Every moment matters in a contact centre.
That's why great Agent Experience matters, too.
Introducing Agent Experience (AX): the better way to build long-lasting customer relationships.
Happy agents make happy customers
When it comes to service and support, customer experience comes down to Agent Experience.
Customer service has evolved.
The contact centre needs to catch up.
Customer service used to be fairly straightforward. If a customer had a question, they called up for help.
And life for a contact centre agent was just as simple. After all, there were only a handful of channels for customers to contact you through.
Now, customers (rightly) expect to contact businesses through whichever channels best suit them, and get empathetic, expert advice every time.
But with enquiries coming in from every angle, contact centre agents are more stretched than ever. They’re being pulled in multiple directions and dealing with complex and often unpredictable customer journeys.
Which makes delivering empathetic, expert customer service super challenging.
But thankfully, there’s a simple way to solve this problem…
And it looks a bit like this...
Imagine if no matter the channel and no matter the query, your customers could get the service and support they need. Every time.
Wondering if something’s in stock? A chatbot can answer that.
Got something more complex and/or emotional to discuss? An agent is ready and prepared to help.
This kind of seamless, streamlined service makes your agents happy – and your customers even happier.
But these days, the stakes are higher than ever. More channels and more interactions mean there are more ways to influence how your customers feel about you…
Because every micro-moment in the customer service journey matters.
And when you look after every moment, the long-term customer relationships look after themselves.
But here’s the thing: customer loyalty is hard to build and super easy to lose.
Think of it this way. Each positive moment is a grain of sand in the customer relationship sandcastle you’re building – and one rogue beachball of bad service can flatten the whole thing in seconds.
So, how do you ensure your contact centre can step up for every micro-moment, when there are so many channels, so many customers, and so many moments?
The secret is Agent Experience.
What is Agent Experience?
It’s as simple as it sounds.
Agent Experience (AX) is to your contact centre agents what CX is to your customers: a measure of how happy they are with your business, and how well you’re serving them.
When you give your agents all the tools they need to deliver exceptional customer service – that’s good AX.
When chatbots take care of simple and repetitive requests, freeing your people to focus on the most important interactions – that’s good AX.
When you empower your agents to be their helpful, empathetic, human selves (whether they’re in the office or at home) – that’s good AX
Because the best AX means getting the balance right between technology and people: combining best-practice automation and AI with empowered and empathetic agents.
And here’s the cool thing: the better your AX, the bigger the impact on your CX.
But before you can achieve good AX, you need to overcome two big challenges. (Ironically, both created by solutions designed to improve CX).
Challenge #1: Too many channels, too little orchestration
Leading brands have set a high bar for customer expectations by opening up a wide range of customer service channels.
Now, that should be great news for customers. But the problem is it’s hard work for agents.
The more channels there are to knit together, monitor and serve, the higher the potential for back-end chaos and poor frontline service.
When channels aren’t connected to each other, customer insights get stuck in silos where agents can’t use them. And customers get stuck in a loop where they have to repeat themselves over and over again.
To be truly omnichannel, contact centres can’t simply add new channels without thinking about how those channels will connect and work together.
Every channel needs to be orchestrated so both customers and agents can move freely between them.
Challenge #2: Misjudging the people/technology balance
It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking technology alone can fix your customer service problems. But technology can only deliver results when combined with empowered people and the right processes.
The desire to digitise and augment every step of the customer journey means agents often get stuck with a bunch of different systems and applications to search through right when customers need them most.
Instead of listening to and helping their customers, these agents end up spending much of their time toggling through different systems to find the information they need.
To create truly seamless customer journeys, brands must invest in tech that helps their agents do what they do best, better. It should make customer data easily accessible, and harness AI to anticipate customer needs and point agents to relevant information (when needed).
The goal is to strike the right balance between human expertise and efficient AI and automation.
The most effective way to solve these two challenges is to focus not on them but beyond them – on the very thing they’re stifling: your Agent Experience.
Think of it like walking on a tightrope.
Spend too much time looking down at one side (adding more people) or the other side (adding more technology), and you’re headed for a fall. But pick a point straight ahead to focus on (Agent Experience), and you’ll make it.
The impact of Agent Experience
With improved Agent Experience, your agents can deliver highly personalised, empathetic service at scale and in real-time – whether they’re working from home or the office.
They can take calls, respond to web chat messages, and reply to emails with all the information they need to hand. (That’s right: no more toggling between a bunch of different systems and screens.)
And they can focus on the complex issues that require their individual expertise and empathy to resolve, while AI-powered chatbots and self-service channels handle the rest.
AX helps you:
Overcome these challenges...
- You’ve introduced a range of channels (including self-service) and now have too many software programs to maintain.
- You’re seeing more agents leave because they find the job too disempowering and disheartening.
- You’re having to onboard and train agents remotely and need a reliable, easy way to do it.
- You need to meet new KPIs set by your business leaders.
- Your agents have to constantly move between channels to get a 360-degree view of customer interactions.
- You need simpler hand-offs between self-service channels and agents.
And achieve these goals...
- You know customer lifetime value is linked to the customer service and contact centre experience – and you want to prove it.
- You want to raise the contact centre’s profile in the business, empowering it to take on a more strategic role.
- You want to move from reacting to customer enquiries to more proactive work.
For your agents
- A platform that helps them do their jobs better.
- Scope to move beyond reactive customer support towards more specialist, high-value tasks.
- Less stress, better mental health, and more reason to stay at your business.
For your customers
- A fast, seamless experience (with a make-your-day-brighter personal touch).
- Help when they need it, from an agent with the right expertise, via the channel they prefer.
- A personalised service based on all their past interactions.
For your contact centre and business
- A more active, strategic, revenue-driving role for the contact centre (rather than just reacting to problems).
- Hitting customer service goals every time – whether that’s NPS, CSAT, FTR, or a combination of everything.
This all sounds pretty good, right?
But you’ve been promised quick fixes here and guaranteed results there... and they’ve never materialised.
So, let’s take a proper look at how we can improve your Agent Experience.
Improve your Agent Experience with Puzzel
To improve your Agent Experience, you need to support your teams in three ways:
You can tick all three boxes with our cloud-based Customer Service Platform.
(It’s basically AX in a box: batteries not included.)
Using our platform, your agents can connect with customers anytime, anywhere, on any device, through any channel – all on one simple, easy-to-use interface.
The Puzzel platform offers:.
Meet your customers on the channels they prefer, whether that’s via voice, email, web chat, social, video or SMS.
Intelligent skills-based routing and ticketing ensures every enquiry is assigned to the right agent – and no contextual information is lost along the way.
Quick set up:
Our platform integrates with your existing IT environment with minimal disruption.
Take a look at how AX works in the real world
Capital City College Group Case Study
Capital City College Group adopts Puzzel for multi-brand contact centre. Cloud contact centre solution empowers staff to manage approximately 32,000 contacts during the main student recruitment period.
Clarion Housing Case Study
Web Chat capabilities from Puzzel helps build multi-channel contact centre and support digital transformation for one of England’s largest housing associations.
Affinity Water Case Study
Affinity Water enhances customer experience with cloud-based call centre services from Puzzel.
Learn more about our award-winning platformLearn more
Dig a bit deeper into different aspects
of Agent Experience
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So, we've talked the talk – now it's time to walk the walk. In this blog, you'll move from theory to action with our three step guide to improving your AX. We know this is where stuff gets tough, so we’re digging into all the details. (And offering a helping hand.)Read more
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