy customer.
However, when you take into consideration that this research also discovered 89% of customers say that companies need to work harder to provide a better customer experience, it’s clear to see how many contact centers are still failing in this area – but why?
Evolution of the Customer
In an age of digital transformation where people are so accustomed to finding all the answers they want within seconds simply by looking at their smartphones, fulfilling their expectations within a contact center environment has become increasingly difficult.
Now, modern customers demand that their issues be resolved quickly, effortlessly and in any way they feel is most convenient to them - be it voice call, video chat, email, IM, social media or chatbot - and a failure to meet these demands can be highly detrimental for the business.
With the majority of customers now saying would most likely take their business elsewhere if they suffered just one bad service experience, it is essential that businesses do everything they can to ensure expectations are consistently met.
As well as having the flexibility to connect with a business at any time and via any channel of their choosing, there is also a demand for a much more personalized customer service experience that makes the customer feel valued and appreciated by the company. When the modern customer contacts the business, they expect the agent to know everything about them, including their name, their previous interaction history, their communication preferences and maybe even the reason they are calling, too.
89% of customers say that companies need to work harder to provide a better customer experience.
It is for this reason that many contact centers are failing to deliver great customer service as they have not found a solution that enables them to resolve their customers issues quickly, while simultaneously delivering the kind of personalized experience that differentiates them from the next competitor.
Evolution of the Agent
Given that millennials are currently the largest generation in the workplace, it is vital for businesses to recognize that the expectations and communication preferences of their staff have changed just as much as their customers’ have.
71% of contact center leaders said that system tools and inefficiencies are the top contributor to an agent's
work day stress.
Much like the modern customer, the modern agent, too, is someone who has grown up in a digital world where they can access information at the click of a button and where technology, particularly artificial intelligence (AI), has had a huge impact on the way they live their lives. Without this technology to help them, particularly within complex omni-channel contact center environments, service representatives are quickly becoming overwhelmed, exhausted and unable to perform to the best of their ability, which in turn massively affects the experience of the customer.
Moreover, when these low performance rates are paired with the increasing demands and pressures put in place by business leaders, along with the ever-increasing expectations of customers, it’s clear to see how distressing the role can become for the agent.
To further validate this point, in a recent ICMI survey, 71% of contact center leaders said that system tools and inefficiencies are the top contributor to an agent’s work day stress, thus demonstrating how much of a negative impact poor technology can have on the overall performance of an agent.
Computer Telephony Integration (CTI)
CTI is a highly effective tool for improving the overall performance of a business. It ensures that both the customers and the agents are fully satisfied and that interactions are able to run as efficiently and pleasantly by offering the following features:
1) Automated Processes
One of the major advantages CTI can offer to contact centers to help improve both customer and agent satisfaction is that it can automate many of the repetitive, menial tasks agents must regularly carry out during every call.
Nobody likes to feel stagnated, and when an agent is forced to manually enter call log details at the end of every interaction, they are quickly going to become bored of the routine and susceptible to errors that can highly inconvenience the customer next time they contact the business.
In addition to this, when you consider that The UK Contact Centre Decision-Maker’s Guide found 10- 15% of an agent’s time is spent in post call wrap-up, CTI’s automation features also help improve the agent's experience by freeing up a large portion of their daily schedule, enabling them to focus more of their attention on speaking with and helping customers.
Considering this, with the right CTI platform installed, contact centers can rapidly increase the performance rates of their agents while ensuring they remain happy in their role.
2) Blended Agent
In an omni-channel contact center environment where customers are given the freedom to connect with a business in any way they wish, keeping track of information and ensuring that each new interaction runs seamlessly with the last can prove extremely difficult for the agent.
To better explain why this is so, imagine the pressure of trying to manually pull up information from multiple sources without forcing the customer to wait for extended periods of time. With a CTI solution that pools together all data extracted from various contact center entry points and keeps it within one single platform that the agent can easily access real-time, the aforementioned issues are completely eradicated.
As well as saving a great deal of both the agent’s and the customer’s time, this single-pane-of-glass approach gives agents easy access to all the information they need in order to deliver impeccable service to their customers in the fastest time possible – thus improving their performance metrics and ensuring that they are consistently meeting the expectations of both the customer and the business.
3) Personalized Service & Intelligent Routing
Aside from giving agents the ability to deliver personalized service to every customer by providing them with easily accessible customer data, there are CTI platforms out there that take this process to the next level.
With InGenius Connector Enterprise, for example, contact centers can use performance metrics to quickly determine the strengths and weaknesses of each of their employees, and that data can be used to decide what agent each customer should be routed to.
For instance, if an agent has demonstrated a talent for handling customers through social media, or if they excel at handling certain query topics, they will be placed at the top of the list when the system is deciding which agent to route the customer to.
By doing this, customers are happy because they are immediately connected with a person who knows exactly what they are doing, while the agent’s experience also improves as they no longer waste time trying to handle a topic that they are unfamiliar or unequipped to deal with.
If customer satisfaction is the ultimate goal for every business, then contact center leaders must invest in technology that ensures their agents are not only able to perform well in their role, but are also happy and content in doing so. The main takeaway is that happy customers cannot exist without happy agents, and to fail in meeting one set of expectations is to fail in all.
Making an investment in CTI now is a proven way to enhance the performance of a contact center considerably, while simultaneously transforming the business and the way it communicates with its customers in accordance with the modern age.