The Inner Circle guide to engaging and empowering contact center agents – available now from ContactBabel
The Inner Circle Guides are a series of analyst reports examining key customer contact solutions and business issues. The guides aim to give a detailed and definitive view of the reality of technology implementation and use, how best to approach these issues, and a vision of what the future holds.
Improving contact center agent engagement and empowerment requires technology, HR and business processes to work together: it’s not just something that can be managed by implementing new systems.
The culture of the organization must evolve to become more based on trust, supported by the technology required to do so:
» encourage them to take ownership of the customer issue and track it rather than just focusing on cost-based metrics
» provide a fair assessment of agent performance based on the analysis of all customer interactions, rather than focusing on a tiny fraction
» Reward and recognize agent achievements and knowledge, based on the metrics the company actually wants to improve
» make agent roles more fun and interesting through gamification, mixing channels and reducing the amount of repetitive and boring work presented to them
» allow agents to choose their own hours and holidays whenever possible
» support remote work with effective team communications, coaching, and robust IT systems.
Having agents who are happy in their jobs and caring about customers means that the customer experience will improve very quickly. It also means that these agents are much more likely to stay in the organization and their absence rates will decrease.
While calculating a difficult ROI for agent engagement and empowerment is not straightforward, companies need to recognize that the command and control model of contact center work should be relegated to the story, and that there is a new and better way to do things.
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