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Part 4: Improve your Agent Experience to transform your contact centre

11/02/22 Wavenet
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Welcome to the final blog in our series on Agent Experience (AX). By now you should have a good understanding of what AX is, why it’s a serious challenge, and how to improve yours. Now it’s time to talk about the pay-off – and potential – of that improvement.

The role of the contact centre is evolving. (But you’ve known this for a while.)

On the one hand, this is really exciting. Businesses finally get the opportunity to prove the potential of their contact centre and agents.

(Sure, things are moving fast. But being thrown into the deep end during COVID-19 has proven organisations and their team are up to the task.)

But on the other hand… teams are already so busy. And worried that big changes and new processes will only add to stress. 

Well, they don’t have to.

Not if Agent Experience shapes the future of the contact centre. Yep, shine the spotlight on agents, and organisations could soon see their contact centre become a vital strategic asset – giving agents a starring role in upstream sales and marketing as well as in customer care.

So, let’s take a deeper dive. What exactly will AX do – and what will the pay-off be for your contact centre, agents and the business?

 

Better AX helps your contact centre take on a new role

Historically, Sales and Marketing have been the ‘face’ of the business, with contact centres only featuring later on in the customer journey when existing customers have a problem or query.

But COVID-19 changed all that.

When shops and offices closed, contact centres became the central (and often, only) channel for all customer interactions. And that move put them centre-stage within the business.

But while COVID-19 may have been the catalyst for the contact centre earning greater recognition – it wasn’t the cause. No, this move had been a while in the making. For years, contact centres have been adding more channels, taking on more responsibilities, and producing the kind of data that business leaders need (and love).

(You know the feedback and insights that agents get every single day can make a huge change to businesses.)

Changes in contact centre technology have been ramping up too. Advances in automation have freed agents up to spend more time with their customers, letting bots handle the more mundane, repetitive tasks. And – in a more dramatic shift – new video features give agents a bigger role in marketing products, services and promotions to customers. Take buying a new set of kitchen cabinets, for example. Instead of a customer trying to describe their kitchen set-up and what they want to improve, they can simply video chat with an agent and show them what they mean. The agent will instantly understand what the customer wants – and can provide a vastly more helpful answer. 

Given this profound shift in function, it’s clear that the contact centre of the (very near) future will be as deeply embedded across every area of the business as Sales and Marketing are today – and will be a magnet for growth, investment, hiring and new skills.

All of which should be music to your ears.

But this shift isn’t going to happen on its own. Agents need to be given the right tools, processes and working environment to grow into their new responsibilities as quickly, effectively and happily as possible. 

In other words? They need amazing AX.

 

Better AX empowers your agents to be all they can be

As contact centres move upstream and evolve to deal with a wider array of customer journeys, the opportunities agents have to progress their careers are multiplying. 

Agents are becoming advisors: freed by automation to manage more complex service tasks that demand deeper product knowledge and problem-solving skills.

Agents are becoming specialists: many contact centres now train and employ expert teams of agents to handle specific channels, such as social media, where interactions are public and require a higher attention to detail.

Agents are even becoming business leaders: research shows that businesses are increasingly eager to appoint executives with backgrounds in frontline customer service roles.

To get there, agents need not only the training and career development opportunities, but also the right environment to grow and flourish.

This is where optimising AX to support, motivate and empower agents becomes absolutely essential. Because the less tangled up in unconnected systems and unorchestrated channels agents are, the more time and energy they’ll have to learn and upskill. 

Plus, the happier they are working in the contact centre, the less likely they’ll be to leave before the business can develop them into the specialists and leaders that they have the potential to be.

Retaining agents also has wider benefits for businesses, too. McKinsey argues (and we agree) that improving employee retention not only reduces operating costs, but also directly impacts the quality of customer care, because “longer-tenured agents have more expertise and institutional knowledge to bring to customer interactions”.

With this in mind, improving AX is an essential step that businesses need to take to nurture agents and help them progress their careers – before another AX-optimised contact centre does.

 

Better AX builds customer relationships for life

Last (but several million leagues from least), an improved AX has a huge knock-on effect on customer experience, customer relationships – and customer lifetime value.

In contact centres that focus on AX, agents can bring the all-important human touch to today’s increasingly digital customer journeys – and take responsibility for higher value, emotive services that really strengthen customer relationships.

(And in CX, emotion matters: big time. According to CX expert Martin Will-Hilson, “emotion impacts retention”.)

But this won’t happen without help from above.

The contact centre has the potential to deliver better customer experiences and build stronger customer relationships.

All businesses need to do is unlock it.

And that comes down to Agent Experience.

 

Ready to start your journey to optimised Agent Experience?

Come right this way…

 

Think agents, customers, contact centre and your customers' businesses could benefit from better AX?

Well, we’re the ones to help you do it.

 

Here’s a brief CV:

Puzzel, Powered by Wavenet, is flexible, scalable, customisable cloud-based platform:

  • Routes customer enquiries to the most appropriate agent or automated channel, automatically.
  • Equips agents with the data and insights they need to give customers a hyper-personalised service, through the channel (and on the device) they prefer.
  • Slots seamlessly into an existing IT environment.

Puzzel have helped some of the biggest and best companies in the UK elevate their Agent Experience, transform their contact centres and deliver awesome omnichannel customer experiences.

 

Get in touch with your Account Manager today to talk about the future of your contact centre offering.

Contact Account Manager


 

Contact Centre, Puzzel

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