In many organizations the contact center is the heartbeat of the company. This is where almost every customer will eventually travel, whether it be to ask a question, purchase a new good or service or to complain when things are not working properly. An entire company’s brand can rest on the experience that happens here; for this reason, it requires constant monitoring, evaluation and, in many cases, some spring cleaning.
Many folks, including myself, have jumped on the Marie Kondo “Tidying Up” bandwagon. In fact, I have released 15 large bags full of linens, shoes and kitchen items that no longer “spark joy.” For those who are unfamiliar with this best seller and newly released Netflix program, Kondo’s is not a terribly complicated concept: quite simply, if you do not use it and it does not make you happy, thank your item and send it on its way to potentially spark joy in someone else.
It’s really about reflection, allowing the person to take a moment to really think about what is working, what is just taking up space and what is simply no longer valuable. Companies should do this also, taking time to consider what is working well in their contact centers and what needs to be released or retooled.
Does your contact center spark joy in your agents?
Many organizations are spending more and more to train new agents, and many of these employees leave within the first 90 days. Why do we suppose so many agents run for the exits so quickly? The most likely cause is being overwhelmed with information and pressure.
What’s more, the Quality Assurance & Training Connection (QATC) reports that the average churn rates for contact center agents is almost double most other industries at 30-45%.
How can technology spark joy in contact center agents?
Although there are countless frustrations agents face, the most common are lack of training, feeling overwhelmed or conversely not being challenged. Smart companies invest in technology that puts the agent effectiveness at the center of the purchasing decision.
Incorporating technology that is ever evolving, continuous learning is the key to success. Nuance has various contact center products that leverage artificial intelligence. Artificial intelligence (AI) is a phrase that is tossed around frequently, but within the context of the contact center, there can, in fact, be great impact. AI can streamline the calls that seem more rudimentary, leveraging virtual assistants (VAs), and then ramp to more complex issues as both the VA and live agent grow in their decision making.
Customer engagements go from being reactive to proactive when the predictive power of AI is introduced to contact center operations. This not only enhances agent understanding but empowers them as well. As Marie Kondo would say, this “sparks joy.”
Feedback is also a crucial tool used to ensure the agent is learning; fully understanding, in simple, useful data, where they shine and where they need to focus their development. AI is now a two-way street, allowing for the extraction of vital information for decision making purposes but also leveraging that data to review, predict and offer solutions – this is a game changer.
How do companies spring clean their mindsets and potentially their tools?
Smart companies will take time to evaluate and reflect on the current state of their contact center agents. What is the attrition and to what do they attribute these numbers? What technologies are being employed to facilitate, lead and empower the agent workforce? What can they leverage in their current technology arsenal to achieve their company goals, and where are the blind spots in their offerings? This is how to find what “sparks joy” in the contact center. If something doesn’t, throw it out.