What is an Agent?

Also called customer service representatives, among other titles, an agent is a person that works in a physical or virtual contact center. An agent's primary duty is to interact with customers in order to assist them with whatever they need from an organization. This often means helping them place an order or assisting with issues related to products and services. Agents can interact with customers in numerous ways, including phone, chat, email, and social media. Agents sometimes specialize in one type of media, but there are those who handle multiple channels, for example phone and chat.

Agents are frequently the only human contact a customer has with a business. By default, they are brand ambassadors and play a crucial role in influencing the customer experience. Because of this they need to be well screened, trained and managed and they need to have good tools available to them at their desk. Examples of these tools include an intuitive, easy-to-use agent interface for contact handling, customer relationship management (CRM) applications, knowledge bases and performance reports.

An agent typically undergoes training in both hard and soft skills upon being hired, and then periodically after that as the need arises. Agents are usually assigned to a team that is managed by a supervisor whose duties include monitoring, coaching and developing the agents. A quality assurance team may review and evaluate agents' interactions based on defined criteria and provide the results to supervisors for further action.

Customer satisfaction is tightly tied to how well agents perform. Organizations that focus on developing and supporting their agents are one step ahead in winning in the experience economy.

How NICE Can Help

NICE CXone is the market leading call center software in use by thousands of customers of all sizes with more than three hundred thousand agents around the world to help them consistently deliver exceptional customer experiences. Our solutions include tools that help train, manage and motivate contact center agents. CXone is a cloud native, unified suite of applications designed to help a company holistically run its call (or contact) center operations. CXone includes:

A unified agent desktop, MAX – My Agent eXperience. MAX is a digital-first, omnichannel agent interface designed for the streamlined handling of contact center interactions, regardless of channel. With MAX, your agents are ready to tackle their roughest days and most complex customer interactions with ease.

Omnichannel Routing – routing and interaction management that empowers agents to positively and productively interact with customers in digital and voice channels. These solutions include an automatic call distributor (ACD), interactive voice response (IVR), interaction channel support and proactive outbound dialer.

Workforce Optimization – unlocks the potential of your team by inspiring employees' self-improvement, amplifying quality management efforts to enhance customer experience and reducing labor waste. These solutions include workforce management (WFM), quality management (QM), recording, and performance management (PM).

Automation & Artificial Intelligence (AI) – leading-edge, intuitive technology that eliminates mundane tasks and speeds resolutions of customer issues for better business outcomes. It provides self-service, agent-assisted and fully automated alerts and actions.

CXone also includes pre-defined CRM integrations and UCaaS integrations with most leading solutions on the market. These integrations provide a holistic call center software solution capable of elevating customer experiences for companies of all sizes.