Success is subjective. There’s no impact on me if you make it to the Starbucks drive-thru in time to snag an iced coffee before your meeting. But to you, maybe that’s your victory, a momentary success. In fact, I can practically see your victory dance happening in the driver’s seat right now. So, if success is such a personal, in-the-moment kind of thing – sometimes fleeting, sometimes not – then why would someone else’s success matter to your customers?
Because agent success DOES impact your customers. Agent success is more crucial than scoring a pre-meeting iced coffee. It’s having agents that are empowered, efficient, and effective. It’s having agents who are not only ready, but thrilled, to take on new customer problems each day. Agent success determines the fate of your customers’ experience. And with a $3 return on every $1 spent, customer experience greatly affects your business success, too.
Unsuccessful agents live in a negative headspace. They stew about their performance, their (in)ability to help customers, and their jobs in general. And that’s the kind of headspace that leaves a gray cloud with rain showers dangling over your customers’ heads when they need help. When a customer needs help, it marks a point in the customer journey where people are most susceptible to falling in (or out of) love with a company. And most of the time, the determining factor is the experience they have with customer service. Set agents up for success, and leave your customers swooning.
Rather than transferring the cloud of negativity to customers during sub-par interactions, successful agents will set customers up to be successful, themselves. We’re talking through 13 reasons why agent success matters to your customers and showing you what that success looks like for your agents.
1. Positive, empowered agents create happy customer experiences.
Being successful is fulfilling and connects agents to the larger purpose behind their jobs – serving customers. When your agents are successful, they’re more likely to be positive and happy on the job. And happy, empowered agents create better customer experiences.
2. They resolve problems on the first call.
Successful agents have the tools and knowledge they need to do their job well. Having access to the right information and easy-to-use tools helps agents knock down barriers to solve customer problems the first time around.
3. Successful agents are omnipresent.
It’s hard to feel like you’re good at your job when you’re bogged down by monitoring channels that don’t work together. Successful agents are omnipresent. They don’t worry about HOW the customer reaches out, they worry about WHY. Agents have access to all the customer information they need without having to pick up their phone to dig through old text messages or call logs. They switch channels mid-interaction if live chat is getting too confusing to decipher, or if a slew of emails isn’t getting the job done. Their sole focus is “what can I do to best help this customer?”
4. Customers don’t have to restate their problem.
Success means having customer data on hand, ready to rock n’ roll. Your customers want to feel like they’re recognized and heard. Successful agents know Suzie is calling, and Suzie’s computer crashed last week, so she called then, too. They have the information they need to help Suzie, and they make informed decisions without asking her to relive her nightmare of an experience.
5. Communication is easy and transparent.
Since agents have goals and metrics clearly defined, and they have regular check-ins with you, they know what it takes to effectively communicate with customers. They recap the issue for customer verification, then walk through the plan of attack to wipe out their pain point. Plus, they talk through the hard pains with ease – like predicted hold times or potential hiccups. Customers always have the right expectations up front.
6. Your customers have friction-free experiences.
Omnipresent, effective communicators create friction-free experiences for customers. Agents are equipped (with insights, tools, and customer information) to make better in-the-moment decisions. So, customers don’t have to wait long for a resolution or get misinformation.
7. Successful agents solve future problems, too.
The in-line training and contextual coaching successful agents get preps them to evaluate customer concerns and see future problems. Agents have feedback from that one time they talked to John, and they realize Suzie’s situation is set up to play out just like his. With the added context, they solve for other customer problems before they happen.
8. Customers get the training they need to find answers themselves.
Sometimes, customers want self-service. Nearly 58 percent of customers who call your company for help tried to find the answer on your website first. Successful agents will be empathetic and understand that no matter the level of service they provide, some customers don’t want to be dependent on agents for help. So, successful agents handoff self-help resources to bump up the speed and quality of the customer’s experience next time.
9. Successful agents don’t need to transfer the call.
Customers hate being transferred. And the more times an agent transfers a call, the more a customer disconnects with your brand because they don’t think your employees are knowledgeable enough to help. Agents who are empowered will find the answers they need, or the human beings they need, to solve the problem at hand.
10. The customer experience is EASY.
High-performing agents problem-solve to make the customer experience as easy as pie. Customers want to put in as little effort as possible to solve their problems. Think about it: The customer purchases something from you with the hope that it will solve for a pain point in their life, not create a new one. It makes sense that if a problem does come up, they want to resolve it as painlessly as possible.
11. They listen before they problem-solve.
Even if your agent knows the answer to a customer problem right off the bat, listening to customers calms them down. When you’re frustrated, you want to be heard. Successful agents will have the mindfulness training needed to be fully present, ease frustrations, and genuinely connect at a human level.
12. Agents stay cool under pressure.
When agents are successful, they feel accomplished and ready to take on any new challenge. They’re less susceptible to burnout and well-prepped to handle an influx of calls like a pro– even with a few highly-frustrated customers tossed into the mix.
13. They deliver consistent customer experiences.
Successful agents are consistent. They deliver positive customer service experiences at every interaction, not just when you catch them on a day where they scored a free breakfast sandwich on the way to work. They squash the chance of buyer’s remorse by always delighting customers.
It’s crucial to set your agents up for success because an agent’s success directly impacts your customers’ experience. And remember, with a $3 return on every $1 spent, the customer experience directly impacts your bottom line. Coach your agents and invest in the right tools to make cross-company communications a breeze. That way agents have the answers they need, or the resources to find them. Then, they can focus on delivering swoon-worthy customer moments.