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Blog

Feb 09, 2018

5 Ways to Minimize Agent Turnover in Your Contact Center

Two customer service agents appear tired and unengaged at their desk

[Estimated read time: 6 minutes]

Customer service is far from a stress-free job. Your contact center agents are on the front lines with customers every day, and the customers aren't always happy. An ICMI study reported that almost 90% of contact leaders admit agents experience moderate to high levels of stress...daily! This takes its toll on your staff morale, and in turn, affects the quality of service they are offering to your customers.

 

Why Does Agent Turnover Happen?

While there are many reasons an agent may choose to leave your team, over 70% of contact center directors attribute agents' work-related stress to inefficient systems and tools. Being the go-to support for customers isn't an easy job, and many agents face even more stress in providing great customer service because they lack the tools they need to work efficiently. The processes and technologies that agents use every day can have a significant but often overlooked impact on their engagement levels, which can lead to turnover.

Over 70% of contact center directors attribute agents' work-related stress to inefficient systems and tools.

(ICMI)

5 Ways to Improve Agent Engagement and Minimize Turnover

1. A single agent desktop

The best way to improve agent engagement in the contact center is to provide them with the tools they need to properly handle customer inquiries. The easiest way to help them in this area is by providing a CRM that features one interface for all customer interactions. If an agent is spending time flipping back and forth between screens, you know what they aren't doing? Helping the customer. Don't make your agents work harder on tasks that aren't focusing on the customer. According to Forrester, 73% of customers say that valuing their time is the most important thing a company can do to provide them with good customer service. Needing multiple tabs and screens to resolve a customer issues adds unnecessary time and steps, which hurts the customer experience.

2. Ditch the scripts

Why do workers go into a job in customer service? Most likely because they are great at talking to people and enjoy helping customers. But if your agents are being forced to follow a script, you could be hampering their natural skills. It's a relatable experience: You contact customer service about a new product you are having trouble with, and it's like you're speaking to a robot. It frustrates you as the customer and it probably frustrates the agent as well. Instead of scripting, allow your agents to flow through interactions using in-context guidance. Equip them with tools such as next best action based on the customer's reason code and a full view of the customer's history. This tailors each interaction specifically for each caller and enables agents to engage customers efficiently while allowing a natural conversation. This will lead to a higher job satisfaction among your contact center staff, reduce turnover, and improve customer satisfaction scores.

3. An integrated knowledgebase

Customers have high expectations for complete, accurate answers to their questions, and they want them fast. You can allow them to help themselves by utilizing web and mobile self-service that is powered by a knowledge management system. Customers are preferring more and more to find their own answers, and self-service is no longer an option -- it is expected. Adding this channel will also deflect customers asking the most frequent questions, freeing up your agents to handle customers with more complex issues.

The benefits of a robust knowledgebase don't stop at customer self-service. The same KMS needs to be available on your agents desktop. By using an integrated knowledgebase to assist your agents, you equip your contact center staff with all the information they need to do their jobs. Instead of making them memorize all of your products, or hunt through a list, the knowledgebase can provide immediate answers that are consistent with what the customers are seeing. This feature helps improve the agent experience in a number of ways, including reducing the time needed to train new agents. If you have some agent turnover in your contact center, those experienced agents won't be taking all of their expertise and knowledge with them. The KMS will provide all new agents with the information they need. This empowers them with confidence, and will make a difference in both the customer and agent experience.

4. Smarter data entry

A big cause contributing to high agent turnover in the contact center is that agents spend too much of their time completing repetitive, tedious tasks like data entry. Agents often will have to go through fields that aren't even relevant to the customer's issue. This is where intelligent data entry features save the day.

Intelligent data entry = saving time = happier agent = happier customer

Type-down options save time by suggesting an auto-complete of what the agent is typing. Dynamic field configurations allow agents to only gather the information needed for the particular interaction, reducing the call handling time and the amount of questions the customer has to answer. Contact center agents can also utilize automated email interactions, which uses NLP to read and understand the customer's request, then automatically generates a response and suggested goodwill enclosure. All your agent has to do is review the response and approve the email. Closing the communication loop has never been more simple. Time savings from these features will add up quickly, and go a long way towards a happier agent. Helping them complete these tedious and repetitive tasks more efficiently lets them spend the majority of their time actually engaging with the customer.

5. Automated data quality assurance

QA in the contact center is a must. It's essential to make sure agents are capturing clean and accurate customer case data. Most manual quality assurance processes can only identify 1-5% of errors. These processes never actually cover all of your data. With a tool like Astute VerbatimTM, you can guarantee complete coverage of your customer cases. The system uses historical case data and agent notes to teach itself the appropriate information for each case. Nobody wants to be bad at their job. The advanced reporting from an intelligent QA system allows you to see what codes are causing the most trouble for agents and which members of your staff may need additional training.

2-Minute Preview of Astute Verbatim™ from Astute Solutions on Vimeo.

How Astute Helps

We believe in helping brands enhance their customer engagement by contextually blending the best of human interactions with the best of artificial intelligence to provide more efficient customer service and increase customer loyalty. Astute's award-winning platform includes ePowerCenterTM, the CRM built for consumer engagement. Power up your agents and resolve customer issues more effectively than ever, with in-context guidance, automated email interactions, and a complete view of the customer across channels. Our knowledge management software puts the right answers at the fingertips of both customers and agents. Astute KnowledgeTM uses natural language processing to understand the true intent of the customer's question, then pulls from multiple sources to craft the most accurate answer.

Ready to see the Astute Solutions platform in action? Schedule a personalized demo now.

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