Agent Engagement is recognized as a key ingredient for success in today’s contact center industry. The reasons are clear: when agents are committed to the success of their team, and to the organization, customers and companies win. So it makes sense that when companies create an exciting, empowering environment for their workforce, agent dedication to their own and the companies’ success soars.
But how is this done in practice? How do you translate this grand vision into the daily details of the contact center?
First, consider how customer service agents are asked to commit to the success of the organization. Is their role one-dimensional, measured by Average Handle Time and rewarded only by a paycheck? Or do you allow them to take responsibility for their role in the contact center – and the success of the contact center as a whole – by providing consistent feedback and encouraging them to contribute with new ideas and participate in decision-making?
Here are some ideas to cultivate a greater level of commitment from your agents:
- Allow agents to monitor their performance against detailed quality metrics.
- Encourage agents to participate fully in ongoing evaluations, such as reviewing and providing comments, sharing with peers, and examining trends.
- Provide practical and meaningful opportunities to coach and train agents on a consistent basis.
- Foster healthy competition among agents and recognize those doing well by using a peer recognition program.
Second, are agents given the tools and technologies necessary to motivate them to become team members, rather than just “cogs in the machine”? When agents are held accountable for errors but aren’t given the tools to improve, the environment triggers stress and anxiety. Agents spend more time wondering if their job is in jeopardy, rather than focusing on goals. The right Workforce Optimization solution can close this gap.
Here are a few ideas to improve the focus of your agents and build a motivating environment:
- Provide agents access to detailed evaluations of their customer interactions.
- Offer opportunities that allow agents to self-evaluate or peer-evaluate.
- Encourage agents to make observations about their interactions, so that supervisors are aware of “bottom-up” challenges instead of focusing only on top-down metrics.
- Give agents clear, “dashboard” views showing their own, the team, and the organization’s progress against quality metrics.
- Allow agents to compete for meaningful, tangible rewards in areas aligned with company success.
- Offer opportunities for agents to recognize their peers when achieving customer quality goals.
A workforce optimization solution worth its weight will give supervisors the tools to develop highly committed, highly motivated agents – agents that will rise to the challenge and take responsibility to succeed as a team.