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Article : How to Clone the Best Agents in Your Contact Center

Premium Content (Sponsored)

#contactcenterworld, @egain

As routine customer service queries are increasingly handled by self-service systems, requests coming into the contact center are becoming more complex. Moreover, millennials and Gen Z, who account for the majority of contact center agents, tend to switch jobs faster than previous generations, leading to even more churn in the frontline than in the past. In this environment, how can customer service organizations maintain service effectiveness and efficiencies? The answer is to find the star agents (we call them ‘models’) and systematically "clone" them across the entire frontline staff. Here is how to do it.


1. Identify your 'models'

Begin by aligning the goals of your customer service organization with your overall business goals. Then, identify your Best Agent DNA, based on what skills and traits make your best agents the best—who does the job well and at the same time, represents the essence of your brand? These star agents are your models.


2. Set your goals and timelines

Pick the right processes and tools to capture, and identify the model agents by considering these questions:

• What service processes are the most important?

• What are the skills and traits required to perform those processes well, while also representing the brand essence (as demonstrated by the models)? Make sure when you consider performance metrics to identify the models, those metrics are consistent with the brand values. Nordstrom metrics won’t work for Wal-Mart and vice versa

• What would be the right attitude to make customers happy?

• How will you know non-models have achieved model status?

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3. Identify ‘makeovers’ and ‘mavericks’

Next, go beyond the models and analyze your agent pool further.

i. Identify the makeovers — agents with good attitude who need improvement in aptitude. This group holds great potential for improvement, and with the right enablement can become ‘models’.

ii. Mavericks have high aptitude but are prone to ‘going rogue’. This improvisation hampers consistency in performance and creates serious issues with compliance, which is very important, especially in highly regulated industries such as financial services and healthcare. Mavericks need to be educated on how costly non-compliance with regulatory issues could be and how best-practice compliance could elevate their performance to even higher levels.


4. Elicit and embed models’ expertise

Elicit, capture, and embed the "secret sauce" of information (what) and process expertise (how) from the models into your knowledge management (KM) and AI (artificial intelligence) system. Do this through interviews and by learning from their customer interactions. Also, make it easy for models to suggest knowledge with the click of a button when they are done interacting with customers.

Once captured, knowledge should be delivered by your KM and AI systems in a contextual manner at the right place and the right time whenever makeovers and mavericks interact with customers. KM systems make it easy for these agents to find answers while AI systems can provide reasoning capabilities to guide them through processes so they can execute them as masterfully as the models!

5. Digitize and automate compliance

Keep regulations in mind when it comes to the who, what, how, and when of customer service content, transactions, interactions, and processes. These regulations often live in documents and flow charts, which should be digitalized into an AI system for automated guidance when agents are interacting with the customer. All agents, whether models, makeovers, or mavericks, should be required to follow this guidance. Such compliance can also be rewarded in order to scale it across the entire agent pool—mavericks need to be paid more attention on this matter, as explained earlier!

6. Clone 'everywhere'

As the world goes omnichannel (while being digital-first), agent cloning needs to happen across touchpoints as well. Omnichannel customer engagement solutions unify customer interactions, knowledge, AI, and analytics across channels—digital, voice, branch office, etc.—for 360-degree context and service consistency, making ‘omnichannel cloning’ easier.

7. Measure to manage

Measuring and managing through analytics is critical for the success of any initiative.
• Use control and test groups for benchmarking performance

• Make metrics specific and granular (e.g., "within 6 months, makeover agents score 20% higher on satisfaction for complex issues")

• Go with a robust solution for operational analytics that comes with out-of-the-box best-practice dashboards and reports

8. Manage appropriately

• Make sure makeovers know how much progress they have made through regular feedback so they develop the confidence of the models. Celebrating success is a simple but important step for your organization and, ultimately, for your customers.

• Mavericks are typically high-aptitude agents whose attitudes need work. As said earlier, they are capable but may tend to take shortcuts instead of complying with best practices and regulations. Perhaps they mean well but create damage by trying to be too clever. They need to be managed and elevated to the model level through ongoing education of non-compliance risks.

• Of course, radical mavericks should be managed out and so should ‘misfits,’ who lack both aptitude and attitude!

• Finally, recruit agents whose attitude, personalities and values are aligned with your brand. This is also important since tools are better at doing the heavy lifting for aptitude than attitude.

Cloning at work

• Leading wireless operator and eGain client improved First-Contact Resolution by 37% across all 10,000 agents and 550 retail stores by eliciting knowledge and knowhow from models and delivering it at the point of customer interaction in the form of AI-enabled process guidance to makeovers and mavericks. Mavericks that followed the guidance found that their already-high FCR performance improved further!

