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Contact centre agents: the unsung heros

Contact centre agents were among the unsung heroes of the COVID-19 pandemic, keeping the bridges between businesses and the public strong when all else felt unsteady.

It’s during times of intense stress and pressure that the true value of these individuals is realised. It’s unsurprising therefore that we’ve seen contact centres double down on their commitments to agent wellbeing in the face of the economic challenges we are now seeing.

The contact centre is being faced with rising wage costs and high levels of agent churn. In this environment, celebrating the agent as the hero delivering great service and equipping them with the tools they need for success is paramount. To this end, automation will be critical for contact centres to be able to thrive – and after all, every hero needs a sidekick.

Championing an Agent First approach

Contact centres are struggling to find and retain talent. At XL Marketing, we have the secret to retaining great agents. It starts with understanding that the agent is the real hero of customer service and investing in an agent first approach. Here’s how: Support the agent with effective Workforce Engagement tools, superpower them with great customer interaction tools and give them an “automated” sidekick that takes the mundane out of their day.

Automating repetitive processes will increase the efficiency of business operations, but more importantly it serves to enrich the agent’s job by offloading monotonous tasks and leaving the agent to handle the more complex issues, or those that require greater human engagement.

By teaming up with automation, the agent can elevate their service level: for example, if all the necessary information has already been captured from the customer, the agent can start the conversation fully updated about all the core details of their enquiry, saving time and avoiding frustration. The resulting job satisfaction will help to anchor the agent to the contact centre, even in this most competitive climate.

Boosting Efficiency

The contact centre is under pressure to deliver more for less. The answer is to team your superhero agents with their new sidekick – automation! Conversational AI-powered automation that can chat, respond to email and take customer payments leaves your agents free to deal with customers who really need them.

Embracing omnichannel is another major efficiency driver for the contact centre. By opening up additional channels beyond telephony, such as such as Webchat, WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger, not only does this provide channel choice to customers, but it creates efficiencies for the contact centre. True omnichannel provides a full history of all the interactions with a particular customer across all communication channels used, empowering them with a powerful knowledge base to handle that customer’s current query quickly and effectively.

Automation will help to Retain Agents, not Replace them

The power of AI and automation lies in reducing workloads from the agents themselves and using their skills most wisely. It is a powerful sidekick to turbo-boost agents, not replace them. Your contact centre is only ever as strong and resilient as your team. By placing agents at the heart of business strategy and adopting an agent first strategy, organisations will successfully champion their most valuable asset and deliver seamless customer experiences.

The modern contact centre requires a blend of technology and agents to properly service customers and close the gap between expectation and reality. Developing the perfect partnership by using technology as an enabler for agents holds the key to creating the best performing contact centres in this very challenging climate.


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