A version of the following appeared in CCW Digital's Special Report on Workforce Management.
Businesses know they must empower agents to deliver accurate resolutions in a quick and friendly manner.
They also know they are not excelling in this objective.
Only 13% of businesses define their existing accuracy/error rate as “excellent,” while a mere 10% say they are consistently achieving first contact resolution. The percentages of businesses who believe they excel at customer effort (8%), average handle time (19%) and customer retention rate (19%) are similarly modest.
Existing workforce management efforts are, quite simply, not working. Organizations are not empowering agents to perform as desired, which is in turn preventing them from delivering the experiences their customers are demanding.
The vicious cycle reflects a high-cost, low-value contact center operation. It reflects a lack of productivity.
What is preventing productivity? Organizations surveyed by CCW Digital identified a few key culprits.
Disintegrated channels and systems
Organizations cannot efficiently deliver seamless, effortless, personalized experiences for customers if they have trouble accessing the necessary information behind-the-scenes. Businesses, accordingly, identify system disintegration as the chief productivity challenge. The time agents should be spending on the high-reward task of satisfying customers is being wasted on the low-benefit task of struggling with backend systems.
Lack of ongoing coaching and development
Training agents on core product and procedural knowledge is common – and easy. Consistently re-training and coaching agents based on their personal weaknesses and marketplaces changes is decidedly rarer. It is also decidedly more valuable.
Agent development must be a perpetual focus for organizations. When training is wrongfully viewed as a one-time task, productivity suffers.
Insufficient knowledge base
No matter how intelligent the agents and how robust the training, situations will emerge in which they do not know how to answer a customer’s inquiry. When that happens, they will consult the knowledge base. For far too many organizations, this knowledge base is of little to no help: it either lacks the required information or at least lacks an intuitive means of acquiring the information. Fumbling through the knowledge base is not a productive use of an agent’s time.