Why Should Companies Care About Making the Agent Experience Better?


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I recently started exploring the idea that ‘are companies thinking about the agent when offering a great customer experience?’

Perhaps, the ultimate goal of having great customer service to all down to the agent having a great experience.

Customer Service Manager Jennifer Stagner of tops-products.com makes a strong case for equating stellar customer service with happy agents.

While large and small companies are using fewer resources to support high volumes of calls, the quality of the company’s custom support services can go down tremendously because of unhappy agents. To resolve these problems companies must address the root, while also finding alternative solutions to fix the agent’s primary concerns.

Due to limited resources and current budget training cuts, the average customer support agent does not get the proper training when entering into these positions. As result, both new and seasoned agents often suffer in their job positions because of high volumes and low peer support. To compound these problems further, these same agents are faced with calming down irate callers who cannot obtain concrete answers to the questions that they pose. Keeping these operations running properly can be both challenging and stressful to all involved (i.e. customer service management and their employees).

Without a permanent fix to these and other concerns, companies can lose customers and clients. Consequently, losing huge profits, especially from large corporations with big company accounts. Finding a solution to these problems, however, is not impossible because customer support management can implement certain changes to the process. Listed below are two key recommendations for those who are tasked with improving the overall customer operation and making the agents happy.

Recommendation #1 – Address the agent’s lack of training concerns.

If a company wants a stellar customer service reputation, they must address the concerns of the people on the frontline (customer support agents who answer external calls from the company’s customers). Without the proper training these agents are being set up for failure, and this is one of the main reasons why the agents are unhappy. One solution for turning these things around is providing new and existing employees with the training that they need. With proactive training (formal or informal), the agent will have the right answers available, and they can respond quickly to the customer’s requests without placing them on hold to complete the research.

Recommendation #2 – Think out of the Proverbial box. With a reduction in staff, agents cannot be expected to answer the same call volumes. Even when they try, there are human limits. Which means, the customer service management can institute ‘think out of the box solutions’ to resolve the problems that exists. For example, some companies are using additional software tools to address the huge call volume as well as their employees’ training concerns.

These software products will give the agent access to a database of call center questions and answers. Therefore, when they receive a question that they do not know the answer to, they can enter in a keyword and several responses will be displayed. (Process is similar to Google search and entering keywords to find data.). By using a secure internal system, the agent can provide pre-researched and valid responses to the caller.

This process is both speedy and accurate for all involved. Which means, the happy agent can also generate happy customers. With this type of system, the management team can also reduce the number of irate calls that they have to address on a regular basis.

Stefanie Amini
Stefanie Amini is the Marketing Director and Specialist in Customer Success at WalkMe, the world's first interactive online guidance system. She is chief writer and editor of I Want It Now (http://ow.ly/gOU3a), a blog for Customer Service Experts. Follow her @StefWalkMe.


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