Agents are the biggest asset in any contact center. Ironically, contact center agent turnover is seen as the number one challenge for contact centers. Contact center executives are always looking at ways to invest in agents – hire the best agents, train them better and retain them longer. An increased agent productivity is a proven formula to drive better employee motivation and hence retention.
Here are some tips to improve agent productivity in your contact center.
- Automate with intelligence – With the proliferation of channels, interaction volumes as well as complexity is increasing. The role of the agent is evolving into one of a super-agent – one who can solve complex issues. Have agents focus on high value work while automating the simple, mundane tasks. Invest in robotic process automation to automate repetitive tasks like updating multiple systems with the same data. Invest in AI self-service that can learn about the customer, provide the first level of service as well as pass more context to the agent when elevating from self-help to live help.
- Be more proactive – Proactive notifications in multiple channels can bring down the number of live interactions significantly low, especially when there is a system outage or other systemic issues that have impact on a majority of customers. This will in turn help agents avoid getting into a simple, repetitive but critical updates to every single customer.
- Achieve true omnichannel concurrency – The biggest motivation for agents is to solve customer issues and be a customer hero. With true omnichannel solutions, there is not just the ability for agents to field customer questions across channels, but also to pivot the customers to the channel that best solves the issue. An agent is now chatting concurrently with multiple customers in multiple channels, as well as leveraging more than one channel at a time in a given transaction. Say a customer chats with an agent, and it gets difficult to resolve the issue in a chat. The agent can now, elevate the conversation to voice and use both channels chat and voice as need. This is a truly productive environment with multiple concurrency and more importantly provides the flexibility for the agent to solve the customer issue.
- Unify the agent desktop – Agents typically work across 3-4 different applications and end up spending as much as 25% of their time looking for data across systems. Provide a single unified desktop one with a seamless unified interface across applications, as well as tightly integrated data flows that can offer capabilities like configuring data in one application and leveraging them across many other applications. CRM integrations are always thought of as the most important and significant, since they have customer 360 data. But, there is value in integrating many of the enterprise systems that have customer data like ERP, order management and many more. In addition to that, there is value in integrating unified communications application to connect with various industry experts across the organization as well as analytic applications that provide more insights on customers. One other important application that stands out is the one agents spend enormous time on, which is the workforce optimization solutions. Having those unified with the agent desktop enables agents to bid for shifts or take a training from the same single interface from which they interact with the customers. Integration and unification with every application makes the agent even more productive and efficient.
- Leverage analytics – Leverage interaction analytics where possible to make the agents more productive and effective. Infuse analytics everywhere and look for areas where agents are spending more effort and time than needed. For example, getting real time insights on various KPIs could help take real time action, improving agent utilization, productivity and effectiveness.
Contact center gent productivity not just results in employee satisfaction. It drives customer satisfaction too. Happy agents make happy customers. Build on this virtuous cycle and achieve both agent and customer satisfaction.