“The number one priority for businesses today is delivering the right customer experience, and it shows no signs of slowing down” — such is the opening statement in a new report from call centre analytics software company Calabrio.
How are you treating your troops?
In the battle to deliver the best customer experience, our contact centre agents are the front-line troops. But they’re often neglected: not given the best available tools to do their jobs — and as a result, they feel isolated and abandoned. And they leave.
According to Calabrio, many brands still don’t value the people on the front line as critical assets of the customer experience.
“As demands from the customer on the business become increasingly complex, what matters is the impact on agents, the experience they provide and how that ultimately affects the success of the business.”
The report, The Health of the Contact Centre: Agent Well-Being in a Customer-Centric Era details the opinions of over 1,000 contact centre employees in the US and the UK. They were asked about the confidence they have in succeeding at their jobs, the challenges they face, and how technology will dictate the future of the contact centre.
Calabrio found that the well-documented rise in omnichannel marketing and the desire for customer self-service have not eased the challenges placed upon agents.
“Self-service communication options do little to quell the intricacies surrounding customer problems, and customer inquiries only continue to grow,” it says, adding:
“Agents feel ill-equipped to resolve customer issues and disconnected from the rest of the business, leaving them alone in a sea of problems.”
Specifically, “For 56 percent of agents, dealing with complex issues is the most challenging part of the role, closely followed by the sheer volume of calls (38 percent) and the inconsistent experience customers receive depending on which channel they use (37 percent).”
Additionally, 26 percent of agents feel their contact centre is not properly connected to the rest of the organisation, creating a silo between the business and what matters the most: the voice of the customer.
And things are not getting better. 32 percent of contact centre employees surveyed expect customer queries and demands to become more complex, and 45 percent believe customers will continue to expect more from their company.
Equip your front line with the tools they need
So what’s the solution? “Technology and tools,” says Calabrio. “As virtual reality, Internet of Things (IoT), voice search and other communication methods become mainstream, there is an opportunity to modernise contact centres.”
The report concludes: “Decreasing [agent] turnover requires a more flexible working environment, better training, and data-driven feedback — and all of that starts with the right technology.
However, it hastens to add, this must not be technology for technology’s sake, but technology in the service of agents. It asked the survey sample what they wanted: 34 percent said a more flexible working environment, 33 percent technology that provides a single view of the customer, 21 percent more training, and 10 percent more data-driven feedback from their managers.
Premier Contact Point in the service of your agents
Premier Contact Point is a true cloud contact centre solution that allows organisations to provide its staff with a flexible working environment. Agents can access the platform from any location that has a modern web browser, an internet connection and a phone, and that includes a home office! Furthermore, organisations which allow job sharing will benefit from the concurrent licence model; if two staff members share a single position, but only one person needs access to the platform at any one time, just one licence fee will be charged for both users.
Premier Technologies has over 31 years’ experience in software development and system integration. We designed the Premier Contact Point platform to be easily integrated with other best in class applications like CRMs and ERPs. This provides agents with quick and simple access to critical customer information. And contact Centre data can be automatically inserted into the third-party applications to provide the organisation with a 365-degree view of the customer.