How to improve your customer service agent engagement

It’s no secret that many contact centres struggle with agent productivity and engagement. This can be due to a lack of recognition, poor team culture, low employee job satisfaction, working from home challenges and failures of basic technologies. Contact centre managers rely on their agents to provide new and existing customers with exceptional customer service. Yet, when agents are unhappy, businesses can risk losing talent, clients, their reputation, and revenue.

Investing in agent engagement should be at the top of your business priorities, not only to retain your best employees, but also to increase contact centre productivity and efficiency.

How can you improve agent engagement?

Give them the tools they need to succeed

For agents to perform their jobs well, they must have the right platform to work from. As well as being easy to deploy and use, a cloud contact centre can include many features that will help you support your agents during their working day. For example, the right solution will provide agent coaching tools, such as agents scripts and a library of resources, so that your new remote hires have all the support they need to achieve a first contact resolution. With a modern solution, supervisors should also be able to jump into agents calls and help as needed.

Moreover, when your agents don’t have the necessary information at hand, they can’t do their job properly — taking more time than necessary to solve customers’ issues and increasing their frustration. A cloud contact centre with CRM integration can help your agents feel more engaged and confident by providing them with historical customer data and information. With all the necessary information at hand, agents can resolve customers’ problems faster, increasing their productivity and efficiency.

Finally, with remote working growing in popularity, and suddenly becoming a necessity due to the coronavirus pandemic, it’s important to offer agents a flexible working environment. Allowing your agents to work from anywhere doesn’t have to be complicated, provided you give them access to the right solution. A cloud-based contact centre can give agents the opportunity to work remotely, without any additional hardware required — they will simply need an internet connection and a browser.

Empower your agents and give them a purpose

Agent empowerment is a divisive topic amongst many contact centre managers. On one hand, encouraging agents to steer away from their script can lead to errors and inconsistencies in compliance and customer care. On the other hand, giving agents the flexibility and freedom to go off-script, when necessary, can solve customer complaints or queries more efficiently.

In order for agent empowerment to be successful, managers must find a delicate balance between process and personalisation. It’s a difficult balance to achieve, but when implemented correctly, it can benefit your agents, as well as your customers. Encouraging agents to make smaller-scale decisions throughout your customer service frontlines can boost morale and job satisfaction, as it shows that you trust them and value their skills and opinions.

Trusting your agents to make the right choices and not treating them as robots can also bring forward confident sharing of ideas and suggestions for improvements.

Use gamification to motivate agents

As many contact centres desperately try to ensure that their agents work productively, meet their KPIs and stay within the company, trying a different approach to improve agent engagement could prove successful.

Gamification is the process of using game thinking and game mechanisms to solve problems and engage users. When done right, gamification can be an effective and fun way to drive agent motivation and performance. The TalentLMS gamification at work survey found that gamification makes 87% of employees more productive, 84% more engaged and 82% happier in the workplace.

If you decide to implement gamification within your contact centre environment, it’s vital that you set clear goals before you begin: use gamification as a tool for measuring individual performance, encourage a team spirit through healthy competition, make training sessions more interactive and engaging, make the rewards meaningful to the agents and to discuss best practises as a team.

Optimise their workspace

Given the intense nature of a contact centre, an optimised workspace for comfort and productivity is essential. Ensuring your agents are comfortable in their remote setting is crucial – without a good remote set up, agent’s risk having a less-structured environment, which can result in diminished productivity and morale. Providing your agents with the appropriate office furniture, such as desks, chairs, monitors etc, will give your agents the basic requirements to do their job.

“Happy agents equal happy customers”

Agent engagement is a real problem for customer service teams. When your agents are disengaged and dissatisfied, your business risks losing its best talents and customers. By supporting your agents with the right solution, a comfortable working environment and alternative engagement processes, you can ensure your contact centre performs more efficiently and productively — not only increasing agent engagement but also customer satisfaction.

Learn more about the challenges and opportunities of the future of customer experience and how a cloud contact centre can help you succeed by downloading our whitepaper: Winning the customer experience battle: embracing a cloud contact centre.

Currently utilising a standard business phone system and ready to make the move to a cloud contact centre? Contact Gamma today and we’ll help you choose the right solution for your business.