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Contact center agents operate as your company’s front line of service. For better or worse, their interactions with customers, often at the beginning of the customer journey, can have a deep and lasting impact on their perception of your brand and the customer experience (CX) to come. A great agent interaction can lead to more business and referrals, while a poor experience can break up your relationship with even the most loyal customers.

Your contact center agents’ ability to deliver frictionless, high-value customer experiences hinges on whether or not the agents themselves are receiving the same level of frictionless, high-value agent experiences from the workplace. A poor agent experience — one that lacks proper tools, training, support, and/or incentives — can quickly lead to poor job performance, negative customer experiences, and elevated turnover rates. Conversely, an enhanced agent experience can have a measurable positive impact not only on your employee’s engagement, satisfaction, and growth, but also on those of the customers who interact with them.

With the agent experience and customer experience so closely intertwined, it’s easy (and imperative) to make the business case for prioritizing your agents. After all, an investment you make in your people is an investment in your customers. But where to start? Here are three areas to focus on.

  1. Reward and Engage Your Agents – To keep top talent, you must prioritize an engaging and rewarding agent experience. With the explosion of new jobs and job seekers resulting from the Great Resignation, companies across industries have leveled-up what they are doing to retain and attract the best talent. This has raised the bar in employee experience expectations, presenting an opportunity for workers to be pickier about their job must-haves and putting your employee offerings and experience strategies under the microscope unlike ever before. Competitive benefits, pay, as well as training and growth opportunities are a must. It’s also just as important to modernize how agent performance is tracked and measured, so you more easily and accurately recognize, reward, and incentivize your high-performing agents.
  2. Streamline Your Systems – Many businesses are still suffering from outdated, disconnected contact center operations that create unnecessary complexity for agents—as well as delays, friction, and frustration for the customers on the other end of the line. One of the best ways to optimize your agents’ tools and data systems is to house all tools, data, and processes within a unified, easy-to-use interface. This way, agents can quickly access the exact information they need at the exact moment they need it and help your customers reach a resolution faster. Cloud-enabled contact center solutions are integral to providing such operational clarity, simplicity, and optimization to your agents.
  3. Support Self-Service – More than ever, customers want to solve their issues and answer their questions without the help of a human agent. So why make them? Self-service solutions like AI, machine learning, and automation capabilities can take time-intensive, repetitive tasks off your agents’ task lists while giving customers the experience they desire and driving efficiencies for employees and customers at the same time. Investing in these time-saving process automation, robotics, and intelligent tools also means your agents can spend more time on high-value, complex issues that have a larger impact on your bottom line and your overall experience delivery.

Given the rapid evolution of agents’ job descriptions, increasingly complex yet disconnected business operations, quickly antiquated technologies, and an increasingly competitive job market and high churn rates, there is an urgent need to ensure your agent experience shines. By strengthening the tools, expectations, and well-being of your front line, you’ll make work easier, more engaging, and more efficient — so they can focus their attention on delivering exceptional experiences that keep customers coming back.

Download VoiceFoundry’s Strategy Guide, How to Energize & Strengthen Customer Interactions in 2022, for more on how to amplify the agent experience.