Danger #3: Unproductive Agents
Updated: May 23, 2019
By Licia Wolf
Customer service agents in public utility companies are a crucial part of the customer service experience. Agents’ ability to communicate and resolve customer issues is a core function of their job, and maintaining productivity is crucial to achieving goals and delivering high-quality service. When dispatch and customer service agents are not meeting goals and productivity falls, company revenue and operations can suffer. Reviewing agent performance to uncover issues and providing the right training can correct unproductive work habits and behavior. Tracking and improving agents’ productivity can be readily accomplished with interaction recording and analysis.
Keeping Agents Productive
Promoting productivity in the contact or dispatch center can be accomplished by using a call recording and monitoring system that captures customer interactions and helps agents learn, grow, and develop a sense of accomplishment. This post examines three strategies that can boost agent productivity and promote best practices.
A pre-written script can help guide the agent in preferred responses. A good customer service script will provide the agent with answers to commonly asked questions and responses to issues while they are engaged with a customer. Having the script in front of them can reduce time spent searching or asking a manager for answers. The customers will appreciate the efficiency, and more time will be available for the agent to help others. Listening to recorded calls is useful in writing a good script because real-life examples can be used and they can generate ideas for realistic scenarios.
By capturing images of the agent’s screen with the interactions, supervisors can review which applications the agent was using, and how they were being used. If the agent is found to be using an application to retrieve information in an inefficient manner, or is using an inappropriate one that wastes time, the supervisor can coach the agent on the best application and apply training on its use. This is a valuable method to improve process efficiency and workflow.
Coaching or mentoring by peers in the contact center has proven to be a highly effective way to train newer agents, as well as retrain experienced ones. Typically, experienced agents that have been selected by management coach less experienced agents, which can involve listening to and evaluating recorded calls.
Recorded interactions of peers can be used as examples - good or bad – to help train agents. The ability to listen to both sides of the calls helps to understand both agent and customer perspectives, and to teach correct responses. In addition, activities supporting the calls can be learned and practiced, such as looking up information for the customer.
This method works well because both mentor and protégé usually enjoy the training. There is a positive social aspect which results in increased morale and motivation, as well as a sense of accomplishment for both the trainer and the trainee. Interaction playback with peer mentoring usually produces well-trained agents faster than other methods, resulting in more productive agents in less time.
We would love to hear your thoughts on how call recording can improve productivity in public utilities contact centers. Share with us on social media.
About the author - Licia Wolf is the Marketing and Communications Manager at HigherGround. She holds a Ph.D., and a professional background in electronics, internet marketing, and print/imaging technology. Click here for more information on Licia and the rest of the HigherGround team.
HigherGround, Inc. provides best-in-class, reliable data capture and interaction storage solutions that enable clients to easily retrieve critical information. Our interaction recording and incident reconstruction solutions transform data into actionable intelligence, allowing optimization of operations, enhanced performance, and cost reduction.