West Corporation

Posted on October 16, 2013 by West Corporation 



Empowering Your Agents

As organizations continue to find new and innovative ways to use technology in their contact centers to reduce costs, oftentimes we are too reliant on what consultants and the outside world is saying.

This technology can do this, that technology can do that. While this might help your company keep up on current trends, is it really solving the problem? More importantly, is it helping identify and solve a problem you don’t even know about?

From our own experience of both running our own contact centers and the technology within them, we know that agents have been a great resource for new ideas. From an operations perspective, they are the front door to your customers. They know what calls are coming in, the types, and what the end results typically are. Any call center supervisor can hypothesize what their most frequent calls might be based on the time of year or specific product being advertised; however, supervisors aren’t on the phones and might not be exposed to conversations that might cause agents to pull their hair out because it is not a good use of their time.

Asking your own agents (or advocates, team members, etc.) for their input can be a crucial tool that can be used to identify call types that may be frequent enough where additional automation can be leveraged. Agents need to feel empowered by the business lines they support. The sense of contribution and accomplishment is often the best motivator for any employee — agent to corporate executive. By putting together focus groups, companies can assess their centers with agent roundtables that can help produce qualitative evidence based on agent feedback (what types of calls are they taking and what are the reasons for these calls). Management can then better act on this firsthand evidence and will not only realize additional savings, but also will improve the customer’s experience at the same time.

Even though business may be in the same industry, the needs of their customers are unique. Best practices can dictate when a call can be self-served and when the call needs to be handled directly by an agent. However, your own agents can become the best resource, providing the necessary insight needed to help serve customers more efficiently and effectively.

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