When we hear the word “productivity”, we often picture the volume of work a contact center agent can get done in their day. This may have been a good indicator of success a few decades ago, but today’s experts agree that delivering a quality customer experience carries more weight than the amount of time spent on the phone.
This means our definition of agent productivity needs a bit of an update. Agent productivity shouldn’t solely be based on the output of an agent – rather, it should consider the overall experience during each customer interaction. As the saying goes: it’s about quality not quantity.
Agent productivity can be influenced in a number of ways, from employee engagement programs to supplementary training to adopting the right contact center tools to help them perform at their best. Learn how you can better your team performance below…
Key Performance Indicators for Agent Productivity
Measuring the authenticity and thoroughness of an agent’s customer interactions isn’t as tricky as you think. Best practice is to keep an eye on a few main productivity metrics, including:
Percentage of calls transferred.
When an agent can manage calls without transferring them to different departments, they’re demonstrating an in-depth understanding of the product or service they’re assisting customers with—a perfect indication of impressive agent productivity.
Average Handle Time (AHT).
It’s important to find a sweet spot for your average call handle time. Though a low average time can indicate efficient and fast call resolution, it can also signify incomplete or insufficient customer interactions.
An average handle time that’s too high may indicate poor service or product knowledge, and long call times may cause customers to become frustrated. Be sure to monitor customer service satisfaction (CSat) survey scores alongside AHT to understand if an agent’s call times are leading to successful customer interactions.
If an agent has a high CSat score, it means customers are appreciating their interactions and getting the support they need quickly and efficiently. Similarly, Net Promoter Scores (NPS) can indicate how successful your customer satisfaction efforts are. If you’re not already conducting regular customer surveys, it’s time to get started.
DID YOU KNOW?
Fonolo has a handy playbook with tips on how to improve your CSat score. Read it here!
5 Ways to Help Agents Stay Productive
Impressive agent productivity leads to better customer service which creates loyal clients who are sure to spread the word to their networks. Now that you know how to measure agent productivity, here are 5 ways you can work towards improving agent productivity in your contact center:
Give agents autonomy throughout their workday.
A 2017 Harvard Business Review study found that high-trust organizations reported productivity levels about 50% higher than their low-trust counterparts. The more freedom agents have, the more empowered they’ll be to resolve calls without transferring. Plus, if you allow agents some flexibility during their day and provide downtime for self-learning, it’ll give them the opportunity to become better versed on your call centers products or services, leading to more effective customer interactions.
Keep all the information agents need in one place.
From training resources to product guides and tech tutorials, ensure all the information your agents need to access at a moment’s notice lives in an easily accessible online hub. Cloud technology ensures that even remote agents can access the knowledge they need on demand.
Increase agent engagement through training, check-ins, goal setting, and incentives.
Training shouldn’t just be a one-and-done endeavor—ongoing training opportunities for established agents are equally as important as onboarding for newbies. Allowing agents to expand their knowledge base not only helps them be more efficient during customer interactions, but it also keeps them engaged with their work, leading to improved productivity.
Book bi-weekly or monthly check-ins with all your agents and keep them striving to meet goals they set individually and as a team. Incentivize goal setting by offering prizes to successful team members and be sure to plan events that encourage team building.
Equip your contact center with the right technology
If agents become overwhelmed by high call volumes, this can easily lead to burnout which reduces productivity overtime. The best offence is a great defense when it comes to call spikes, and a great defense includes Voice Call Backs and Conversation Scheduling to empower your customers to opt for a call back when the queues are overwhelming. Customer wait times are reduced and agents have some time to catch their breath—everyone wins!
Create an omni-channel experience for customers
A great way to optimize your agents’ time is by having them use multiple touchpoints with customers. This might include checking online chats and social media platforms throughout the day, in between calls. Chatting with customers in real-time across a variety of platforms provides a convenient experience for customers and helps agents to spend more time working directly with customers, keeping them engaged in productive work throughout the day and reducing idle time.