Author: Gayathri (G3) Krishnamurthy, Product Marketing Director, NICE inContact
Agents are the biggest asset in any contact center. Yet, agent turnover is consistently cited as the number one challenge for contact center leaders. One of the most powerful ways to combat this is investing in their experience with improved training programs and modern tools, unified on an open cloud customer experience platform, that enable them to be more productive. In fact, increasing agent productivity is a proven formula to drive better employee motivation and hence retention.
Here are some tips to improve agent productivity and drive agent motivation in your contact center:
- Automate with intelligence. With the proliferation of digital channels, interaction volumes are increasing. And, it is the more complex issues that get to the agent. As such, the role of the agent is evolving into one of a super-agent, one who can solve complex issues in an omnichannel environment. 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. Furthermore, look into 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, 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. One of the biggest motivations 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 can now interact concurrently with multiple customers in multiple channels, as well as leverage 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 elevate the conversation to voice and use both channels, chat and voice, as needed. This is a truly productive, seamless 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 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 within the organization as well as analytic applications that provide more insights on customers. One other important application that stands out is workforce optimization solutions. Having those unified with the agent desktop enables agents to bid for shifts or take 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. Analytics enables agents to make smarter choices, in real time, to support the customer. By infusing analytics everywhere, it helps contact center leaders understand where agents are spending their time and effort. Getting real time insights on various KPIs could help managers take action and improve agent utilization, productivity and effectiveness.
Agent productivity doesn’t just result 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.