Here at ICR Evolution, we know that employee experience (EX) is just as important, if not more, as customer experience (CX). Retaining your employees comes with a lot of benefits such as reducing turn-over and improving customer experience, which is a differentiating element when it comes to choosing a product or brand. In fact we have discussed how to improve employee experience at length in our free e-book.
As our CEO, Gabi Navarro, mentioned after the Spanish customer relations event in 2019, with digital transformation and the renewed focus on employee satisfaction to convert them into brand ambassadors, new challenges are at our doorstep.
We share the 4 key challenges of talent retention we should be particularly mindful of in 2020.
The coexistence between robots and contact center advisors breeds more value to the agent of the future
On the one hand, we have Robotic Process Automation (RPA), enabling a reduction of talk time and the avoidance of human error by automating certain tasks and processes.
On the other hand, chatbots are removing more of the repetitive and low value-add queries that don’t require a human touch, allowing agents to focus on providing an outstanding customer experience in requests that call for a more personalized diagnostic and solution.
Both of these innovations improve agent productivity, which is of course great, but also reduce burn out and open more cross-selling opportunities, increasing the ROI on every call.
Artificial intelligence is key to accessing information and knowledge in real time
Being an omnichannel contact center implies amplifying agent capabilities so that they can tend to various channels simultaneously. This means a strong dedicated initial training is required, and so is continuous training to ensure agents are keeping up with the latest (and frequent) modern channels innovations. In fact, here at ICR Evolution, we provide expert technical support to assist users.
What is even more important when it comes to agent assistance is actually real time access to knowledge. Until recently, agents had to manually search for information through a knowledge base, which was often in a separate application, and didn’t necessarily return the correct information. With artificial intelligence (AI), advisors are able to effortlessly access the latest knowledge insights, for example with suggestions of answers based on speech recognition. This allows agents to relax and be more confident, knowing there is a reduced risk of error and the customer won’t have to be kept waiting whilst they’re looking for the answer.
Digital transformation implies better change management with agents
As a contact center decision maker, you have probably heard agents complain that a change was made on a key process or product and that although they received an email about it, the lack of training has been problematic to support or sell at the expected standard. Sadly, this leads to a loss of trust in the company and a lack of agent empowerment, which in addition to being reflected in a poor customer experience, may end up with the employee leaving.
New Agile product methodologies usually mean weekly or fortnightly updates, so we strongly recommend you set aside some time on every occasion, for both supervisors and employees, to discuss these changes. On a different note, collaborating with project teams from the start will give you an opportunity to influence planning and communication.
Work-life balance needs to be a reality in contact centers too
The quality of employee experience can take a turn for the worse really quickly when an employee is denied a change of plans. Shift work in contact centers is no different. Although agents have agreed to work certain hours, sometimes they may need to leave early to attend a personal appointment, or exceptionally change their shift.
In some countries such as Spain, the law even requires employers to allow their workers to adapt their working hours for a better work-life balance! We feel that this is a brilliant opportunity for forward-thinking companies who understand that being employee-centric and offering a healthy workplace will be more profitable.
Being flexible as a policy and not as an exception will go a long way towards employees valuing their job with you and being loyal to you.
We hope this article has been helpful in guiding your choices and priorities for 2020, and that you have found a way forward to turn your employees into fans. We promise, investing in your workforce pays off! We’d love to continue the conversation y discuss with you what you look for in a contact center software. Get in touch!