How to Keep Your Agents Smiling
Happy customer service agents make for happy customers. The evidence speaks for itself: numerous studies show that the happier your employees are, the more likely they are to generate similar satisfaction among customers.
One report found that in all companies (regardless of industry), customer satisfaction and employee satisfaction are always positively linked.
Unfortunately, many companies spend a lot of time focusing on customer experience, and not nearly as much time on employee experience. Customer service employee dissatisfaction is one of the leading contributors to employee turnover, costing U.S. companies approximately $13 billion annually.
Fortunately, it’s possible for companies to increase employee satisfaction while significantly improving customer satisfaction by investing in a few simple changes.
So where do you start?
1. Consolidate Tools into Fewer Platforms
For years, customer service agents have dealt with an ever-increasing number of tools used to manage CX strategy. Modern agents rely on a variety of distributed service desks, feedback tools, and contact center systems, all spread across multiple channels.
In today’s fast-paced CX world, constantly jumping between different services not only frustrates your agents but also makes your service strategy less efficient. By consolidating more of your tools into a single platform, you can simultaneously increase employee productivity and engagement.
For example, the Cempresso platform is designed to support agents and customers throughout the interaction lifecycle, from contact center to issue resolution. It provides 360-degree service visibility that makes life easier for IT teams and ensures that customer service agents have more of the tools they need in one place so they can work more effectively.
A fully functional digital service platform eliminates the hassles of screen switching while reducing costs and risks. With a multi-channel environment, you’ve fewer environments to monitor for potential security threats and less to worry about maintaining multiple systems.
2. Minimize Stressful Interactions
All jobs can be stressful, but customer service agents are often under more pressure than most. These professionals frequently deal with customers who are already frustrated and upset. Impressing clients who are already in a bad mood can be extremely difficult and places more pressure on your employees.
While you might not be able to prevent unhappy customers from contacting your company and taking their frustrations out on your employees, you can influence how prepared your team members are to deal with these complex situations.
For instance, an automatic diagnostic and troubleshooting solution built into your CX strategy can make it easier for your employees to rapidly get to the root cause of problems, so they can solve customer issues faster, and prevent the client’s mood from growing increasingly negative.
You could even use the same technology to bring the troubleshooting process to your customer. Delivering a self-service troubleshooting experience means your client has the power to get to the root of their own problems a lot faster, so they can tell your agents exactly what they need during an interaction.
This reduces the amount of work both the customer and the agent need to do to fix a problem, and makes the customer feel more confident the issue is being addressed.
3. Automate Repetitive Tasks
In a fast-paced environment where your agents are under significant pressure to solve endless problems at a rapid rate, the last thing they want to do is waste time on repetitive tasks. Your employees want to be focusing on the projects that require their specific skills and knowledge. In fact, one study found that 56% of employees believe the ability to use their skills at work is important to their levels of job satisfaction.
One of the easiest ways to make sure your employees are doing more of the work that matters to them, without compromising on customer service levels, is with automation. There are various aspects of the customer service journey that can be easily automated in today’s environment, such as providing details on account balances or offering insights into return policies.
Automating the common challenges customers face which don’t require the input of a human being takes the additional stress off your team members, so they can focus on what they do best. Not only will your employees have a more satisfying time at work this way, but it also means more human beings will be available to answer complex queries when they arise.
4. Empower Agents to Work Smarter
As the customer service landscape grows increasingly complex and more demanding, with multiple communication channels to consider, and a higher level of expectations from customers, employees need extra help to stay ahead of the curve. Fortunately, there are numerous tools available to help your team members work “smarter” instead of harder.
For instance, you can implement intelligent routing systems into your contact center, so whenever a customer contacts your team, they’re automatically transferred to the person most likely to be able to answer their problems. Integration with a CRM system in your customer service platform should provide your agents with all the information they need about a customer in an instant pop-up whenever they answer a call.
You can even use agent-facing chatbots to help your employees answer questions rapidly with insights into your company’s knowledge base. A chatbot can save your agent a lot of time scouring through documents and product manuals when they need to support a customer quickly.
5. Provide Support to Your Agents
Just because your customer service agents are there to support your clients, doesn’t mean they couldn’t benefit from extra guidance from time to time too. As they continue to deal with higher demands from your user base, your agents’ support needs are likely to increase.
One way you can provide support is to expand the number of people and bots available to sort through customer issues. Virtual agents can help to take some of the pressure off your human team, by responding to questions with natural language processing technology. These tools offer a more advanced alternative to using chatbots for self-service and can help to minimize the number of calls going through to a support agent.
During times of peak demand, you can also look into outsourcing some of your customer service requirements to BPO companies. Business Process Outsourcing experts are increasingly adapting their services to include all forms of omnichannel customer experience management. Having access to outsourced specialists means you can scale your talent as and when you need to.
Don’t forget the benefits of regularly training your team members too. Providing frequent feedback, both positive and constructive, on your employee’s performance, and offering insights into how they can improve their work can be an excellent way to make them more engaged.
Keep Your Customer Service Agents Smiling
It’s easy to forget that a happy customer starts with a happy customer service agent. If your employees don’t have the support they need to operate at an increasingly hectic pace in your business, then your customer satisfaction scores are going to suffer.
By implementing the five simple strategies above, you can start to improve the experiences your employees have at work, reducing turnover, and improving your chances of increased customer loyalty at the same time.
Contact Bulb Tech today to learn more about how you can start the journey to a better customer experience, with an improved employee experience.