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Are Your Agents Powerless? Absolutely Not.

Customer Experience, CX Culture

In the customer service world the importance of having a clear view of resources is on an equal platform for managers, team leaders, and even for agents.

Customer service agents typically interact with a dozen or more tools every day in order to service customers. However, none of those tools are designed to provide agents with visibility into their own performance and that of their peers. 

With this deficiency, it can be hard for agents to monitor their strengths and weaknesses and measure their improvement progress.

 

The Power of Agent Visibility

When agents are given access to real-time Key Performance Indicators on their performance compared to other agents, many will self-motivate in order to achieve similar service levels. It’s human nature. On the other hand, if an agent is not given this performance visibility, he/she may falsely assume their performance is up to par, when it may not be. This can lead to continued sub-par service and an agent repeating the same mistakes.

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If a customer service team offers feedback to agents during QA Analyst evaluations, sometimes three or four times a month, they are left blind in the interim. This could mean 20 or more days during a month where they are unaware of their performance level. This is an unproductive place for a team leader or manager to leave his/her agents.

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Knowledge is Power

Agent skills training is a perennial focus for customer service teams, and for good reason. According to Peppers and Rogers Group “(Only) 65% of companies provide effective tools and training to their agents to gain trust with their customers. This leaves a lot of room for improvement in the area of eLearning.

What’s more, most agent training courses are one-size-fits-all. They are designed for agents in general, not specific agents. Most customer service teams develop training content to address certain skill areas, not the unique deficiencies of individual agents.

When managers and team leaders have the ability to create customized training content to meet the specific needs of their agents, the level of skill/knowledge acquisition improves. These training modules don’t have to be focused solely on skills, they can also address product and workflow knowledge, for example. 

 

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Again, customer service teams leave a lot of room for improvement in this area as well. “According to consumers, customer service agents failed to answer their questions (only) 50% of the time” (Harris Interactive).

Agent empowerment can be a forgotten strategy in contact centers. Most focus on empowering managers and team leaders with the KPIs they need to monitor improvement. A gap exists in empowering agents with the metrics and tailored knowledge they need to drive further improvement on their own. With knowledge and visibility, agents will be empowered to reach benchmarks and succeed. 

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