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Improving Agent Experience One Step at a Time

Agents are the most critical resource in a contact center and yet the hardest to retain, as evident in high attrition rates. As per a NICE inContact-sponsored ICMI survey of 179 service and support professionals across industries and predominantly in North America, 25% of agents indicated that they’ve left a company in the past 12 months; 20% of agents left the contact center but stayed within the company; and 18% of agents changed positions in the contact center. Investing in agent experience (AX) has risen as one of the top priorities contact center leaders are undertaking to engage, motivate, and, most importantly, retain agents.
AX Delivers Greater Customer Experience (CX)
It is unfortunate that many companies are spending time in CX initiatives without fixing the fundamental driver — AX. As per the NICE inContact-sponsored ICMI survey, one of the biggest motivations for agents is solving customer issues. However, one of their biggest frustrations is hard to use/ inadequate tools. In many cases, an agent literally struggles to get the right data about the customer — they login into at least four to 10 applications and handle about 1,100 screen switches within a day.
Giving an agent better information about a customer right at the point of interaction not only will drive AX with an easy-to-use toolset but also will help the agent solve the problem at hand while boosting CX at the same time. Not just that, it motivates agents who want to be customer heroes, solving the tougher customer issues and not the ones handled by IVRs. The case for CX and AX correlation is built! Happy agents make happy customers — and that is a great, virtuous cycle to be in.
AX Drives Costs Down
With improved AX, agents are better motivated and stay with a company longer, thereby reducing attrition. The cost of attrition definitely outweighs the investment in better onboarding and ongoing training, especially for better multi- and omnichannel interactions. And with an easy-to-use integrated toolset, agents can improve efficiency metrics like lower average handle time (AHT) and higher utilization rates, bringing down operational costs significantly.
Building AX Is an Iterative Process
Building AX is an iterative process involving contact center-wide initiatives to align people, process, and technology. It is not a big bang, one-time effort. It is a conscious effort to relook at existing processes, workflows, tools, training, organizational roles, and work through an improvement plan one step at a time.
NICE inContact and ICMI have come up with an AX maturity model that shows the building blocks required to move AX maturity, one step at a time. Learn more about this model and insights on moving AX by watching our webinar replay on “Improving Agent Experience, One Step at a Time.”