Use a Human-Centered Approach to Improve Contact Center Productivity

By Mark Metzler posted 15 days ago

  

Pushing your customer service agents to work harder won’t necessarily improve customer experience. It is more likely to erode it if agents are tired and overworked. 

Agent attrition and performance are usually the top challenges in a contact center. If you want your agents to connect better with customers, you need to help them build their skills. 

Fortunately, modern contact center technology helps to streamline service and make it more efficient. Agents can use the right tools to better their performance, offer improved customer satisfaction and be more fulfilled. 

Make customer information readily accessible

Customer service agents who have access to the right tools are more efficient. They can find the information they need quickly. Using the right contact center technology streamlines contact center management. 

It enables the right structure to be implemented and data can be organized and tracked. This helps improve performance and prevents agents having to flip between tabs in different systems which can be very time-consuming. 

With a modern software system, all the information an agent needs is available across various integrations. With this information available, the agent is more likely to solve a customer problem speedily. 

Offer ongoing training

Employees want professional career growth and development opportunities. They expect to have opportunities to learn and grow. When contact center agents face angry customers, it can be challenging, particularly because they can’t afford to lose control of their emotions. They need support and help to develop the qualities they need. 

Consumers have more choice than ever before and one bad experience can affect their attitude towards a company. Employee development programs can use customer relationship metrics to help drive performance management and service delivery. 

Increase agent motivation

If agents can offer ideas about how to improve their efficiency and offer a better customer experience, they will be more engaged in any improvement process. When they are given the authority and flexibility to handle customer issues, they are more engaged. 

When they have a sense of ownership, their response is likely to be more personal and effective. There is overwhelming evidence that employees want to contribute, are willing to work hard, and feel more motivated when they have goals to achieve. 

 

Consider using rewards to incentivize behavior like meeting goals and going the extra mile. Rewards don’t always have to have a monetary value. Recognition of hard work and achievements is also appreciated. 

Use productivity metrics

You need to monitor key performance metrics if you want to measure productivity. How long do customers wait on average before speaking to an agent? How long does it take an agent to handle a call? How much of their total time do agents spend talking to customers and how much is spent on admin, attending meetings etc? 

It is only by having access to metrics like this that you can start to measure productivity. Data like this helps to measure performance and make improvements. It can also be used to find out if improvements are having the intended effect. 

Review traffic distribution

Your agents should never be held back by a poor organizational structure. For instance, poor call traffic distribution can significantly slow down productivity. Misdirected calls can tie up top agents and prevent them from dealing with issues they are qualified to handle. 

The whole purpose of your contact center is to put customers in contact with the right person as fast as possible and the system should facilitate this. The agent answering a call should always be the one who is best able to address the customer issue. 

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