Agent experience the foundation of customer experience

Pre749 Agent Experience the foundation of customer experience

  • Many brands still do see agents as critical to delivering a good customer experience.
  • Contact centre agents expect the demands placed on them by customers to increase.
  • Agents want a more flexible working environment, better training, and data-driven feedback, all of which need the right technology.

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“The number one priority for businesses today is delivering the right customer experience and it shows no signs of slowing down.” Those are the opening lines from a new report from call centre analytics software company Calabrio.

It reminds us that contact centre agents are the front-line troops in the battle to deliver the best customer experience, but says they are often neglected: not given the best available tools to do their jobs. As a result, they feel isolated and abandoned. And they leave.

Many brands still don’t value the people on the front line as critical assets of the customer experience.

According to Calabrio, many brands still don’t value the people on the front line as critical assets of the customer experience.

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“As demands from the customer on the business become increasingly complex, what matters is the impact on agents, the experience they provide and how that ultimately affects the success of the business.”

The report, The Health of the Contact Centre:…omer-Centric Era details the opinions of over 1,000 contact centre employees in the US and the UK. They were asked about the confidence they have in succeeding at their jobs, the challenges they face, and how technology will dictate the future of the contact centre.

Calabrio found that the well-documented rise in omnichannel marking and the desire for customer self-service have not eased the challenges placed upon agents.

“Self-service communication options do little to quell the intricacies surrounding customer problems, and customer inquiries only continue to grow,” it says, adding: “Agents feel ill-equipped to resolve customer issues and disconnected from the rest of the business, leaving them alone in a sea of problems.”

Specifically, “For 56 percent of agents, dealing with complex issues is the most challenging part of the role, closely followed by the sheer volume of calls (38 percent) and the inconsistent experience customers receive depending on which channel they use (37 percent).”

Twenty six percent of agents feel their contact centre is not properly connected to the rest of the organisation

Additionally, 26 percent of agents feel their contact centre is not properly connected to the rest of the organisation, creating a silo between the business and what matters the most: the voice of the customer.

And things are not getting better. 32 percent of contact centre employees surveyed expect customer queries and demands to become more complex, and 45 percent believe customers will continue to expect more from their company.

So what’s the solution? “Technology and tools,” says Calabrio. “As virtual reality, Internet of Things (IoT), voice search and other communication methods become mainstream, there is an opportunity to modernise contact centres.”

Decreasing [agent] turnover requires a more flexible working environment, better training, and data-driven feedback — and all of that starts with the right technology.

The report concludes: “Decreasing [agent] turnover requires a more flexible working environment, better training, and data-driven feedback — and all of that starts with the right technology.

However, it hastens to add, this must not be technology for technology’s sake, but technology in the service of agents. It asked the survey sample what they wanted: 34 percent said a more flexible working environment, 33 percent technology that provides a single view of the customer, 21 percent more training and 10 percent more data-driven feedback from their managers.

Premier Technologies

Premier Contact Point provides a hosted contact solution that meets the needs of the modern contact centre. This cost effective solution provides a means of directing calls to the agent who is best suited to meet the needs of the customer, without having to be transferred multiple times. Businesses choose this hosted contact solution because there is no need to purchase and maintain costly hardware like there is with traditional PBX systems. This means the need for capital expenditure is minimal, all a contact centre agent needs is a phone, PC and an Internet connection.

To learn more about Premier Technologies Premier Contact Point, visit : premiercontactpoint.com