Table of contents
- What are the top agent engagement challenges & how to overcome them?
- Challenge #1: Agents don’t have the right tools to do the job
- Challenge #2: The work is monotonous
- Challenge #3: Agents have no input into QM processes
- Challenge #4: Supervisors have limited visibility into agent performance
- Challenge #5: Contact center work is perceived as a dead-end
Agent engagement continues to top the list of contact center management concerns, and with good reason. Agents who have a positive attitude, are collaborative, and feel connected to their supervisors and co-workers deliver high-quality service with the desired outcomes for both customers and businesses. Conversely, those who feel disengaged can have a detrimental effect on productivity, performance, team morale, and customer experience.
Retaining highly engaged customer-facing teams is especially critical as companies navigate an unpredictable business climate with distributed workforces, a surge of departing employees, and falling engagement levels.
What are the top agent engagement challenges & how to overcome them?
- Agents don’t have the right tools to do the job
- The work is monotonous
- Agents have no input into QM processes
- Supervisors have limited visibility into agent performance
- Contact center work is perceived as a dead-end
Disengaged agents—and the inevitable high turnover that results—do not have to define your operation. In fact, the contact center’s access to a wealth of performance data and customer insight can provide you with the means to create a better experience for your agents.
Here are five common reasons why agents feel disengaged and how workforce engagement management tools like interaction analytics and automated quality management can empower and re-energize your team.
Challenge #1: Agents don’t have the right tools to do the job
Having to navigate a desktop that is cluttered with applications and with little automation and integration is frustrating, at best. But when performance is measured by the speed of service delivery, bad desktop tools can leave agents feeling stressed and overwhelmed.
And yet, it is a daily reality for a majority of contact center agents. According to a recent survey of 530 contact center agents conducted by LiveVox and Omdia, 85% of agents reported having to toggle among three or more screens when interacting with customers. Agents also reported significant job dissatisfaction due to an inability to engage consistently with customers across all communication channels and not having the interaction history to personalize the experience.
|HOW TO FIX IT: Equip your agents with a unified agent desktop that centralizes all customer information, channels, scheduling, coaching tasks, and collaboration tools into a single pane of glass that delivers an intuitive and dynamic user experience. Best-in-class solutions provide customizable roles and permissions so managers can ensure that agents only have access to the features they need to do their job, eliminating distractions and allowing for more efficient workflows and easy task management.|
Challenge #2: The work is monotonous
Contact center work can be pretty tedious—repeating routine tasks over and over while adhering to rigid scripts and strict performance standards. The impact on your agents can be severe: Monotonous work has been linked to higher stress and burnout in the workplace.
|HOW TO FIX IT: Customer intent reporting can pinpoint the primary and underlying reasons for every customer contact across channels. You can use these insights to identify frequent basic requests that can be resolved via self-service so that agents can focus on the conversations that require a higher degree of critical thinking and problem-solving.|
Providing agents with access to advanced data visualization tools that provide easy-to-understand snapshots of key datasets also can positively impact their engagement. BI dashboards give agents a better understanding of how their performance directly correlates to customer-centric metrics like customer satisfaction, Net Promoter Scores, customer effort, and first-contact resolution. Helping agents understand the “why” behind what they do and how their performance contributes to business outcomes will make the job more fulfilling.
Challenge #3: Agents have no input into QM processes
A long-time agent complaint about traditional quality management programs is that they are not involved in the process. Performance feedback is collected but not shared with them, and they have no input into how their performance is evaluated.
|HOW TO FIX IT: Automated scoring offers the opportunity to remove human biases, increasing agents’ perception of fairness in the QA process. But impartial scoring is only part of the equation. Coaching must be a back-and-forth dialogue between agent and supervisor to have a lasting positive impact on performance. |
With integrated QM dashboards, supervisors can provide agents with direct access to call recordings and interaction transcriptions to hear and see where things went wrong so they can decide upon a plan for improvement. The goal of collaborative coaching is a solution that the agent understands and commits to because they actively participated in coming up with it.
Challenge #4: Supervisors have limited visibility into agent performance
The rise of remote work has presented many challenges and obstacles for contact centers, but it is safe to say that no role has been more dramatically affected than the frontline supervisor. While frontline tasks and workloads easily adapted to the work-from-home model, supervisors found the transition much more difficult.
Without the benefit of physical proximity and visual oversight of their team’s activities, supervisors must rely on data to understand how well their agents are performing, identify training opportunities, and deliver impactful coaching. However, manually pulling in the data from disparate systems and using spreadsheets to crunch the numbers is a painfully slow and ineffective process, thus, decisions often are based on outdated information.
|HOW TO FIX IT: AI-powered interaction analytics eases the capacity strain for supervisors by automatically scoring agent performance on 100% of voice, email, SMS, and chat conversations. Automated Scorecards can be customized to surface compliance risks and track different agent groups, incentive programs, promotional campaigns, and CX initiatives. Advanced Filters help supervisors get to agent performance data insights quicker, with more precision.|
Look for solutions that are simple to use with a single pane of glass dashboard that gives supervisors a 360-degree view of performance data, digital channels, and work queues in one centralized location. Supervisors can spend less time scoring and processing performance data and more time communicating with, coaching, and developing their teams.
Challenge #5: Contact center work is perceived as a dead-end
Unstimulating, monotonous work and the lack of a career path—it’s no wonder that many agents take on contact center jobs simply to fill a temporary gap rather than as a stepping stone to a fulfilling profession. Without a clear roadmap for development, it becomes tough to attract or retain millennial workers who crave opportunities to learn and grow in their jobs.
Every agent wants to feel valued and have goals for the future. The ability to take initiative, reinforce and expand critical skill sets, and collaborate on an advancement path is what gives agents purpose and lifts engagement levels.
|HOW TO FIX IT: In addition to delivering targeted, data- driven coaching to improve service quality, it is essential to address agents’ longer-term development needs. An integrated eLearning tool enables supervisors to link QA scorecards and coaching tasks with ongoing training assignments that can be delivered directly to the agent desktop and tracked by managers. Importantly, the experience can be customized to the individual’s needs, empowering agents with opportunities to enhance their skills, grow professionally, and be more invested in their success.|