Why should agent engagement be a priority?

Joe Pratten, hosted sales specialist at Gamma, explains why it’s more vital than ever to keep remote contact centre agents engaged and motivated to deliver outstanding customer service.

The past eight months presented organisations with a new set of unexpected challenges. While at the beginning of the pandemic keeping the lights on was the main concern of most business leaders, in the past few months employee wellbeing and engagement have become significantly pressing issues for organisations.

Increasing agent engagement

In the pre-pandemic world, camaraderie undoubtedly played a major part in the contact centre – the stress of the job could easily be dissipated by drinks or a meal with colleagues. However, over the past months agents have had to adapt to the increasing challenges of remote working. While some of the most difficult aspects of the job became even more prevalent, the close-knit atmosphere of the contact centre disappeared, and with it, the ever-so-important social aspect of the job.

Poor employee engagement and wellbeing shouldn’t be considered an individual’s problem, their effects reverberate throughout the company – disengaged employees have 18 per cent lower productivity and 15 per cent lower profitability. With the continued advice to work from home, having a platform that can improve agent wellbeing by facilitating social engagement is undoubtedly vital. Providing UC within the contact centre offers many opportunities to relieve stress and improve agent engagement – whether it’s by organising virtual happy hour, or just providing a space for employees to talk about their issues.

Better EX means better CX

One of the biggest challenges agents have had to deal with in the past months is navigating various communications and collaboration platforms – often to the detriment of the customer, and their own wellbeing.

Providing a unified communications platform that enhances internal communications within a company can save time and increase productivity in the contact centre. Agents who can access non-contact centre staff support from their agent interface will be able to resolve customer calls quickly and with a better outcome. This not only means they can get through more calls during the day, but it will also provide a better experience for customers who are likely to see their issue resolved in just one call.

Retaining and supporting new talent

With average ticket volume spiking to 16 per cent above pre-pandemic levels, over the past months, many organisations have had to onboard new talents into their contact centre teams. While during normal times, starting a new job in a contact centre meant being surrounded by heaps of people that could help and answer any questions in a matter of seconds, this new working reality is much different.

Remote environments make it much more difficult for new hires to ask for help and seek guidance, especially when the tools at their disposal don’t allow for easy collaboration and communication. Having a contact centre and UC solution in the same place can help businesses retain and support talents during and after the pandemic.

Ultimately, employing a single platform for a business UC and contact centre needs will provide substantial operational gains and will make the difference in the months to come. Gamma’s Cloud Contact Centre solution, in partnership with Cirrus, delivers a contact centre capability that works seamlessly with our Horizon UC solution – improving agent engagement, and in turn, contact centre efficiency.

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