How WFO Reduces Agent Stress as Customer Service Becomes More Complicated
Contact center supervisors focus most of their time on making agents’ lives easier and ensuring their contact center operations run smoothly. The rise of remote and hybrid work does not change these goals but does make these more difficult to achieve. Now that agents are working remotely, it can be more challenging to know if they’re getting the coaching they need to be successful. According to a study by Harvard Business Review, the pandemic has more than doubled the number of difficult calls agents receive.
Inadequate coaching can create more stress and frustration for agents, considering how many challenging interactions they’re facing. Failing to provide consistent coaching for agents, especially new ones, will also cost you. If an agent can’t answer a customer question or takes too long to do so, this can lead to a poor customer experience. The majority of customers who participated in the Five9 Customer Service Index of 2021 stated they are somewhat or very unlikely to continue doing business with a company after a poor customer service experience. When walking the floor is no longer an option, supervisors also must figure out how to effectively coach their agents and maintain efficient operations to continue delivering positive customer experiences.
When WFO data is integrated into a supervisor application, like Five9 Supervisor Desktop Plus for example, it helps leaders proactively coach agents while maintaining efficient operations overall. When WFO data is visible in core applications for agents, such as Five9 Agent Desktop Plus, agents now have a seamless interface for handling customer interactions and a clear understanding of their schedule and performance. Let’s look at how Five9 has integrated WFO into these core applications to reduce agent stress and streamline operations.
Challenge: Agents are having an issue or are struggling but can’t describe exactly what’s going on to their supervisor.
Let’s face it – being the new person on the team is stressful in any role. Being a new contact center agent is very challenging. From learning the products or services the company offers to getting up to speed on internal processes, new contact center agents might feel overwhelmed during their first few months on the job. Contact center supervisors will want to help new agents get ramped up fast and, ultimately, reduce their agents' stress levels. One way contact center supervisors can help solve agent issues faster is through embedded quality management tools like live interaction monitoring. Five9 lets supervisors listen in on agent calls and see their live desktop activity, and even allows a supervisor to whisper feedback to the agent or take over their desktop to help them navigate more effectively. New agents require more monitoring and feedback. Continuous and effective feedback reduces the learning curve and provides better experiences for customers. With WFO functionality embedded into Five9 Supervisor Desktop Plus, supervisors have access to all interaction recording/ transcripts and evaluation tools at their fingertips. Links to important reminders and training materials are also automatically delivered to agents based on their performance. This provides them immediate access to helpful material that will create a better experience for customers. Five9 enables supervisors to assist new agents quicker. Agents can get the answers they need and visually see how to approach a similar problem in the future.
Challenge: Given the rise in the remote workforce, it’s not always clear who needs help.
Many contact centers are continuing to work remotely. This means supervisors are still learning to coach and onboard new agents without being in the same office with their team members. For agents, a remote contact center job can present a few challenges as well. For example, when a new agent needs help, it might be more challenging to alert a supervisor when they’re no longer working from the same room. Supervisors must learn how to provide help without the ability to walk the floor. Five9 Observe integrated into Supervisor Desktop Plus gives leaders the ability to review their entire team’s desktop activity at the same time. This quickly gives them insights into their teams’ interactions happening between agents and customers in real time. This helps supervisors stay on the pulse of their contact center interactions and enables them to intervene when an agent might need assistance. Five9 Observe makes it easy for supervisors to intervene before a problem arises, ultimately helping agents deliver more positive customer experiences with less stress.
Challenge: Agent schedules can change quickly, and it can be difficult to stay up to date.
Schedules can change frequently, which makes it tough to ensure agents are up to date on what needs to be done. Agents might have to switch between their ACD application and a separate application for their workforce management information. Switching between multiple applications wastes the agent’s time and causes unnecessary stress. Not to mention, agents might miss important updates to the schedule simply because they must log in and out of these two applications. Having workforce management integrated into the agent’s core application provides access to schedules and the ability to receive updates immediately. Agents can also manage time off or shift changes from a single application, creating a more efficient, and less stressful, workday.
Having workforce management functionality, like the ability to view schedules, helps agents adhere to their schedules. Giving agents seamless access to schedules within their desktop application keeps them up to date when schedules change and helps contact center operations run smoother.
Reducing agent stress and keeping remote, and hybrid, contact center operations efficient is very challenging. With tools that encourage proactive coaching as well as accessible information from within an agent’s desktop environment, supervisors can make a big impact on an agent’s day-to-day work, while keeping their operations efficient.