3 reasons why your contact center agent’s well-being is broken

3 Reasons Why Your Contact Center Agent Wellbeing Is Shattered – Contact center customer engagements tend to follow a set path and process. It revolves around a recommended workflow, opening, discovery, suggestions, summary, and customer satisfaction survey.

While some contact centers are embracing artificial intelligence (AI) to help unify their processes and facilitate call handling, there are still many that are moving forward without AI.

Without AI, these contact centers can completely miss the concerning interactions that affect an agent’s well-being. These are the types of interactions where the amount of negative feelings and cross-talk, as well as the number of chances of cancellation, are above average.

Considering that a medium-sized contact center potentially has over 3,000 unfulfilled commitments every month, that’s over 3,000 difficult-to-handle interactions and over 3,000 potential calls where agents will need to stay calm and communicate in a friendly way. and in a positive way with very angry customers. This is an extremely difficult situation for agents, who must empathize with the customer and educate them while trying to elicit positive sentiment and a good resolution.

  1. Empathy is the path to reliability

Contact centers use escalation protocols that provide guidelines on handling dissatisfied customers. They are conversational guides to orient and direct agents to better understand customer needs. They also provide handling tips to help agents identify needs, resolutions, and mea culpa (whose fault is it).

So what’s missing? Many of these processes are essential and focus on the level of annoyance of customer complaints and escalations. Pressure is put on the agent to recover from difficult situations, which often results in agents working outside of company protocol. These incidents can cause the customer to take to social media with a not-so-factually-accurate post, in a blatant attempt to shame the organization into giving the customer what they want. Again, resolving this situation requires human intervention to resolve it to everyone’s satisfaction and can be emotionally draining, particularly if the agent does not feel supported or protected by company protocol.

The importance of an agent’s holistic well-being is well documented and impacts their overall health, outlook and attitude, job satisfaction, motivation and enthusiasm. Therefore, levels of emotional well-being should be measured regularly. Knowing and understanding the emotional state of your agents is critical to the health of your business and ensures that your customer satisfaction levels remain above average. This will ensure that your customers trust your organization.

  1. Integration is not an operational instruction manual

Taking care of the agent’s emotional well-being is really important. Emotionally healthy agents are able to manage a good work-life balance. They can work through a range of emotions, without losing control, while operating and interacting with all types of customers and engaging in a positive, friendly and patient manner. This is essential to achieve an exceptional customer experience and NLP score.

Post-lockdown, agents are dealing with customers who are expressing more intense negative emotions. This puts agents under pressure to meet customer needs. To protect agents, organizations must put measures in place to capture the emotional well-being of their agents more quickly. This will protect their investment in human resources, keep agents in tune and boost their morale. Many organizations still prioritize the onboarding of new agents over the emotional well-being of incumbents. These organizations have a high agent attrition rate and a low NPS score. This practice is counterproductive because the cost of continually recruiting and onboarding new employees far outweighs the cost of adding agent sentiment analysis to the mix and retaining a larger number of existing agents.

  1. Engagement wellness is a two-way street

Demanding customer commitments leave negative footprints. Many organizations fall back on measuring sentiment, satisfaction, and NPS surveys to gauge experience and behavior rather than looking at products, processes, and people. In many cases, conversational friction or control behaviors can be detected much earlier than post-call surveys. Automated Wellness Insights measures and monitors agent health through employee insights, quick talk, cross talk, sentiment and frustration. Every agent engagement can be analyzed and reported immediately, helping agents who need support deal with the most demanding customers and stay in control of the call.

With AI-driven insights, a culture of improving customer experience (CX) and employee experience (EX), which focuses on proactively managing all customer and employee experiences, is possible. It effectively links 100% of customer contact to service success. This helps leaders to quickly and effectively anticipate the needs of customers or agents who express dissatisfaction or experience friction and excessive effort. This, in turn, contributes to an organization’s CX strategy and change management success programs.

Rein van Popering is Solution Architecture Director EMEA at Contexta360