Agent engagement or Workforce Engagement Management is a prime constituent that makes up an efficient contact centre or a company’s customer support centre. With the rapidly escalating focus on CX or customer experience, improved agent engagement has always been the need of the hour, especially now. WEM or Agent Engagement is escalating rapidly in terms of criticality due to the ever-changing needs and expectations of agents and the shortage of agents who have high-calibre and can deliver stellar performances.
For organizations, increasing Workforce Engagement Management is a key way to elevating and sustaining the CX or customer experience by:
- Reducing agent attrition;
- Including soft benefits and performance rewards for agents;
- Equipping agents with the right tools they need to serve their customers;
Why does Agent Engagement matter?
Agent engagement drives motivation and is responsible for increased performance levels, making it a pretty big deal in any support or contact centre. The below-listed order of sequence shows that WEM has two long-term advantages: enhanced performance and increased retention.
Barriers to the engagement of agents
There exist three predominant barriers that are particularly relevant in the CX industry. They are as follows:
- Stagnation & Inertia
To an agent who is part of a customer support team or a contact centre, can sometimes feel like groundhog day. This feeling of monotony and repetitiveness can cause agents to often become lax and resort to offering customer solutions off of situational templates that may not practically work with every customer. At VOIZ, we offer agents the benefit of choosing their work hours and their workdays along with the choice of applying for various long-term or short-term processes and projects that they are interested in. By giving agents the freedom to choose their work hours and their projects, there is the possibility of job variety and excitement that stems from making independent decisions.
- Pressure to hit targets
As an agent, there are numbers that need to be hit, real-time metrics that have to be achieved, and so forth. This can sometimes lead to mercenary behaviour as agents are so concentrated on nailing their targets that they sometimes lose sight of their primary objective which is keeping the customer happy and satisfied. At VOIZ, we have built the marketplace in such a way that agents can focus on customers for short periods of time i.e. in four-hour slots of their choosing. Here, agents are trained for the job and further learning is also encouraged at The Academy. This helps agents in striking a balance between providing resolution and achieving their required call volume.
- Emotional compulsion to perform
This pressure is generally associated with feelings such as insecurity, envy, etc. This can often stem from not performing as well as the next agent. This tends to happen when showcasing agent performance scores on leaderboards, right down to the worst-performing customer support agent. While this practice exists in certain contact centres and businesses, VOIZ makes sure to analyze and track individual agent performance only for the agent themselves to know and improve upon and their manager. This puts the customer support agent in a zone of security and our CRM metrics play an important role in helping the agents succeed as exceptional CX providers and advisors.
Metrics with which agent engagement can be realistically measured:
The right metrics can enhance agent productivity making them better with every call. Some of those metrics undoubtedly are:
- Agent Benchmarking Scores
Modern technologies use emerging predictive analytics that enables team leaders to connect industry benchmarking technology with agent evaluation scores. This allows companies and support team managers to compare customer support agents of similar and different training, tenure, experience, skills, etc in order to get a better understanding of overall performance and productivity. This applies to agents part of the telesales process as well.
- Attendance, Availability & Adherence
These are three general metrics to keep a track of because a drop in the scores of any of these categories indicates a performance issue which further indicates an engagement lag as well. Providing agents with the right tools to allow them to monitor these metrics is one way of combating these issues. When agents have the liberty to proactively view their scores and metrics, they are more likely to review them and use these reports to self-learn and self-improve.
- Agent Retention
Employee retention rate is a vital metric in improving CX and agent engagement. Agents are the building blocks of a growing relationship between a company and a customer; therefore the more experienced the agents are, the more value they add to the customer journey and overall experience. By promptly tracking agent retention rates, the customer support team’s health and customer experience can be improved.
4 ways to elevate agent engagement
Listed below are four ways to get started on improving agent engagement.
1. Provide flexible scheduling options
In today’s day and age, agents value work-life balance, therefore, expecting businesses and support team leaders to balance those requirements and desires by aligning them with work rules and staffing needs. As a working result, one easy way of elevating productivity is by offering a varied range of scheduling options that identify performance and skill in tangible ways. For instance, VOIZ goes beyond conventional and current shift options to reduce churn, increase engagement, and drive effective CX operations. This is a multi-step process that fuses the voice of the agent (VoA) along with the needs of the customer support team by offering agents to pick their preferred shifts which further fosters a frictionless equation between the company and the customer support agent.
2. Methodically manage the development process
To boost agent engagement, it is vital to focus on that particular support agent’s progression. This requires systematically monitoring their growth. This can be through various metrics, target call achievement, etc. This tracking enables, encourages, and empowers agents to cultivate customer-centric behaviour, develop technical knowledge, heighten compliance, enhance communication, and will deliver the expected ROI to the bottom line.
3. Reward agents
Recognizing a job well done is a great motivator in any workforce environment. This applied even to support staff and agents. It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate but the slightest act can make an overall difference. Acts of recognition can go a long way in improving the morale and productivity of the agents along with bringing out the competitive spirit in everyone. At VOIZ we believe that by setting meaningful and reasonable rewards, companies can invite engagement and foster a healthy remote work environment. There are numerous ways to reward and incent agents and employees. Companies need to invest the time, research, and effort in developing strategies that fit the business model, which in the future will undoubtedly pay enormous dividends.
4. Measure metrics that are more aligned with business goals
Happy agents convert distraught customers into happy ones. That’s just how it works. Companies that say their customers are their ‘top priority must also tell their support staff and agents that. Otherwise, customer support reps will be liable to spend their work hours fretting about the number of calls they need to make or handle, instead of focusing on the resolution of customer complaints. It is noted that the marketing directive of the business is often at odds with the motivation of the customer support agents. So why not make an effort at measuring agent metrics that are more in sync with corporate goals? CSAT rate is a good example of one such metric that can be used to measure agent productivity. By enabling agents to view this data, it allows them to understand how they contributed to improving the customer journey which will go a long way in keeping them satisfied and motivated.
To engage and retain agents that the company’s customers demand, the business must embrace and employ new tactics like the ones mentioned above. Sign up as a professional with VOIZ to get started as an agent today or sign up as a business to outsource your support agents!