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19 May 2020

Agent Experience: Using the right levers to improve AX

 

In my last article I talked about the importance of managing the agent experience and creating a positive and engaging environment for your employees. This is not just an aspiration, it is critical that your agents are engaged if you want to create a positive customer experience. The previous article explored some of the challenges that can detract from the agent experience, but now I want to explore how you can use various levers to directly create a positive impact.

There are two distinct phases to think about - the onboarding process when a new agent joins the company and the ongoing care and experience of the agent. During each of these phases you can use specific levers to improve the agent experience. First, let’s consider the onboarding process:

  • Technology-enabled recruitment: use a data-driven platform to find people with the right customer experience (CX) skill set.
  • Analytics matching agents to roles: match agents to roles so you can optimize the success of service to sales strategies.
  • Tailored training tools, such as gamification: tech-enabled training tools to ensure agents are confident in their role.
  • Brand-specific training: client partnership during training to ensure that agents are experts in the area or product they need to support.

Once trained and on the team the agent will enter a new phase where they require continuous development and care. Some of the levers you can apply here include:

  • Proven team leadership operating model: take a systematic approach to leadership appointments to you can ensure teams are well-run.
  • Tailored professional and leadership development program: use a personalized approach to training and create incentives to encourage ongoing learning
  • Social activities and team building platform: use innovative events and team-building exercises to help build team spirit.
  • Employee attrition follow-up: focus on measures to reduce attrition so you can create a more consistent service performance.

Many managers talk about managing agent experience as a process of making work fun - they focus on the events and team-building, but it is far more. New agents need to be introduced to the culture of the business and given enough training to be confident when they start out supporting the client.

Helping agents to continuously improve and creating opportunities for them to develop their career gives people targets to aim at. Of course it is important to create a fun work environment, but agents that are not being supported with learning and development opportunities will not feel engaged just because there is a pool table in the office.

Think systematically about the entire process of recruiting, onboarding, and then managing your agents - and also analyzing why they leave - and you can ensure that the team is more engaged and creating a positive customer experience for everyone they interact with.