Contact Center call volumes are increasing exponentially, resulting in supervisors dealing with agent assessments on more of an exception basis than as a normal course of business. While expectations are that all agents will adhere to call scripts, manage conflicts, and comply with regulations while treating customers with empathy. How do you make sure?
Today’s reality is that a bad agent experience can have a lasting negative impact on a customer’s perception of your organization in ways that may not be recoverable. To ensure this doesn’t happen, it all comes down to training, oversight, assessment, and feedback.
The need for, and impact of, exceptional training is a no-brainer. Less well understood, and more important, is the need for ongoing and consistent oversight and assessment.
In a recent ContactBabel Whitepaper, 74% of survey respondents identified that the greatest challenge to managing contact center performance and quality was not having enough time or resources to properly gather, listen and evaluate all the agent-generated data, be it audio and/or digital.
The problem lies in the organizational structure and the routine pressures of the usual workday. In typical call centers, the agent/supervisors ratios are usually set based on the complexity of the usual tasks, the performance targets that must be met, and the level of responsibility imposed on both the agents and supervisors.
Per ICMI, most contact centers have between 8 and 12 agents per supervisor and may go up to 20 agents when the services they provide are more basic. These ratios haven’t changed all that much but, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, most contact centers rapidly transitioned to remote agents to provide services when customers needed them the most. But unfortunately, agent supervision and quality assurance capabilities have not evolved to meet these new realities. With decentralized contact center operations and staffing, the need to provide more comprehensive and flexible approaches for agent quality assessments has emerged.
The supervisor’s value is in rewarding positive skills and behaviors, providing ongoing coaching and encouragement, correcting bad practices, and identifying training gaps, while also insulating the contact center from unexpected problems and issues. This is especially important for industries that must adhere to specific scripting and/or a wide range of regulations and when dealing with sensitive customer issues or needs.
With the industry norm of only 5% of calls being listened to, the risks are becoming increasingly high for issues to be missed.
So the question becomes, how do contact centers increase their ability to listen to, and properly assess agent script adherence, regulatory compliance, conversational tone, and positive customer engagement while showing empathy and respect?
From an ongoing operations perspective, leveraging AI can immediately deliver significant benefits. By being able to objectively evaluate all agent interactions, in an efficient and timely manner, means that excellence can be showcased while issues can be quickly identified and resolved – both for new agents and your most experienced ones. By applying consistent evaluative criteria universally, the usual complaints and issues that agents have about bias, preferential treatment, favoritism, and interpersonal relationships impacting performance reviews are eliminated and put all agents on a level playing field.
In addition, the ability to extract, on an ongoing basis, specific examples of recurring behaviors – both positive and negative – helps both agents and supervisors identify what works and what doesn’t, eliminating another recurring issue preventing success in most contact centers.
The result is that agents will benefit from more time spent being proactively coached, leading to agents being more motivated and engaged. When properly equipped to handle any type of interaction, they’ll more easily deliver positive outcomes, consistently.
A bad experience will undermine a customer’s perception of your organization. What if it was possible to check 100% of calls for script adherence, regulatory compliance, and customer empathy?
It’s Transformative. Do more with less. Do it better. Create positive customer, agent, and operational outcomes
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