Jodi Reuven explores how digital transformation in the contact centre means the end of tidy myths and simplistic frameworks around agent performance.
According to a NICE Internal survey, over 40% of agents handle multiple concurrent interactions. They orchestrate an ongoing and complex CX symphony, working in a high-pressure environment with sophisticated customers, all while using multiple skill sets across various channels simultaneously.
Given this complexity, the definition of agent performance – and the metrics that mark it – must thoughtfully evolve, too.
Our new contact centre paradigm has created unprecedented questions and scenarios. Here are a few:
- Should an agent who is now handling concurrent digital interactions still be held to the same standards as an agent who works solely with voice?
- How do we factor for the differences in complexity between one interaction and another?
- Since it is known that after a customer has exhausted all attempts at digital channels, their interaction with a voice agent will be much thornier, is it still reasonable to hold that agent to previous performance standards?
- How do we manage the blurring line dividing responsibilities between the back and front office, which is occurring as a result of new digital customer journeys?
- And at what stage, is a case determined to be ‘closed’ and an interaction ‘ended’?
Of course, traditional performance metrics like ‘first call resolution’ and ‘average speed of answer’ continue to be important.
Yet in these far more nuanced situations, blunt ‘speed’ and ‘productivity’ no longer mean what they did previously.
‘Average handle time’ – once the gold standard of performance management – holds little weight now that the value of time has entirely changed for the customer who may be interacting with (and neglecting) an online agent in tab twelve while busily multi-tasking with their own work and life.
Even organizations relying on highly customized home-grown BI tools based on KPIs should question if there is a better approach to gauging agent performance.
Indeed, there is. The one-size-fits-all performance formula must be redefined to instead capture agent performance as a living thing – made up of moving parts and personalities that can be studied and refined.
This must include a view of KPIs which are relevant to newly acquired digital channels which can also be customized as the channels adapt and change.
This more holistic approach to performance management can not only address the measurement of KPIs, but also offer a personalized approach to coaching and the needs of specific agents and interactions.
With such strategies and tools, contact centres can more readily rise to meet the challenges of digital transformation and its blended, asynchronous, messy – but beautiful – reality.
This blog post has been re-published by kind permission of NICE – View the original post
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