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Add This Missing Ingredient to Your Agent Experience Initiatives
“Knowledge Management (KM) is the #1 technology for enhancing the three main customer service perspectives of operational performance, customer experience, and employee experience.” - Gartner, September 2021.
When Gartner talks about “employee experience” in the context of customer service, it is mainly about the experience of customer-facing agents. We wanted to hear about agent experiences and knowledge from the horse’s mouth—the agents themselves—and commissioned a survey, focused exclusively on them.
Agent Experience Woes
The survey was conducted by BenchmarkPortal on our behalf in May 2022 and included US-based agents across multiple industries, including the government sector. 63% of agents said customer queries are getting more complex. This data isn’t surprising.
As routine customer queries get increasingly handled by automated self-service, contact center agents are bound to get more complex queries. The worrying finding from the survey is that 33% of agents have no choice but to resort to Neanderthal ways such as poring through documents or walking over to the next cube for answers when an irate customer is on the line. Another 31% have no knowledge tools to guide them through customer conversations. Overall, 64% without any knowledge tools to guide them.
No wonder Gartner says 84% of agents hate their desktop tools and warns that the underemphasis on KM is a common mistake in customer and employee experience initiatives.
Modern KM: The Essential Approach to Improving the Agent Experience
It’s a no-brainer to take a knowledge-first approach to customer service and engagement for various reasons. Among them are:
- Over 75% of contact center agents are still fully or partially remote, and walking over to the next cube for answers isn’t even an option for most agents
- Traditional training and onboarding programs have been disrupted heavily by the pandemic.
- On average, the human brain retains only about 2%-3% of new information we learn a month later. Contact centers cannot keep agents on a perpetual training treadmill. This area is where knowledge-enabled conversational guidance can help.
- Millennial and Gen Z agents, who constitute most of the agent workforce today, have an exceedingly small attention span. They prefer on-the-job training with GPS-like navigational help and hate traditional training programs. Knowledge guidance is a must-have for this demographic group.
From Agent Experience Woes to Agent Wellness
Here are real-life results from our blue-chip clientele, powered by our knowledge and AI guidance tool:
- Telco giant achieved 30% improvement in Net Promoter Score, 37% improvement in First-Contact Resolution, and 50% improvement in agent speed-to-competency across 10,000 contact center agents and over 600 retail stores while enabling any agent to handle any call.
- Premier health insurance firm reduced agent training time for handling complex health insurance queries by 33% even as its agents—over 2,000 of them—had to go remote overnight due to COVID-19 lockdowns.
- Mammoth federal government agency deflected up to 70% of incoming calls to virtual assistance, reduced case handling time by 25%, and improved form-filling with granular knowledge guidance embedded within forms. No wonder these powerful capabilities elevated their agent engagement to 92% versus their industry benchmark of 67%.
- A global bank reduced training time by 60%, improved FCR by 36%, and NPS by 10 points.
- A leading telco reduced unwarranted handset exchanges and returns by 38% through better resolution of customer issues by contact center agents and on the website.
These savvy clients took a knowledge-first approach to their agent experience initiatives and their results have been nothing short of transformational! Want to join this club? Try out our zero-risk knowledge pilot with free guidance to success.
Editorial Note: This content was originally published on July 18, 2022.