Call center agents have many needs.
From needing to know more about customers to being trained on how to handle customers effectively.
While managers play a critical role in catering to these needs, there’s only so much they can do before agents require the help of technology.
That’s where cloud contact center solutions come into play. They allow agents to do their jobs better, faster, and more efficiently.
But best of all, it helps agents deliver higher-quality customer service, which is good for agents, call centers, and the companies call centers work for alike.
In today’s post, we’ll detail some of the top needs call center agents have and how contact center solutions help satisfy them.
6 Needs Call Center Agents Have That Cloud Contact Center Solutions Can Satisfy
1. Empowerment and Responsibility
The more agents are responsible for the outcomes in the call center they work for, the more they’re inclined to work harder and deliver better customer service.
Call monitoring software can help agents feel empowered and in control, thereby gaining a deeper sense of responsibility for hitting objectives and driving positive outcomes within the call center.
2. Performance Management
Agents need to know how well they’re performing in the call center. If they don’t know whether they’re doing poorly or doing well, they can’t improve. And most agents want to improve if they’re given the chance.
Provide opportunities for improvement by carefully tracking important call center management KPI’s, such as:
- Hold times.
- Call abandonment.
- Adherence to service level agreements.
- First call resolution.
- And customer satisfaction.
3. Appropriate Working Times
Agents shouldn’t be working overtime if they don’t have to. If managers know there will be an influx of calls for any reason, like when a company rolls out new software or hardware, the call center needs to be staffed accordingly.
This is referred to as workforce optimization. The fewer agents a call center has on hand to answer demanding calls from customers, the worse service they’ll provide, the longer the hold times will be, and the more upset customers will become.
When agents know they don’t have to rush customers off the phone, they’re able to effectively solve customer issues. This also means happier agents, which usually correlates to happier customers in the long run.
4. Knowledge of Customers Calling In
When an agent gets a customer on the phone, they should know immediately if this customer has called before, what previous problems this customer has inquired about, and any other collected data on the person.
A tool like the Agent Gateway can provide agents information at a glance about previous interactions with specific customers and can quickly bring agents up-to-speed about the customer to better prepare themselves for answering their questions and solving their problems.
5. Improved Training on Handling Customer Issues
Beyond access to information about a customer calling in, an agent should have ongoing training on better handling customer queries.
Analyzing calls, refining scripts, roleplaying, identifying the right and wrong ways to speak to a customer, etc. can all be accomplished using software such as speech analytics and call recording storage.
This type of training allows agents to continually improve their conversations and become more confident when talking to a customer about any issue.
6. Reduction or Elimination of Hold Times
25% of customers will switch to a different service provider if they’re consistently put on hold for too long, according to New Voice Media.
Hold times seem to be the one thing customers hate the most when contacting customer service, so it’s imperative that they’re kept on hold for as little time as possible.
If an agent has to put a customer on hold, they should clearly communicate it with the customer before doing so.
But before a customer even reaches an agent, a call center’s interactive voice response software should intercept them and help them find the answers to their questions before they’re routed to a department or put on hold waiting for an agent.
The Next Level of Satisfying Agent Needs
There’s a pattern to all of the agent needs we’ve covered in this post.
Most of them rely on information.
Without knowledge about the customer, agents are at a disadvantage and can’t help them solve their problems as well as they normally could.
Without knowledge about themselves and the effectiveness of their interactions with customers, agents can’t improve their customer service.
And without being able to see how these 2 sets of knowledge interact with one another, managers are unable to set reliable goals and achieve firm objectives.
The solution would be to bring these disparate groups of information together to achieve a holistic understanding of the organization and how well it’s achieving organizational goals.
To obtain this level of insight, call centers need to rely on business intelligence (BI).
BI can be used to schedule the correct number of agents to reduce hold times, incentivize agent performance using the reports BI provides, and maintain overall efficiency by tracking a number of other metrics.
To learn more about using BI to enhance the customer experience and satisfy agent needs, check out our free report on BI today.