We’ve learned by now that the call center industry lives and breathes by customer satisfaction, which is rooted in the performance levels of its agents, serving as gatekeepers between the company and the customer. It goes without saying that inefficient call center agents produce unhappy customers, which in turn results in poor call center performance, an obvious path that no company wants to go down.
One of the key differentiators between productive call center agents and those less efficient is due to the technology platform they have to support their efforts. Businesses adopt call center technology to accomplish two goals – grow profits and lower costs. Efficiency and productivity are key for call center managers, and it is their responsibility to find ways to drive the most value from their methods. In the end, customer satisfaction plays a key role in the efficiency level of the agent. Here’s an inside look at the impacting role that agents play on ensuring overall customer satisfaction.
Communication is Key
Call center technology can help streamline overarching communication practices in a variety of ways. For starters, many modern day solutions offer features such as internal chat options for agent-to-manager communication, helping to decrease redundant email activity for things like printing spreadsheets, memos, etc. This adds to agent efficiency levels because it allows them to spend less time digging through things like old email threads and instead focus their efforts on customer service. A quick instant message with a question, request or idea can be analyzed much faster. Agents are able to access expertise in real-time, leading to a faster resolution, an increase in productivity and ultimately an improved overall experience for the customer.
Cloud-based call center technology acts as an always-on solution that can be scaled up or down with ease as a contact center’s needs evolve over time. The confidence that comes with knowing you can always reach a live agent who will work to answer your questions speaks directly to the role of agent efficiency on customer satisfaction. When phone lines are functioning at max capacity due to proper staffing efforts, customer satisfaction and communication levels will consequently remain high.
Automating Tasks and Streamlining Workflows
Another way businesses can work to improve agent efficiency is by automating tasks and streamlining workflows. Agents are empowered to make better use of time and resources because their performance plays a significant role in the overall success of the organization. Having a proven process in place that allows agents to make the most of their time is the best way to ensure the quality of service provided to end users. The opportunity to work with excellent technology simply allows them to minimize operational issues, leading to a higher success rate in customer experience and overall satisfaction!
Automating tasks can also lead to an increase in delegation, allowing agents to become less fatigued. A stressed out agent is less likely to provide a customer with the highest level of service possible. However, by automating tasks, this gives an agent the opportunity to get more things done in any given day, aiding in overall productivity and effective customer service.
Successful Agents Promote Better Customer Service
A happy call center agent is a better, more efficient call center agent. While efficiency is key, it needs to tie to other key performance indicators (KPIs) for it to be deemed effective and productive. For example, First Call Resolution (FCR) is about properly addressing a customer’s need the first time they initiate a call to an agent. An efficient FCR rate means the customer’s need is being taken care of and addressed immediately, which alleviates any potential frustration from a customer perspective and adds to an overall positive customer experience.
Customer satisfaction relies on a variety of things, but the role of the agent in achieving customer satisfaction cannot be overstated. Efficiency really is everything when it comes to customer service. The customer has a need, and the service needs to address it as soon as possible, with all efforts that lead to a positive outcome. Thanks to modern call center technology, agent efficiency has never been better.
Thanks for the great post. First call resolution is definitely crucial to customer satisfaction – and automated processes aide in this objective. I also like to consider FPR – First Person Resolution for larger agencies that may favor call transfers over centralized information consolidation. This approach helps to focus the overall business strategy on developing an information sharing strategy that enables true FCR.
Thanks David. I can’t agree more, First Person Resolution is just as important. Providing the tools they need (and knowledge base) to resolve any questions or disputes is becoming more relevant in the modern contact center. In the end, we all hope this translates to a better customer (and agent) experience.