What to Do When Your Great Multichannel Customer Experience Comes at the Expense of Your Agents: 3 Steps to Support Your Team and Build an Omnichannel Strategy
Back in 2014 Deloitte talked about an important trend – the overwhelmed employee.
The consulting group found that even though employees have access to tons of information, they struggle to sift through it and find what they need, leading to mixed-up priorities and bogged down internal processors.
“Yet despite employees being always on and constantly connected, most companies have not figured out how to make information easy to find. In fact, nearly three-quarters (72 percent) of employees have told us they still cannot find the information they need within their company’s information systems.”
Jeff Schwartz, Ardie van Berkel, Tom Hodson, Ian Winstrom Otten for Deloitte
Flash forward to where we sit in 2020, and our repositories for information have only grown. Now, the average company uses 34 different SaaS products and adults spend 5.4 hours every day on their phones.
The average knowledge worker has to process the equivalent of 174 newspapers of information. Every. Day.
As our information gets more bloated, so does our tendency to feel overwhelmed – your contact center agents included.
Turns out, trying to operate in an omnichannel world contributes to the information overload we see in today’s workforce.
Well, because for most companies, omnichannel strategies really just patch together tons of multichannel solutions. And doing so increases your agents’ burden to sift through dozens of channels and systems to find the information they need.
*Cue information overload*
Omnichannel vs. multichannel: What happens when your CX strategy negatively impacts your agents
As customer expectations continue to rise, so do the expectations for your agents to execute a near-perfect customer experience strategy.
Tons of companies work hard to deliver new channels and execute service better, faster, and now. But when you keep adding new avenues for your customers to reach you, without offering more support for your agents, it wears on your team.
All too often, companies attempt to execute an omnichannel strategy but end up with a clunky multichannel solution instead. When this happens, your agents feel the most pain. Then, they hand it right back off to your customers.
Without the right strategies and the right tools in place to protect your overburdened agents, your perfect, “omnichannel” experience isn’t sustainable.
Here are three ways you can support agents while you execute your omnichannel strategy, so your customers AND agents get the experience they deserve.
How to trade a clunky multichannel experience for an omnichannel strategy that supports your agents
Add these three factors to your omnichannel strategy to lift the burden off your agents and deliver excellent experiences (sans burnout).
Keep it simple. For starters, choose three manual agent tasks to automate. Your customers also feel the friction of cumbersome agent tools, so what can you do to lighten your agents’ workload?
Use your current systems (or a new one) to automate menial tasks for your team. Here are four ideas to get started:
- Refine your interaction routing to send customers to a helpful bot when they have simple questions, like “how do I reset my password?”
- Consolidate your customer information into a single database and serve it up to your agents in a screen pop at the start of every interaction. So, they don’t have to dig for customer history during an interaction.
- Send customers to the agent with the right skillset to solve their problem the first time around.
- Set conditions and monitor customer conversations for trigger words like “cancel,” so managers and supervisors can jump in and lend a helping hand in-the-moment.
2. Regular Coaching and Feedback
It’s easy to feel overburdened and overwhelmed when we don’t have enough support from our managers or our team. Proactively coach your agents to avoid these feelings of neglect. Use data to offer tangible feedback to your agents. And, use your expertise to guide them to the right resolutions the next time around.
Surface daily performance data to your agents, so they can track progress with every interaction. And, share daily wins and recognition in your morning huddles, too.
When you keep agents in-the-know with their performance, and when you offer up constant encouragement, they’re empowered to fix mistakes as they happen. They learn to self-identify performance issues and fix them on the fly. Then, when agents see a metric start to dip, they can rattle their memory for a coaching session with you and address key concerns immediately.
Better yet, all of this adds up to improved, more consistent service for your customers.
What’s one of the core components leading to overburdened teams? Too many systems without lines of sight between them.
Your agents use an average of 8.6 different tools, have 23 interactions with their peers, and handle 130.5 different support interactions each day.
It’s no wonder contact center leaders say agents’ cluttered desktops pose the leading productivity challenge. Successful agents have the knowledge and tools they need to interact with customers, no matter how the customer reaches out or where their customer history lives.
Integrate your contact center platform with other systems like your CRM, your ticketing system and your knowledge base to better equip your agents for every interaction. When you do, they won’t have to escalate every interaction and put customers on hold while flipping between systems. Everything they need will be summed up in one spot.