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Contact Center Agents are Key to Customer Experience

March 21, 2017

Providing superior customer service and a memorable customer experience is becoming the key competitive differentiator for businesses. Top-level customer service is no longer a nice but impractical idea; it’s an absolute must for any company that wants to remain competitive in an omnichannel service economy.

According to Gartner (News - Alert), 89 percent of companies surveyed indicated they planned to compete primarily based on customer service by the end of last year. And Deloitte found that 85 percent of businesses believe customer service provided through the contact center is a competitive differentiator. The challenge, therefore, is getting contact center agents up to speed and performing optimally to meet the stringent demands of omnichannel customer service.

The keys to success, according to ISI (News - Alert) Telemanagement Solutions, which specializes in using communications for workforce management and optimization, are trust and good communication. Agents absolutely must be able to communicate effectively with customers to provide an impactful customer experience, and customers must be able to trust agents to solve their problems and provide a positive outcome.

One of the best ways to accomplish these goals is through proper training and motivation. Call and desktop recording solutions are wonderful tools for training, capturing all verbal and non-verbal agent and customer interactions for later analysis. Quality management capabilities may be layered on top as well for evaluating performance, customer interactions and providing eCoaching in real time.

A workforce management solution is another effective tool for boosting team efficiencies, particularly during fluctuations in scheduling and forecasting. Staff forecasts may be created on an hourly, daily or monthly basis, and may be defined by customer service objectives along with other parameters. This ensures contact centers remain properly staffed with the correct agents for all types of scenarios and situations.

Finally, contact centers should strive to keep agents inspired and happy. Gamification is a great tool for livening up the work environment, and managers can create performance-based contests to keep agents competitive and lively. Rewards may be offered for those agents who achieve benchmarks and high-performance goals, resulting in a happier and more productive contact center environment overall.

The customer experience is rapidly becoming the key competitive differentiator for businesses across all vertical markets. By ensuring contact center agents, the front line for customer service, are properly trained, staffed and challenged, companies can manage and control customer interactions at a granular level and ensure a positive outcome for themselves and their customers.

Edited by Alicia Young

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