As we've discussed in previous blogs, ICMI research has found that contact center agents have the greatest potential to affect the customer experience. Furthermore, the same research found that the greatest positive impact on agent performance hinges on the necessary tools agents need to effectively perform in their position. So how do you achieve better performance and higher productivity from your agents - to ultimately improve the customer experience? Here are four key characteristics Aberdeen found within a recent study of leading contact center WFO users that show how leaders maximize agent productivity and drive customer delight.
- Optimize existing processes to seamlessly manage multi-channel customer conversations. Findings from Aberdeen's CEM Executive's Agenda 2015 study revealed that an average business uses four channels to interact with buyers. The ability to successfully manage customer conversations across multiple channels requires firms to design and update the processes to connect the right client with the right agent who not only possesses the right issue resolution knowledge, but also knows how to handle interactions across specific channels.
- Don't ignore agents; empower them with the right tools and information to do their jobs. Agents use an average of three applications to access relevant customer data or knowledgebase articles. This juggling results in lengthening of handle times, decrease in agent productivity, and negative customer experiences. Leaders understand the importance of agent empowerment with the right information and technology tools, and proactively manage agent experiences by providing agents with better technology as well as relevant training programs.
- Place strategic emphasis on performance management to continuously fine-tune your activities in line with customer expectations. The expectations of today's buyers evolve rapidly. Can your contact center activities as well as agent skills keep up? If not, we recommend you to track and capture customer feedback, and use analytical tools to gauge your activity results based on how they influence client experiences.
- Weave technology into the very fabric of your WFO program to enable automation and minimize errors and costs associated with manual tasks. Use of technology helps firms drive automation and minimize errors and costs associated with manually conducting the activities listed in this document. If you're not utilizing the technology tools Leaders incorporate within their WFO activities, we highly recommend you do so as it helps these top performing organizations drive operational gains that come in the form of increased agent productivity, reduced costs and greater revenue.