There’s no substitute for quality, on the front lines of a CX (customer experience) operation.
A positive, energetic agent, who’s proactive at solving problems, can cement relationships with customers, especially since data shows that customers still prefer to speak with another human being. Direct calls have increased from 40%, pre-pandemic, to almost 60% today. Even though automated processes, like chatbots and Interactive Voice Response (IVR) systems, have streamlined fundamental interactions—to improve service, productivity, and costs—actual, memorable CX still primarily takes place in the course of human conversation.
Sadly, for many enterprise contact centers, finding (and keeping) positive, energetic, proactive agents is a significant challenge, as is providing them with the training required to keep their skills and knowledge sharp. The 2021 Front Office Omnibus Survey says that these two challenges are most pressing for captive operators. So how do we address these challenges?
As the battleground to acquire the best talent becomes more competitive in 2022, employers should establish practices that support hybrid workplaces, adopting new systems to manage remote and hybrid teams. Employment offers, to both new and current employees, need a stronger push on flexibility and benefits that cater to life outside of work.
Employees stay because their job challenges them, while providing what they need to rise to the challenge. Introducing AI and analytics, to guide employees during calls, and providing them the power to suggest next-best actions gives them leeway to problem-solve on their own, as well as more time to engage with customers empathetically. Upskilling agents is a prime objective, to keep them updated within the technology landscape and keep them on board.
A strong family culture, where everyone feels like they belong, is essential for employee satisfaction. It has also been shown that today’s talented employees prefer working at companies that promote diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Employers must devote attention to building strong ties within the company, and nurturing a fair, welcoming workplace.
Everyone agrees that happy, engaged employees positively impact an organization’s ability to deliver excellent service and experience. In 2022, a leading indicator of a business’s success is and will be the standard of its employee experience.