Agent engagement is critical for a contact center as it directly impacts the customer experience. Many companies only interact with their customers a couple times a year, for just a few minutes each time, via an agent. The experience of those brief interactions is critical for customer satisfaction and retention, and happier agents tend to have more positive interactions with customers. Despite this important correlation, agent satisfaction in most industries is low. Some estimate that under 40% of contact center agents are extremely satisfied with their job.
Keeping agents engaged and satisfied is more challenging than ever due to recent events. Agents’ jobs are increasingly difficult and stressful with dramatically higher volumes, long wait times, and unhappy customers. Meanwhile, systems haven’t caught up. Most agents still have to toggle between many different, antiquated systems to solve a customer issue. And if agents are working remotely to limit health risks, they miss out on things that contribute to engagement – like coaching and a sense of community with their peers.
So what’s a company to do?
While modern, AI-based technology can’t alone solve these problems, it can provide some much needed relief for agents – and help your customers, too.
A well-designed AI solution can:
Help agents do their jobs more efficiently and effectively, with less stress.
Artificial intelligence capabilities can help agents more effectively handle volume spikes, unhappy customers, and whatever else might come their way in these unprecedented times. AI-driven predictions put the right content at their fingertips and suggest the right actions. This helps the agent, shaves time from each interaction, and improves the customer experience.
Provide an easy to use, self-learning system that agents love.
Many legacy systems that agents use were designed decades ago and can be hard to navigate. Modern, AI-based solutions developed by user experience specialists and data scientists provide a whole new experience for agents, helping them to do their jobs more easily and encouraging greater adoption. And the more agents use these new solutions, the better they get as AI technology continues to learn what works and what does not.
Automate mundane and routine tasks.
We’ve seen that upwards of 60% of customer interaction time is spent on mundane or routine tasks. An AI solution can automate away some of the tedious tasks that are part of an agent’s workflow, such as collecting customer information, timing out inactive threads, and summarizing interactions. This frees up an agent to focus on what they were hired to do: satisfy complex customer needs.
Improve agent satisfaction with virtual coaching.
If agents are working from home, modern AI solutions can help combat their sense of isolation with in-the-moment virtual coaching from supervisors. AI technology can also help supervisors better pinpoint which agents need help, so they can coach more effectively and improve the quality of interactions.
Job satisfaction is in many ways drawn from our own human needs – creative problem solving that engages our brains, a sense of purpose, and socialization within a broader community. With agents facing unprecedented challenges, potential isolation from their teams, and seemingly-endless routine work – it’s easy to see why customer experience suffers. This no longer needs to be true. The ASAPP AI platform can bring out the very best in each agent – which is great for your customers and your organization – and ultimately more satisfying for your agents.
Kari Gerster is Vice President of Product Marketing at ASAPP. Kari has spent her career in product marketing and strategy at cutting-edge enterprise technology companies, helping bring new solutions to market.