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Contact center agents: lone rangers or team players?

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4 min read

Article Highlights:

  • Siloed teams typically lack collaboration among agents, which negatively impacts customer experience.
  • Connecting agents collaboratively, no matter what their geographical location may be, can deliver a more positive customer experience.
  • RingCentral’s innovative cloud-based communications solution can help make building a team mindset among contact center agents more feasible.

The end goal of a contact center is to ensure a positive customer experience, but without a cohesive and collaborative work environment for your agents, customer satisfaction can easily suffer.

Unfortunately, siloed contact center teams and a lack of collaboration among agents across a company’s departments can weaken customer centricity. Instead, promoting excellent customer experience should be a team effort made up of all agents working together cohesively to achieve a shared goal.

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Here are some potential risks of a disjointed team, and steps you can take to build a team mindset among your contact center agents.

Industry statistics on the effect of disconnected teams

  • Companies with a customer experience mindset realize 4% to 8% higher revenues compared to others in their industries.
  • Firms with a cross-team approach when assisting customers are almost twice as likely to surpass their business goals by a significant margin.
  • 88% of workers claim that disconnected communications apps have a negative effect on workflow.
  • 42% of customer service representatives cannot efficiently resolve issues because of disjointed systems.

Here are some steps that can help build a better team dynamic in your contact center.

Clearly define job responsibilities

Each agent should understand their tasks and duties. More specifically, however, they should be clear on what their job is in terms of how to work with other team members when performing specific tasks. Defining responsibilities in such a way will help develop every team member’s collaborative skills to foster a team dynamic.

Encourage feedback

Agents should receive regular feedback from superiors about their job performance, but they should also provide management with some relevant feedback of their own.

All team members should feel involved in all stages of collaborative decision-making. To encourage participation, be sure to provide agents with incentives to offer their observations and commentary.

Include everyone when brainstorming

A great way to include everyone and encourage them to share their opinions and ideas is to brainstorm with them. Any issues that are up for discussion should be debated with everyone included. Not only will this help them feel heard and valued, but it can also help them feel more comfortable with their colleagues.

Promote collaboration from the top down

Building a workforce of team players among contact center agents starts at the top. Management should lead by example and portray a collaborative mindset that workers can look up to and emulate.

Implement innovative communications technology

Cutting-edge digital technology makes it much easier for agents to handle high volumes of calls throughout the workday. It can also help foster better communications with all agents from wherever they happen to be. Today, the remote workforce has grown, and while it may have its perks, it can also create some challenges, especially when it comes to collaborating among team members.

An increasing number of companies are recognizing the importance of digital technology for this specific purpose, including ENT and Allergy Associates, as we’ll discuss next.

group of contact agents at their desks

Case study: ENT and Allergy Associates

Ear, nose, throat, allergy, and audiology practice ENT and Allergy Associates knows first-hand about the importance of a connected team for providing top-notch service to its patients.

The practice, which is the largest of its kind in the US, is successful because of its broad team of specialists, but it’s incredible success and growth are also attributed to its Patient Rapid Response Center (PRRC), a customer service team made up of nearly 200 agents who seamlessly handle thousands of calls every day.

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 The key to building a customer-centric team: Enterprise edition eBook

The key to building a customer-centric team: Enterprise edition eBook

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The rapid expansion of the company proved to be a challenge for its on-prem telephony system. What may have worked in the early days with fewer calls wasn’t cutting it for the much heavier call volume that comes with a much larger company. In particular, ensuring high-quality interactions with customers was becoming increasingly difficult with the company’s outdated communications system.

The company decided to make some changes and introduce RingCentral’s built-in skill-based routing system and build focused teams of agents, each of which would focus on calls from specific areas. In essence, each agent would become an expert in their specific geographical area, the benefits of which would trickle down to the customer.

Developing agent proficiency shortened the duration of the average call. More specifically, the company soon discovered that it was seeing a 30% time savings on each call. Implementing modern solutions helped to reduce call duration; the skill-specific routing and queues also helped build a more skilled and cohesive team that inevitably improved both customer and agent satisfaction.

ENTA also tapped into RingCentral Video to strengthen ties among remote workers. The company made use of video to train agents, conduct one-on-one coaching with new employees, and foster a more cohesive work environment for colleagues, no matter where they work from. Ultimately, ENTA was able to successfully create chemistry and teamwork for its customer service crew, which greatly benefitted the team’s collaborative efforts.

RingCentral’s innovative cloud-based software worked for ENTA, and it can work for you. Get in touch with a representative from RingCentral and request your free demo today.

Originally published Apr 08, 2022, updated Jun 28, 2022

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