There are a lot of reasons a customer support agent might be unhappy. Lack of resources and training, for example. Inadequate on-the-job tools. Maybe he or she is a Chicago Bears fan. Regardless of the reason, an unhappy group of support agents can make for unhappy customers and seriously impact customer experience KPIs.

Wherever you find agent burnout, dissatisfied customers are not far away.

What makes customer support agents unhappy?

We can all agree that getting shouted down by an irate customer is enough to make any person’s blood boil. But there are a number of factors that can contribute to agent burnout, such as:

  • Lack of proper training
  • Inadequate tools and resources
  • High caseloads and long hours
  • Repeatedly solving the same problems
  • Hectic seasonal spikes
  • Little or no recognition

Many of these issues, though, are symptoms of a much deeper problem. And it starts with a failure to put in place the tools and processes that enable agents to be successful.

What does a better experience look like?

In an ideal world, we have all the personnel, budget, and technology we need to keep our agents fresh and morale high. The reality is often vastly different. Still, there are a number of fundamental areas which, done right, can make for a far happier group of support agents (and customers).

  • Intelligent routing of support tickets – A simple concept that is often far more difficult to execute. But the proper routing of support tickets can shorten resolution time, increase successful outcomes, and curb agent churn. All of these benefits translate to a better customer experience.
  • A sound self-service strategy – What do things look like from the agent’s point of view? Do they, for example, have in-the-flow access to self-service content? Does your knowledge management solution include intelligent search, link to case, and the ability to create knowledge base articles from solved tickets?
  • Better customer engagement – Understanding the different touchpoints a customer has with your company—throughout the entire customer journey—is not just useful for sales and marketing efforts. Customer engagement information can help your agents put themselves in the customer’s shoes, work more efficiently, and reduce their level of effort.
  • A better onboarding program – Training courses are useful, but don’t always capture the entire picture. Make the onboarding process personal and social by getting agents out and among their team member. Enrich the training program by integrating your self-service and knowledge management functions. For more tips, make sure to read our four hidden causes of high agent ramping times.

ROI for Agent Onboarding

Evaluate the potential ROI for self-service onboarding automation made possible by a knowledge management platform

Good for the agent, good for the customer

The good news is that tending to these root causes of unhappy agents can also improve the customer experience overall. Ultimately, the two go hand in hand. The better the support agent experience, the better their support team will be at providing a good customer experience across email, phone, and chat. As a result, support and customer experience KPIs like first call resolution rates and customer effort score should start moving in the right direction.

Additional categories: Customer Support