customer service trends and innovations

Innovations and Trends in Customer Service [Roundtable Recap]

If you missed it (or you want a quick refresher), we’re recapping last week’s CRMXchange Roundtable on Innovations and Trends in Customer Service. We dug into the troubles contact centers face, like CSAT scores that hover in the C+ range and agent attrition that’s tiptoeing toward the 50 percent mark. These are glaring, often-talked-about issues plaguing contact centers. But no one is doing anything to fix it. So, we dove in on WHY attrition and CSAT scores are so troublesome.

We identified four crucial problems contact center managers face daily. Those four problems heap together to create the stagnating troubles that overwhelm the industry, costing companies millions in lost customer revenue and adding thousands in hiring costs. Then, we talked about how contact center managers can get real about coaching to FIX these crucial problems that exist.

Let’s dive into the discussion.

Problem number one: Managers don’t have enough time.

You only have 7 percent of your time available to coach your agents each week. That’s an average of 3 hours and 18 minutes a week to coach all of your agents. Where does the rest of your time go? Well, 53 percent is sucked up by administrative tasks, like combing through interactions looking for things to coach. And, another 30 percent is consumed by call escalations that your more-than-capable agents should be equipped to handle.

How do you fix it?

Proactively monitor your interactions for coaching opportunities in real time. Most modern contact center platforms have some form of proactive monitoring, like monitoring powered by A.I. and bots. Think of it like a little robot that peers behind the curtain in your contact center to efficiently figure out what’s really going on during your agent-customer interactions in real time, so you don’t have to dig for the coaching moment yourself.

Problem number two: Analytics aren’t working FOR your business.

Numbers are emphasized more than people. You train your agents to meet metrics and KPIs, but the only reward for hitting those metrics is tougher KPIs to meet next month. Plus, all too often analytics aren’t customizable to the needs of your business.

How do you fix it?

Look beyond the hard numbers and get into the humanity of your agents. Use reporting tools and analytics that let you customize specific data points to the needs of your business. Get insights that work with your omni-channel software and integrate with your other systems, like ticketing and CRM, to get a holistic view of what’s happening in your contact center and with each agent.

“As a coach, if you’re going to be successful, you have to understand your agents’ strengths and weaknesses, and that doesn’t always get told by hard metrics.” – Murph Krajewski, VP of Marketing, Sharpen Technologies 

Problem number three: Managers don’t coach frequently enough.

Most managers don’t coach daily, and some coach as infrequently as once per year (yikes!). Agents don’t get the specific, contextual training they need unless coaching is a daily priority for managers.

How do you fix it?

Use bite-sized learning exercises and bots to put coaching into your daily workflow. And, serve those exercises and coaching moments to your agents in their queue. Coach in a way that enhances your agents’ day-to-day, not distracts from it.

Problem number four: There hasn’t been a way to measure agent’s holistic experience.

There’s a struggle to get a holistic picture of an agent’s experience in the contact center because of the other three problems we discussed above: not enough time, hard metrics that lack a human element, and infrequent coaching.

How do you fix it?

Use the agent experience score to measure the three E’s of your agent’s experience: efficiency, effectiveness, and empowerment. Boiling these different aspects of agent experience down into one score gives you a detailed view of WHY your agent has a certain score. You can see where they are the strongest and the weakest, then train them based on those specific findings.

The Key Takeaway

Focus on your people, first. Technology is here to help your agents do better work, not to hinder them or replace the personal element of customer service.

“Your people are your most important asset. They are the most valuable thing you have to offer as a customer service organization. And, any technology, processes, etc. should serve to augment, strengthen, and push them forward as the representatives of your brand.” – Murph Krajewski

Carve out more time in your day to coach your agents by using Sharpen. See our agent-first platform in action during the CRMXchange technical demo on Nov. 15! Sign up here.