• Leading global banking and financial services company and eGain client cut training time of makeovers by half, improved NPS of the entire agent pool from #3 to #1 while reducing churn to 1%, even as it expanded to 11 countries! The bank instituted a rigorous agent cloning system, based on eGain’s KM and AI reasoning capabilities.

• A federal government agency and eGain client uses eGain KM and AI system to clone empathetic, consistent, and compliant customer service across 40,000 agents to members on healthcare and other critical issues.


Final word

Performance variance among agents is a big challenge in contact centers today. When all agents in the contact center are elevated to the performance of the model agents, the results in terms of customer experience and agent productivity will be nothing short of transformational. Knowledge management and AI, coupled with proven best practices, can help make it happen.

#contactcenterworld, @egain


About Anand Subramaniam:
Anand Subramaniam is SVP of Marketing for eGain. Prior to eGain, Anand served as an executive in corporate and product marketing, as well as product management and pre-sales roles at companies such as Oracle, Intel and Autodesk as well as startups.

About eGain Corporation:
Company LogoeGain customer engagement platform automates digital-first, omnichannel experiences across all touch points. Powered by AI, machine learning, knowledge, and analytics, our top-rated software optimizes customer journeys with virtual assistance, messaging hub, and desktop to serve customers, reduce cost, and improve compliance.
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Today's Tip of the Day - Customer Feedback

Read today's tip or listen to it on podcast.

Published: Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Printer Friendly Version Printer friendly version

2021 Buyers Guide Headsets

 
1.) 
All Ears Ltd

Freemate headsets, and sanitary solutions for headsets
Freemate headsets available, corded and wireless for telephony and USB. 3 year warranty compatible with all model phones. We supply accessories from downleads, USB leads, ear cushions, leatherettes and we service call centre headsets, these are sanitised and repaired or serviced as required.

We supply the corporate environment, Government departments, security, medical and professional offices and meet the needs of many of New Zealand's SOHO market.

We can even develop and create one-off solutions for those with mobility or disability limitations opening up a world of freedom in communications. And we like to have fun on the journey.

2.) 
Comfort Telecommunications

Smith Corona Headsets
3 year warranty compatible with all model phones. Accessories also available. Cords, earpads, etc all factory direct pricing

3.) 
CTCOMM

Plantronics
Jabra
Sennheiser

4.) 
Headsets123


Since 1998 Headsets123 has been supplying Call Center Grade corded phone headsets, wireless headsets, headset telephones and a wide range of headset accessories to accommodate Medical, Insurance, Financial offices and large Call Centers environments offering you value, comfort, flexibility and increased productivity in your day to day business.

Our offices are located just outside of Seattle, WA. We hope you enjoy our wide range of headsets and accessories.

5.) 
Jabra

Jabra
Jabra is a leader in engineering communications and sound solutions – innovating to empower both consumers and businesses. We are committed to letting people hear more, do more, and be more than they ever thought possible. Through sound and video, we help transform lives. Jabra engineering excellence leads the way, building on 150 years of pioneering work. This allows us to create integrated headsets and communications tools that help professionals work more productively; wireless headphones and earbuds that let consumers better enjoy calls, music, and media; and pioneering video conferencing solutions, enabling seamless collaboration between distributed teams. Jabra employs approx. 1,400 people worldwide

6.) 
JPL Telecom

Based in Dorset, England, JPL designs and manufactures innovative professional telecom headsets. We have a wide range of professional telecom and call centre use headsets in wired, wireless DECT and Bluetooth styles.

Making sure that your customer’s voice can be heard is vital. JPL Telecom ensures that your customer’s experience is first-class. All headsets have our Surround Shield™ noise cancellation to make certain your customer only hears what you want them to hear. Comfortable and attractively designed headsets are built to withstand the constant use in any call centre environment.

Our aim is to continuously improve customer choice, offering a fair price and value to our resellers and end users.

7.) 
Unicom Services Ltd.

Contact center headsets and conference solutions
Unicom Services Ltd. is a distributor of professional headsets and communication solutions for all possible applications.

Products and Services:
* Headsets for contact center, office, small office and home, mobile phones, computer headsets and adapters.

* Conference systems - audio video terminals, personal and group multipoint conferences.

* Telecom Products - office wired and wireless phones, dect systems, softphones.

* Video conference software for contact centers and offices.

* Unified Communication Solution.

8.) 
Xiamen Mairdi Electronic Technology Co., Ltd

Call Center Headsets
Mairdi is a professional call center headsets maker in China. We've designed, produced and exported professional communication headsets for 16 years. Our headsets were exported to over 120 countires in the world.
Our headsets are widely compatible with nearly all IP Phones, desk phones, PC and mobiles. They are all noise cancelling and with built-in hearing protection technology. Our headset accessories are Plantronics or Jabra compatible. All the headsets and accessories are CE,FCC, RoHS certificated.
 

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