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How to Improve Contact Center Agent Performance?

April 14, 2021 Ashwini Kumar

A strong frontline is the base of any contact center to deliver an effortless customer experience. With every interaction, agents can make a remarkable impression for the brand in the customers’ minds. If agents, in a contact center, are not efficient enough to deliver flawless assistance, the organization risks losing customers, leading to a poor reputation and loss of revenue. Thus, it is crucial that call centers focus on the quality of interactions by consistently monitoring them to remarkably improve agent performance.

If you are in the contact center business, you should strive continually to improve agent performance. It will not only set your organization ahead of the competition but also create a loyal customer base and a favorable business culture that agents are proud to be part of.

In this blog, we will discuss some practical ways of how a call center can improve agent performance.

Provide Continuous Training to Agents

Contact centers usually provide training to newly hired agents on procedures, policies, and expectations. But, it shouldn’t be a one-and-done activity. You should keep in mind that business goals and customers’ needs/wants change with time, and agents need to stay informed to deliver a better customer experience while continuing to improve their performance.

Leverage IVR

Interactive Voice Response (IVR) is an effective tool for contact centers when used appropriately. This technology can gather information about callers before they are connected to agents. Agents receive this information in real-time, so they know who is on the line and, also gain instant access to the customers’ information before answering their calls. Automatic access to customer information keeps agents updated and simplifies their tasks. Ultimately, it creates a more pleasant experience for them and the customers too.

Keep the Databases Merged to Simplify Research

A contact center shouldn’t use various databases to manage customer information. Oftentimes, organizations use multiple applications such as sales software, CRM, and a knowledge center. This slows down the ability of an agent to efficiently help customers because they have to review multiple resources in varying locations to find the answers they need. On the other hand, if all the information is merged into one database, in the form of an interaction analytics solution, agents can get easy access to data and better serve their customers.

Have an Action Plan

Once you identify where the contact center agent performance needs improvement, you should create an action plan to address all the underlying issues. The executive team should proceed by discussing their findings with the agent supervisors and work with them to identify all available resources to support the agents’ skill development process. This will help you understand what precisely needs to be done for improving agent performance, whether it is enrolling the agents in additional training, providing reference materials or job aids, or offering other system or communication skills training.

Do Define KPI’s to Agents

The most effective way to motivate agents to work better is by putting them in a competition with themselves. To do this, you need to define KPI’s to your agents. From an agent’s perspective, having been able to understand precisely what is being measured and asked of them not only brings in transparency but also drives them to outperform the metrics they had before.

Get the Right Tools for Agents 

Agents have to deal with hundreds of calls and inquiries every single day. If a contact center wants to keep up with the fast pace and customer demands, agents should be supplied with tools that will set them up for success. It starts with understanding the importance of basics like working computers, telephones, headsets, and software. Once those are in place, improving agent performance begins with enhancing your tools. 

Ask for Agents’ Input

What could be a better way to enhance agent performance other than directly asking them about their challenges?

Mostly, agents are highly proactive at coming up with innovative and budget-friendly ideas to make their jobs more efficient. You should take advantage of the off-peak hours and meet with your team. All you need to do is brainstorm with your agents and try to identify different ways that could improve their everyday tasks.

The ideas from agents will surely be the ones that can push them to have a better performance. Plus, when you ask your people for their input, it gives them a sense of ownership and satisfaction, which will genuinely motivate them even more. 

Conclusion

How are you developing your agents?

At Etech, we believe keeping these effective tips in mind can undoubtedly help you ensure that your frontline performs their best every time. 

Ashwini Kumar

Ashwini Kumar is the Assistant Vice President for Far Shore Operations. Ashwini, a MBA in Operations Management; Certified Six Sigma in Green belt from Government of India (PPDCA Agra) and Certified Business Analyst from MaGE; has more than 18 years of diversified experience in the BPM/KPM industry. He carries an immense expertise of the telecom, retail and consumer products, education, RIM, SCM, satellite services, big data analytics, logistics, travel, utilities/energy and BFSI verticals.