A New Year Doesn’t Require a New Agent Churn Cycle
Jeff Gallino, CTO and Founder of CallMiner
Data indicates that January and February are the most popular months for employees to leave their jobs. For contact centers, where turnover rates are already between 30-45%, this potential increase in agent churn doesn’t exactly say, “Happy New Year!” Luckily, AI-powered speech analytics can help prevent churn during the annual season of turnover by giving agents what they need: actionable analytics, comprehensive feedback and a tool that leads to success.
Analytics That Measure Up
Contact centers have emerged as a strategic asset for companies, but they are often only as good as the agents behind them. Being able to analyze and report on key contact center data provides actionable insights that can make all the difference in agent performance. Enter speech analytics. The technology takes the unstructured data from customer interactions and turns it into intelligence that can be searched and analyzed. It uses categorization and automatic scoring to measure performance across all communication methods, including calls, emails and chats, to reveal which agents are performing well, which are falling behind, and which are at risk for churn.
The contact center is constantly evolving, and agents need to keep up. Organizations need continual training and support programs that teach best practices based on real, up-to-date customer interactions and agent experiences. Speech analytics grades these exchanges and provides insights directly to agents, allowing them to reflect on their performance in real-time. This gives agents the ability to immediately see the impact of behavioral changes and strengthens their motivation to continue improving.
Agents aren’t one size fits all, so why are their training methods? In place of legacy programs, speech analytics offers each employee a personalized plan and modifiable alerts in accordance with business initiatives. This individualized approach shows agents that they are more than just a number and that the company is invested in their future. By implementing the right analytics, companies can empower their employees, leading to better performance, increased job satisfaction and stronger commitment to the organization.
Feedback You Can Trust
Your worst five minutes shouldn’t define your career. But sometimes it does in the call center – especially when organizations rely on traditional feedback methods, which are not only slow and untimely , but also unfair and subjective due to random or small sample-based analysis. A call center supervisor may review five calls per agent per month even though that same agent may have handled a thousand interactions during that same time frame.
Speech analytics provides an accurate portrayal of an agent’s performance by evaluating 100% of their engagements with customers. It also removes any delays associated with traditional processes or intermediate evaluators. In turn, agents receive objective, current feedback that can be immediately applied to improve performance.
It’s also important that feedback be delivered in a way that is easily understood by agents. One emerging practice is sharing critiques through gaming concepts or competition measuring peer-to-peer performance. This moves away from driving agents to a target performance metric and instead motivates them by sharing how they rank amongst their colleagues. With this information, agents strive to be the best within their group instead of just doing enough to meet their targets.
Recognizing agents for their efforts and guiding them on how to improve makes them feel appreciated and more likely to stick around.
The Right Tool for the Job
In just one day, agents use an average of 8.2 different systems when interacting with customers and have 23 colleague interactions while resolving customer issues. With numbers like these, it’s not surprising to see that only 16% of agents say their company’s tools actually help them handle customer issues and only 12% agree that they simplify their day-to-day work. Employers can’t afford to compromise on the right agent resources as doing so leads to stress and poor execution.
Speech and interaction analytics provides one technology for multiple solutions. It identifies things like words, context and acoustics to guide agents to the appropriate action based on a customer’s behavior. It can reveal reasons behind long call times, frequent holds or repeat contacts. It can prompt agents to make a specific offer, upsell where applicable, redirect the call and more. This access to information provides critical support to agents, giving them the resources to perform their job better. When it comes to voice of the employee, investing in the right technology pays off and gives agents the tools to make clear, value-driven decisions.
Strong agent performance leads to improved customer satisfaction, better bottom-line results, and higher employee retention rates. Agent turnover causes unnecessary, expensive cost due to the time and resources required to hire and train another employee. Keep your agents around by keeping them happy and set up for success with the right technology.