What’s the first step to offering the human element to service? Investing in your human employees.
Contact centers play a crucial role in a customer’s experience. Building a customer-centric company starts by empowering agents to provide excellent service, says Tom Goodmanson, President & CEO of Calabrio.
The past two years of a pandemic have been hard on everyone, but contact center agents especially feel the stress. New research from Calabrio found that 96% of contact center agents feel stressed weekly while also taking more calls than ever before. That work stress, added to adjusting their work schedules and managing the personal stress of the pandemic, dramatically impacts customer service. When companies have the tools to reduce employee stress and improve the agent experience, it helps drive better customer behavior.
“If the agent is taken care of, the end customer will win,” Goodmanson says.
He says one way to relieve stress is to consolidate the information agents use. In recent years, companies have moved towards empowering agents with customer data and real-time alerts, but each one of those alerts is on its own screen. Calabrio found that the typical agent has 7 to 10 screens open at any time, which can be overwhelming. It’s difficult for agents to offer personalized, human service to customers when they are distracted by moving between numerous screens. Empowering agents with data is a good step, but consolidating that information to a single screen can significantly lower agent stress and improve the customer experience.
Leaders have to be aware of what’s happening in the contact center to provide a great experience for agents and customers. Goodmanson follows his dad’s old saying of “Show up and pay attention, and you might learn something.” When leaders spend time in the contact center, they can better understand their people, including how to support employees and reach customers.
Customer-centric companies listen to their customers to provide relevant, personalized service. And that happens with contact center agents empowered with streamlined technology, not stressed from outdated systems. When employees have the tools and technology they need to succeed, they can focus on the human element of customer experience and continually build customer-centricity.
*Sponsored by Calabrio
Blake Morgan is a customer experience futurist, keynote speaker, and author of the bestselling book The Customer Of The Future. For regular updates on customer experience, sign up for her weekly newsletter here. Join the new Customer Experience Community here.