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When consumers have a problem with a product or service, they most likely will be angry or frustrated when reaching out to the customer service department. To best resolve their issues, the contact center agents on the opposite end of the line must know exactly what to do.
While contact center agents are responsible for providing positive customer service experiences, their abilities depend entirely on the training, technology and environment that the contact center management provides.
Learn about four strategies to improve customer experience through effective contact center management.
Invest in technology
If a business wants to improve contact center agent efficiency, it must invest in the right technology:
- Contact routing software. This software moves work to appropriately skilled agents, rather than moving the employees to different types of work. Common types of routing software include next available agent, skill-based and predictive routing.
- Workforce management software. This software analyzes historical information, projecting staffing needs to handle future workloads. Contact centers with more than 50 agents see a financial return as a result of improved agent utilization, or the percentage of time an agent is either assisting or available to assist customers.
- Knowledge management software. This software makes accessing information easier for contact center agents by storing it in a single repository. Rather than searching through paper and electronic locations, knowledge management systems provide users with search capabilities and ensure that all information in the system is accurate and up to date.
- Speech and text analytics software. By analyzing spoken and written interactions, businesses can identify calls in which agents aren't following the specific script. The software can determine the root cause of the issue, which managers can address. This software ensures that agents adhere to policy procedures. Companies can also use these analyses to address agents' weaknesses so managers can train agents to improve CX.
Hire the right people
Hiring the proper agents for a contact center is challenging due to high turnover rates, a limited candidate pool and narrow career path. Organizations should take care when hiring agents to save time and energy in the future.
Businesses need to make sure that all candidates can demonstrate abilities across a variety of channels, including phone, chat and video. Companies must also ensure that the agents can retain and apply large amounts of information and that they thrive in metrics-driven, highly structured environments. Managers of contact center agents should also participate in the selection process and speak to candidates over the phone, or in person when making in the final hiring decision.
Train agents properly
Businesses must properly train their agents and provide them with a toolkit to resolve customer issues. Organizations should ensure that contact center employees understand company policies and procedures, as well as the tools they must use to perform their job. Call centers must train agents on how to use their desktop system, website and instant messaging apps, as well as CRM and contact center software. Businesses must also make sure that agents know how to use online tools and services to search for information when they do not know how to answer a customer inquiry.
Organizations should train their agents with proper communication skills. When dealing with frustrated customers, agents must know how to diffuse anger and control emotions.
Create a positive environment
If a business's contact center agents work in a positive environment, they will provide exceptional service for customers. Creating a good work environment includes providing employees with an efficient workspace and proper technology. Businesses should equip employees with functioning communication systems, comfortable chairs and desk spaces. Agents also need the ability to deviate from the call script, when necessary, to go above and beyond for their customers.
It is also important for businesses to listen to their agents and make them feel appreciated. Organizations may improve the employee experience by asking employees for feedback on what is working for them and what isn't. Businesses should also recognize their agents' hard work and efforts and show appreciation, rather than only interacting with them when they've done something wrong.