Three Ideal Qualities for Modern Contact Centre Agents

Frank Sherlock introduces three attributes that he believes help to make up the ideal modern contact centre agent.

1. Being Able to Deliver Customer Outcomes Rather Than KPIs

Agents used to be evaluated on their ability to achieve transactional KPIs, such as keeping call lengths short. Modern call centre agents need to have a different attitude, which is focused on delivering successful call outcomes for customers.

For example, agents should be able to think independently and decide whether departing from the script will lead to a better call outcome and avoid customer dissatisfaction.

Characteristics such as showing empathy or politeness are still important these days, where delivering an excellent customer experience is paramount.

Making sure that customers leave the call happy is an essential quality of a modern agent. It will help to drive loyalty and increase lifetime customer value.

2. Ability to Self-Evaluate Performance and Drive Improvement

Many modern agents have the capability to use the available tools to self-evaluate and push themselves to get better.

In fact, some contact centres measure 100% of their customer interactions and provide them with personal scorecards. This gives agents the information they need to focus on improving in areas that will deliver better customer and business outcomes.

With this information, an agent should be able to decide where he or she needs to focus to improve their performance. They then can measure the change in themselves by reviewing their scorecard at the end of the next shift.

This type of agent is open to feedback and motivated to learn and improve because they know they can trust in this data as it is based on all of their interactions with customers.

3. Being Able to Handle Multi-Skilled Tasks

In the past, agents may have been focused on carrying out the same task. Modern call centre agents need to be more flexible. They need to be able to handle a range of tasks and be effective at each of them.

Tasks could include: closing sales, problem resolution, collections, customer retention, converting calls triggered by marketing campaigns and up-selling.

Skills could include: the ability to recognise churn or dissatisfaction language and rescue the call, being able to switch to a different channel depending on the interaction volumes, and being able to show empathy.

With Interaction Analytics

By using analytics technology to identify such multi-skilled agents, companies are able to address customer needs better by ensuring that the right agents with the right skills are scheduled to be available at the right time.

Armed with this information, supervisors can manage and schedule their agents more effectively.  They can also identify with greater certainty which agents have the skills to handle various channels of communications – and then schedule them accordingly.

For example, a supervisor having access to the full customer engagement analytics data – including call acoustics – could discover that although an agent has the right skills to resolve a specific problem via email or chat, he/she may not perform as well with the same problem over the phone.

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Published On: 8th Jun 2017 - Last modified: 28th Jun 2017
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