The job of a contact center agent is more than picking up a phone. It requires a highly skilled, organized, multifaceted person who can make a fast impact in the workplace and on the customer experience. Just as the call center has evolved through the decades, changing in name and scope of functionality, so too must the call center agent. It’s time to say goodbye to the typical “agent” and do everything in our power to create super agents.
The super agent is an empowered, knowledgeable, high-performing representative who directly impacts customer experience, loyalty, brand perception, and profits. Embracing the super-agent requires a shift in company culture, a greater focus on agent engagement and individualization, and a thorough assessment of your technology systems. Here are some tips for turning your agents into super agents:1. Invest in technologies that inform and empower: Agents should never feel limited with what they can do to help customers. The right resources should always be available, with technology making things smooth and easy versus fragmented and chaotic. Here are some questions to ask:
- How do your agents communicate? As opposed to a communications system siloed within the contact center, consider a converged Workstream Collaboration tool that allows all users, both inside and outside of the contact center, to organically communicate using chat, video, calling, and more. Super agents can view the availability of back-office experts and ping them to gather context about customer inquiries. In turn, those experts can share data in a virtual workspace to fill information gaps and accelerate problem-solving. All of this can be done in real-time while the customer is on the line. There’s no need to hold or transfer calls (improving FCR and increasing response rate), and super agents are empowered to act.
- Do you know what tools will help you extract important information and pass it along to your agents? Consider AI-powered speech analytics, which can identify call drivers and sentiment, spot trends, and get ahead of customer demand. Also consider voice surveys that allow customers to say in their own words how they feel about their experiences with your company. This provides more contextual responses that can help you and your super agents take intentional, immediate action.
- How much effort is required for simple tasks? Is there room to make things easier for your agents? For example, can you help limit the number of screens they need to operate in? Can you add screen pops on inbound calls that provide relevant information based on what the customer is saying in real-time or to help them automatically log calls without leaving their desktop? Simple technology integrations exist to make these improvements.
2. Creatively approach training and feedback: Super agents have basic contact center support down pat. Here are some ways to take things up a notch:
- Provide live feedback to give super agents a clear understanding of how they can improve productivity and efficiency. Beyond silent monitoring and whisper coaching (listening to calls and providing guidance to the agent without the customer hearing it), speech analytics helps with real-time feedback and guidance at scale. Supervisors can only listen to one call at a time; speech analytics can support all super agents simultaneously, which makes a huge difference.
- Organize frequent team huddles. It’s a productive time investment that has been proven to effectively promote certain frontline behaviors, reinforce key messages, and increase agent engagement. Research shows that only 14% of contact centers regularly have huddles (the majority have huddles once per week or even just once per month). Even better, have super agents lead team huddles on specific topics like multitasking, handling emotional customers, etc.
- Try to give agents autonomy over their own training, especially when training them on using tools in line with KPIs. If agents are held to a standard they believe they cannot affect, they’ll likely check out of the job.
3. Treat your agents like vested partners: Contact center agents interact with customers daily and have good ideas on what works and what should be left by the wayside. Super agents should be given the opportunity to use this knowledge, with supervisors being open to their suggestions and concerns. Empower them and include them while strategizing your organization’s CX strategies. If you believe super agents have the power to directly impact customer experience, you’ll give them the platform they deserve to be helpful and involved.
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