As more and more companies realize that providing an exceptional customer experience to their success, the role of the contact center becomes more important than ever, especially using speech analytics and agent training to pack a powerful business punch. One challenge that many businesses face is not acquiring these agents, but keeping them. The reality of employee churn in contact centers is a reality businesses know all too well. There are a number of reasons for the high turnover rate, but perhaps the biggest one is stress.
Studies show contact center agents suffer from higher than average stress levels. And while some suggestions to alleviate this stress may include things like team building projects or fun office games, these are only temporary solutions. The truth is that contact center agents, like virtually all employees, want to be able to do their jobs and do them well. And in order for them to do that, they need the right training and tools. But most companies tend to give their agents a rather brief training session when they are first hired, a manual, and then pretty much just send them off on their own. It’s just not enough. Agents need ongoing training tools such as call recording and speech analytics to give them the best advantages for interacting with customers. Advantages such as:
Gain Deeper Insights into Customer Expectations with Speech Analytics And Agent Training
Keeping the customer happy is the main goal of any business (or at least it should be). But what exactly makes the customer happy has never been a fixed point. If it were, people in marketing research would be out of a job. The truth is that customers’ needs and wants are constantly changing, and it’s up to businesses to keep up. This is especially true for contact center agents, for whom ensuring customer satisfaction is pretty much their entire job description. That’s why companies cannot expect their agents to interact with customers the same way forever and still get positive results. They and their agents need to evolve as their customers evolve. But in order to do so, they need strong technology that offers actionable insights into customer-agent interactions. A call mining tool like speech analytics allows companies to quickly detect and isolate specific words and phrases, helping them to more easily uncover patterns that provide them with a better understanding of their customers. This information can then be used in continuous agent training to help them be ready to anticipate the customers’ needs. Agents become more assured in their dealings with customers, providing them with the best experience possible.
Agent Training Becomes Less Abstract with Automated Quality Monitoring
In his memoir “So Anyway . . . “, actor John Cleese recalls being in school and getting struck with a ruler when he could not successfully solve a long division problem. The trouble was that nobody had ever actually taught him how to do long division. And while companies are not going around hitting their agents with rulers (we hope), there is a similarity in that they cannot expect their agents to handle unfamiliar situations well if they have no idea what to do. However, simply giving vague instructions such as “remain calm” or “show the customer you care” may ultimately prove ineffective, particularly when agents feel as though they are doing everything right and still not getting the desired results, leaving them tired and frustrated. But by allowing agents to listen to their conversations with customers with call recording, they can acquire a more solid understanding of where and how they may need to improve. Companies can also use speech analytics to easily find solid examples of words and phrases that have been proven to yield desired outcomes. When agents have a strong understanding of what works when dealing with customers and what doesn’t, they feel better equipped to face anything that might come their way.
Automated Scorecards Deliver Insights For Stronger Training Skills for Managers
Call center managers should be able to guide and instruct their agents. Call recording and call monitoring can help managers take what once were mere “disciplining” moments, and turn them into “teachable” moments. They are not tools designed to trap agents or emphasize their mistakes, but rather to inform them and help them improve. This is especially useful if agents and managers disagree over certain occurrences, such as an agent’s perceived behavior towards a customer; a manager may believe an agent spoke rashly, while the agent may believe they were perfectly calm and collected. However, it is often difficult for agents to mentally “step back” from a conversation, particularly in the midst of dealing with more difficult customers. But by listening to the actual recorded conversation, the agent can observe their behavior with fresh ears, and pick up on things they may not have previously noticed. Call recording provides objective evidence that helps the agents to better understand not only their shortcomings and assets, but also allows managers to more clearly convey their point. Miscommunications are eliminated and positive steps can be taken to ensure both a better today and tomorrow in the contact center.
Letting contact center agents feel as though they have been forgotten about or dismissed doesn’t just hurt morale, but the bottom line, as well. Studies show managers who disregard their employees cause engagement levels to plummet to 2%, while managers who know and emphasize their employees’ strengths see a 61% engagement level . This is why ongoing training with call recording and speech analytics is vital to keeping agents ‘ drives high and their stress levels low. And the happier and more productive an agent is, the more likely it is they will stick around.