- High-performing agents will help enhance customer experience and boost the company’s bottom line.
- To create ‘superagents,’ management must provide agents with the necessary training and tools.
- RingCentral offers innovative cloud-based solutions to help make the job of a contact center agent easier and more effective.
Every organization wants a team of high-performance employees who bring their A-game every single day. But that requires contact center management to provide employees with the right training and tools to help create ‘superagents.’
Exceptional agents can improve customer experience and promote a more successful business. Here are some useful tips and tools to develop highly skilled agents in your contact center.
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The key to building a customer-centric team: Enterprise edition eBook
Provide effective onboarding and training tools
Every new agent needs comprehensive training before they take their first call. But some onboarding and training tactics and tools miss the mark.
The primary goals of onboarding are to help new hires get closely acquainted with the contact center and reduce the time it takes from hiring new agents to getting them fully prepared for productivity. Further, effective training allows agents to maximize their full potential by helping them acquire the right skills needed to tackle each task and communicate as effectively and efficiently as possible.
Given the importance of getting new hires and inexperienced agents properly trained, contact centers should invest wisely in onboarding and coaching to build highly qualified teams. This involves providing effective call scripts and real-time feedback.
Beyond onboarding and initial training, contact centers should have a strong training program in place to provide continuous training and guidance for agents on new processes, tools, and promotions. Further, both before and after performances should be analyzed to pinpoint where improvements should be made.
The right tools will help make onboarding and ongoing training easier and more effective for contact center coaches. Look for a contact center solution that includes robust agent analytics as a great first step.
Make use of flexible scheduling tools
Fixed agent schedules might be fine for businesses with very predictable call volumes, but not for the typical contact center. Call volume spikes happen, and a good contact center solution will include workforce management tools that help you with flexible scheduling.
Having the wrong mix of agents at any given time leads to sub-par customer experiences and missed KPIs for your contact center. Agent experience likewise suffers with inflexible scheduling.
Given the increase in remote work that has created more hybrid contact center workplaces, flexible scheduling is key. With more flexible scheduling tools, such as automatic agent schedulers, contact center management can better handle timelines (particularly with fluctuating call volumes) and give agents more flexibility to trade shifts as required.
Ultimately, a flexible workforce offers more reliable forecasts and effective coverage across all channels.
Provide a 360-degree view of the customer
Having a 360-degree customer view will provide contact centers with valuable insight into what customers have done in the past and help determine what they may do next. When all customer data is logged in one place, the data can be used to provide personalized interactions and reduce handling time for customer issues.
A 360-degree view of customers can be attained by integrating your customer relationship management (CRM) system as well as other backend systems with your communications solution. Agents will also be equipped with the most up-to-date customer information, such as previous orders, open support cases, and preferences.
This holistic view of customers enables agents to make the right decisions on the spot and leads to better customer experiences and higher first-call resolution rates.
Real-time agent assistance and guidance
Providing contact center agents with support and guidance is helpful, but the timing of such assistance matters. Give your agents:
- Real-time feedback and behavioral coaching to provide a better customer experience
- Guidance on the best steps to take to resolve issues more effectively
- Any other pertinent information as required
In turn, real-time feedback and support can help reduce average call handle time, cut back on repeat calls, improve customer and agent experience, and boost sales. To make real-time coaching possible, adopt the right digital tools and platforms.
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Implement self-service and AI chatbots to deal with routine tasks
Self-service options and AI can improve contact center quality during times when interaction volume is heavy. Many customer queries are relatively easy to resolve and can be done without the need for a live agent. Customers can use chatbots and other self-service options to get the answers they’re looking for without having to connect with a human.
In fact, many customers prefer resolving issues on their own when such tools are available. According to HBR research, 81 percent of all customers attempt to take care of matters themselves before reaching out to a live representative. Being able to get an immediate response is very attractive to customers, especially those in the younger generations.
When you enable self-service for customers, contact center agents can focus more on complex issues that require a human touch. If customers don’t get the answers they’re looking for through AI and self-service channels, they can be routed to the appropriate agent to take over.
Contact centers can easily implement AI-based platforms with cutting-edge cloud-based solutions from RingCentral.
Siloed teams and lack of collaboration among employees can hinder contact center efficiency and customer centricity. Instead, have all team players join forces to deliver exceptional customer experience.
Optimal company-wide contribution to success will promote the alignment of agent performance goals and collaboration among all agents while ensuring everyone is accountable for outcomes. It will also enable agents to connect with experts across the organization to iron out customer issues from the get-go, without having to deal with repeat callbacks.
Originally published Jun 28, 2022, updated Jul 20, 2022