When you examine the customer support agent experience, you’re doing more than putting your customer service efficiency under the microscope. Support agents are the people who likely know your customer best. Just think about how many times your call center team interacts with customers daily. It follows that when you take the pulse of your agent experience, you’ll inevitably discover opportunities to improve the customer experience, too.
In many ways, the customer and agent experience are interrelated.
Here are four areas of the agent experience that also provide valuable insights into the customer experience.
How quickly and efficiently are your new agents getting up to speed? If agents are struggling through onboarding, the customers they are talking to during onboarding are likely struggling too. And you might be surprised to find that the obstacles causing high agent onboarding time are making things difficult on customers, too.
Access to knowledge
The best product documentation, help content, and knowledge base articles in the world are useless if support agents can’t find them (or aren’t using them). And if support agents can’t find knowledge—or don’t care to, because it requires too much effort—where does that leave the customer seeking answers, information, and solutions?
Burnout and turnover
Ah, the two magic words that always capture the attention of support managers. In the never ending quest to reduce support costs, finding ways to limit agent burnout and high turnover rates are common targets. The same factors contributing to agent burnout and turnover might also be causing customers to turn away.
Though it might not seem as compelling as the preceding three issue areas, seasonal spikes can really hurt an underprepared or undermanned support team. If the holiday season creates bottlenecks that stretch your support team to the limit, imagine the headaches it causes customers. Worse yet would be a reputation for a poor support experience during certain seasons, which can be very damaging to a company’s brand.
Customer service efficiency is only half the battle
These four areas of the agent experience—onboarding, knowledge, turnover, and seasonal spikes—are important. They’re very important, and not only on the support/organizational side of things. An inventory of the agent experience will inevitably reveal opportunities to improve the customer experience. Often, the obstacles faced by support agents are shared by customers.