Agent Engagement and the Customer Experience


Agent Engagement and the Customer Experience

What does it take to improve agent satisfaction and retention?

Today, one of the key topics of discussion in most contact centers is the high cost of agent turnover and the subsequent need to improve agent retention and engagement. While this has been a challenge in contact centers for some time, there are new aspects to the agent’s role that must be considered. With customer care expectations continually rising, how do we set agents up for success while keeping them happy and engaged?

According to the Gallup 2017 State of the American Workplace report: “Employees who are engaged are more likely to stay with their organization, reducing overall turnover and the costs associated with it. They feel a stronger bond to their organization’s mission and purpose, making them more effective brand ambassadors. They build stronger relationships with customers, helping their company increase sales and profitability.”

This Gallup report states that engaged teams show dramatically higher job retention rates and lower absenteeism, 17% higher productivity, and contribute 21% greater profitability.

What Makes an Employee Engaged?

Though a challenging question to answer across the board, some of the crucial elements of employee engagement include: employee recognition, open communication, technology and tools that reduce complexity, contextual understanding of their contributions, and collaboration including tools for effective teamwork.

The Role of Contact Center Software
When looking to increase agent engagement, it makes sense to evaluate and improve the quality of the agent experience, and to ensure that the technology used by your contact center supports and empowers agents.

Employee Recognition
Make sure there are reports on agent performance that provide insights into individual accomplishments as well as identifying areas for growth.

Open Communication
Easy-to-use tools enable supervisors, teams and agents to offer assistance and support to each other with visibility into tasks and status of queues.

Technology and Tools that Reduce Complexity
Set agents up for success with fully integrated applications so that all customer information and tools are within a single agent desktop.

Contextual Understanding of their Contributions
Help agents see the significance and impact of their work by empowering them with real-time queue information and statistics, and of course, metrics like solve rate.

Collaboration Tools for Effective Teamwork
Provide tools for supervisors to communicate with agents and teams, and for agents to seek assistance and share knowledge.

Outlook for 2018

Although agent engagement involves more than just technology, when you consider the agent experience, make sure the tools you offer them are an integral part of your overall strategy and that they support increasing agent engagement and success. If they do, your agents will be in it for the long haul.

Learn more:

Download the complimentary white paper (PDF).

Planning for an improved Agent and Customer Experience starts with building a solid business case. A must-read is J Arnold & Associate’s new “Strategic Report: Modeling Today’s Customer Experience to Create Tomorrow’s Business Value.” The report identifies key elements of a good CX and the impacts to customers, to agents and to the organization overall. Upstream Works invites you to read this report.