It's seriously tricky to help your contact centre agents perform at their best. There's an ultra-fine line to getting it right and if your focus isn't on Agent Experience, then it's even harder.
Technology has helped us overcome some incredible challenges in recent years. We altered almost everything about how we lived and worked: swapping social events for Zoom quizzes, finding new brands to shop with online, and collaborating via video rather than in person.
Contact centres are no exception to this rule. But they had to deal with some exceptional challenges as a result of this mad rush to digitise and automate customer service. For many businesses, this led to Agent Experience (AX) – and an increasing distance between agents and customers.
So, what's going wrong? There are three major, tech-related factors blocking both AX and CX in contact centres today.
1. EXCESSIVE FOCUS ON SELF-SERVE TECHNOLOGIES AND PROCESSES
Make no mistake, today’s customers want to resolve simple queries and requests themselves. And they want to do it via the channel of their choice – be that voice, email, webchat, or chatbot.
But it’s worth remembering that even customers who favour self-serve options still want to talk to knowledgeable agents when resolving more complex issues or requests. For example, a 2019 Forrester survey revealed that 63% of customers were happy to get service from a bot as long as they had the option to talk to a human agent if needed.
But too much automation can lead to customer and agent dissatisfaction. Customers can’t get the help they need, and agents can’t use their experience and expertise where it really counts.
2. DISJOINTED AND UNCONNECTED TECHNOLOGY AND SYSTEMS
Whichever combination of channels customers use to get in touch with you, what they want (and expect) never varies: fast, seamless service.
Unfortunately, many contact centres still work with disparate systems when it comes to dealing with and delivering an omnichannel customer experience. This means agents have to carry out multiple logins and searches and toggle between screens – just to help their customers.
Your customers are left waiting while your agents are stuck scrambling. When systems aren’t connected (and therefore can’t share relevant data and insights), customer information gets stuck in silos. And then it’s impossible for agents to find it, no matter how hard they look.
3. REMOTE WORK CAN ISOLATE AGENTS
Many contact centres have transferred from on-premise infrastructure to cloud-based systems to adapt to COVID-19 conditions, so it’s possible for agents to work from anywhere.
Without the ability to collaborate and support each other, there’s a danger that your agents could become distanced from each other – and from your business. Under these circumstances, it’s easy for your agents to become fatigued, unhappy and vulnerable to more serious mental health issues.
Unhappy agents won’t be motivated to provide excellent customer service. But they will be motivated to leave your business (along with all their talents and experience with them).
If you stand with us and think improving agent experiences is critical for delivering great, connected customer experiences, then you’ve already taken the first step on your AX journey.
In our next blog, we’ll explain how to build a better AX in just a few steps.
To find out if our contact centre solutions can help improve your customer experience, click here to download our contact centre guide.
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