The three attributes of an agent-centric leader: Do you have them?

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There’s a big idea that’s bubbling to the surface in 2022 and it’s this: the real driver of contact center success is a shift to agent-centric leadership. Sure, this isn’t a new idea. The connection between employee and customer experience is something that’s been researched and discussed for years. But, just because it’s being talked about, that doesn’t mean it’s actually happening. 


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2022 Guide to Leading an Agent-Centric Contact Center

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A recent study by Salesforce revealed that 88% of C-suite respondents say that employees are encouraged to focus on customers’ needs above all else. Yet, the same study found that eliminating the silos between employee experience and customer experience can lead to revenue growth in excess of 50%. What should come first? The employee experience or the customer experience? Well, as someone with over two decades spent working in and alongside contact centers, I’m here to tell you that you can’t consistently achieve a great customer experience without first having a great agent experience.

 

But, where do you get started? As it turns out, there are three common ways in which contact centers are falling short on providing a great agent experience.

 

  1. Agents are predominantly perceived (and thus treated) as entry-level roles that drive efficiency.
  2. Processes focus on compliance, often limiting the agent’s span of control or creating barriers to a fluid customer experience.
  3. Tools and technologies are disparate and ineffective at empowering agents with comprehensive knowledge and intuitive navigation.

 

These three factors are undermining both the employee and customer experience in tangible and intangible ways. They drive up handling times, push down satisfaction rates, and limit the strategic advantage that businesses experience when they unleash their contact center teams.

 

If you want to fully realize your contact center’s potential, you need to adopt an agent-centric approach to how you hire and train your people, to how you design processes and establish performance measures, and to how to deploy and optimize technology. I take a deeper look at these three areas in my latest eBook, the 2022 Guide to Leading an Agent-Centric Contact Center. 

Want a preview of what to experience in the guide? Here’s a look at three attributes that are key to becoming an agent-centric leader.

 

  • Agent-centric leaders empower their teams to uncover and share insights. 

Contact centers that deliver strategic value consistently have employees who can take what they’re learning right now to help the business determine what’s next. More importantly, they’re supported by processes that make it easy for these insights to travel throughout the organization and provide transparency to if, when, and how they’re informing and driving change.

 

  • Agent-centric leaders give their employees more meaningful work.

The agent-centric leader is constantly improving and automating processes to empower employees and drive higher engagement through more meaningful work. This approach yields exponential returns as it inevitably contributes to reduced costs through thoughtful uses of self-service, elevates customer satisfaction and loyalty thanks to better-equipped agents, and accelerates strategic insights because of more integrated and collaborative systems.

 

  • Agent-centric leaders leverage the right technical capabilities.

Contact centers with an agent-centric approach deploy tools and technologies that are digital first, create one environment for communication, leverage AI as an assistant, provide a 360º customer view, and break boredom by using automation.

Ready to reinvent and revitalize your contact center? Learn more about the value of shifting to agent-centric leadership and the three steps you should take by downloading the eBook today.

 

Originally published May 16, 2022, updated May 17, 2022

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