Despite new trends like automated support and chatbots, the human element remains a cornerstone of customer support. Many customers still want to talk to a human being. And when those customers do inevitably call in to the contact center, it’s important that they’re met by a prompt, knowledgeable, and efficient agent.
Easier said than done, true. Still, it’s crucial that we equip our agents to deliver a high-quality customer service experience. Some call it agent enablement, others call it agent productivity. Ultimately, the extent to which our agents can resolve cases in a timely, accurate, and friendly manner can be the difference between a happy or dissatisfied customer.
5 Benefits of Improving Agent Productivity
- Boost Customer Support KPIs – With the right training and tools in hand, customer agents will contribute to improved KPIs like handling time, first call resolution, mean time to resolution, and satisfaction metrics like CSAT and Net Promoter Score®.
- Limit Agent Churn – The under-equipped agent will soon be overwhelmed by caseload, eventually leading to burnout. Burnout is one of the root causes of agent turnover, which is problem #1 in many contact centers.
- Lower Costs – An ill-equipped customer service team leads to poor customer service, and that will cost you. According to Accenture, “the estimated cost of customers switching [companies] due to poor service is $1.6 trillion.” Hello.
- Absorb the Highs and Lows – Throughout the year, seasonal spikes and other acute increases in support volume can put a strain on customer support agents. Improve an agent’s ability to do their job and they’ll be more prepared to continue delivering quality, even when things are at their busiest.
- Keep Customers Coming Back – A majority of revenue comes from existing customers, not new ones. What sends customers packing? Bad customer service experiences and unhappy agents. On the bright side, empowered agents can keep customers around for the long haul: in a survey by Statista, 70% of millennials stated they’d do more business with a company as a result of good customer service.
Ultimately, It’s About Customer Experience
At the end of the day, you simply cannot deliver a consistent customer service experience without empowered and productive agents. It won’t be easy, but when you improve agent productivity, you turn your call center into a driver of positive outcomes and a better customer experience. Just take it from John Heald, Global Vice President of Market Development at SAP Hybris Service Cloud:
If your people are always saying no, try changing the culture and introducing some autonomy. Empower them to do what is necessary to solve a problem.