If there's one thing that every contact center manager can agree upon, it's that agents are the backbone of any customer service strategy. Without great agents, it doesn't matter what tools, technology or strategy a company has in place - the customer experience isn't going to reach its ideal level.
That means that contact center decision-makers should make appeasing their agents a top-level priority. Of course, to reach that goal, it's first essential to recognize what it is that these agents actually want.
With that in mind, Customer Think contributor Anna Warchol recently rounded up some of the more common agent wishes, gathered throughout 2015. Those organizations that can best address these concerns and desires will be able to boost agent job satisfaction and enthusiasm, and improve customer engagement in the process.
One of the most significant items on agents' wish lists was high-quality performance monitoring. However, as one participant highlighted, monitoring needs to be handled very strategically to satisfy call center personnel.
"Quality monitoring. It has to happen, it has to be fair, and the agent has to be told about it," the respondent said, according to Warchol.
The writer went on to explain that the current system utilized by many contact centers consists of little more than supervisors scoring calls in a somewhat random way. Naturally, this approach isn't going to satisfy agents, as it's simply too subjective and small in scope. An agent who has 50 great calls in a row but only receives a score on the 51st, which went poorly, is not going to feel he or she received a fair judgment, and justifiably so.
Instead, agents desire monitoring that is comprehensive, automated and completely objective. To that end, new contact center technologies are needed. For example, a robust interaction analytics solution will examine the entirety of a given agent's calls, not just a select few, with objective metric-based performance measurement, as this recent white paper explained.
The right resources
Similarly, Warchol pointed out that many agents' wish lists noted the need for better technologies and tools. "We are only as good as the tools we are given," was a common refrain, she reported. The writer went on to note that efforts to improve agents' technological tools must go beyond the mundane, such as PC updates, and instead incorporate advanced solutions. These can include cloud-based software, omnichannel capabilities and speech analytics resources.
This is especially noteworthy because many contact center leaders think of tech upgrades solely in terms of improving customer engagement and support. Obviously, the end goal for any business's contact center is to satisfy customers, and it's true that solutions such as speech analytics can play a key role here. However, the fact that embracing new technologies can also improve agent job satisfaction makes these upgrades' benefits both wider-ranging and more substantial overall.
Agents as customers
One last noteworthy entry on call center agents' wish lists is the desire to be treated more like customers. As Warchol acknowledged, this may come across as rather corny, but the fact of the matter is that far too many business leaders do not take the time to get to know and understand their agents. Instead, they leave the contact center as a somewhat disconnected component of their organization, and that distance can't help but wear on agents.
To combat this tendency, it's important for leaders to engage with their agents more frequently and to a deeper degree. Only then can decision-makers recognize their own agents' wish lists, and figure out how to meet those goals.
How does your company address agents' wish lists?