Improve agent experience to impact total customer experience
Many organizations have spent a great deal of focus and technological investments to improve overall customer experience. The practice of customer experience (CX) management focuses on designing and delivering a positive customer experience throughout their interactions with a company. It includes improving the usability of a website, providing personalized customer service, streamlining the checkout process, or facilitating a frictionless onboarding experience. The objective of CX management is to ensure that customers return and do business with the organization again.
What is agent experience management?
In contrast, agent experience management (AXM) is the process of managing and optimizing the experience of contact center agents. Agents are often the primary point of contact between customers and organizations. AXM encompasses aspects such as recruitment, training, development, performance management and employee engagement. AXM aims to empower agents with the necessary skills, tools and resources to deliver exceptional customer service and create positive brand experiences. AXM as a practice is a relatively new field of inquiry, but research suggests that by investing in AXM, organizations can improve agent productivity, reduce turnover and enhance customer satisfaction, thus creating a virtuous circle of customer loyalty and advocacy. Getting it right is important: more than 60% of people have stopped doing business with a brand because of a poor customer service experience.
To advance the practice of agent experience management, organizations must address several agent challenges:
- Repetitive work where agents perform the same tasks and handle the same types of issues repeatedly, leading to burnout and decreased job satisfaction.
- Limited autonomy, this is when agents follow a script or strict guidelines limiting their ability to use their own experience and problem-solving skills.
- Varying grades of technical complexities whereby agents may have to circumnavigate through complex computer systems, applications, databases and technical equipment which can be frustrating and time-consuming.
- Agent training deficiencies where agents may have not been adequately trained to handle certain types of issues or customers, leading to poor performance and customer dissatisfaction.
- Agent burnout with long hours of work dealing with large volumes of calls with stressful situations, irate customers, all with limited or fragmented resources to handle this type and level of stress leading to burnout.
Addressing agent challenges
These challenges can be solved by implementing a set of capabilities that can be used to:
- Track and analyze agent performance and attendance.
- Automatically evaluate agent phone interaction, performance and identify areas for improvement.
- Track and measure agent engagement and satisfaction and provide managers with tools to address any issues that arise.
- Deliver training and development programs to agents in a convenient, self-paced format.
- Handle simple customer inquiries and complaints, thus allowing agents to focus on more complex interactions.
- Provide agents with easy access to their schedule, pay stubs, benefits and other HR-related information which can help to reduce administrative burden on managers.
- Track agent interaction with customers on social media platforms and provide feedback to improve their performance.
- Motivate agents to achieve specific goals and targets by incorporating game-like elements into their work.
The benefits analytics in agent experience management
Advanced speech analytics and natural language processing (NLP) is a set of capabilities that play a critical role in agent experience management by providing contact center managers with data and insights that can be used to identify areas for improvement and measure the effectiveness of agent experience management strategies. It too can be used to identify trends and patterns in agent performance and customer interactions, which can help managers identify common issues and underlying causes of poor performance. One can leverage analytics to measure the impact of training and development by effectively tracking changes in agent performance before and after training. Furthermore, it can be used to track and measure agent engagement and satisfaction, ultimately helping managers proactively identify issues before they get out of hand.
When agents feel valued, supported, and satisfied with their work, they are more likely to be engaged and motivated to perform at their best. This can lead to an improved customer satisfaction as agents who are satisfied and engaged are more likely to provide high-quality customer service. Another benefit is the reduction of turnover. When agents are satisfied and engaged, they are less likely to leave their jobs, which can reduce the associated costs of hiring and training new agents.
Furthermore, agent experience management practices can also create an open and transparent communication channel between management and the agents, leading to a better understanding of the agents’ needs and providing a platform for feedback and suggestions.
By implementing agent experience management practices with a set of technological capabilities, organizations with contact centers can help provide agents with a better work-life balance by providing flexible working hours or remote working options. This can lead to improved employee well-being and job satisfaction with a wide range of benefits that will greatly impact the total customer experience.
To learn more about how OpenTextTM Qfiniti CE 23.1 and OpenTextTM Explore CE 23.1 make it easier than ever for your Contact Center to deliver on agent experience management strategies and amazing customer experiences, please visit our website or get in touch with one our subject matter experts.
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