Measure and improve contact center agent experience in order to improve customer experience

Ian Jacobs
Ian Jacobs
Principal Analyst
April 20, 2015

Contact center agents have a huge impact on customer experience. Unhappy contact center agents equal unhappy customers. It's that simple. Contact center agents who feel disengaged, unhappy with their job or their lot in life, or are simply having a bad day can make a customer's contact center experience seem like root canal surgery. Given that, measuring how happy and engaged agents are and then improving the agent experience should be a priority for any company focused on driving improved customer experiences.

We’ve written before about the new breed of contact center agents and what types of tools they need to succeed at their job. Technology, however, represents just a piece of the puzzle. Firstly, not all contact center tools drive positive agent experience. For example, tools too focused on making the agent experience efficient risk allowing agents to just breeze through tasks and disengage their mind — and their judgment — from the processes of serving customers. Secondly, while tools are important, they are not the only issues that influence the agent experience.

Of course, improvement begins with measurement and benchmarking. Our research shows that, to date:

  • Agent surveys have not provided contact center pros the insight into agent experience they need. Using HR-style surveys turns up the usual array of woes: bad bosses, bad coworkers, or bad coffee. Contact center pros cannot tackle these issues, even though they may be important to the overall work environment. On the other hand, targeting surveys to technology issues provides actionable insights on how to improve the contact center experience.
  • Standard agent metrics often don’t give a clear picture of the agent experience. But contact center systems produce voluminous data. Within that giant haystack reside many valuable needles that contact center pros can analyze to create agent experience metrics tailored to a specific company's agent pool.

Our new research, “How to measure and improve the contact center agent experience,” dives into these issues more deeply. It provides contact center pros with methods for measuring the agent experience by asking the right questions and points to technologies that help improve that experience.

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