Are you looking for ways to improve your call center agents’ performance? If so, you’re in the right place. We share five areas of improvement that can help your contact center agents provide better customer service. We’ll also take a look at some helpful tips for training your call center agents.

5 areas of improvement for call center agents:

Contact center agents are the front line of customer service for many businesses. They are responsible for handling customer inquiries, complaints, and requests. To be successful, contact center agents must have excellent communication skills and be able to effectively handle difficult customer situations. Let’s dive into ways that you can help improve your contact center agents’ performance.

Utilize the right tools

The first step in providing great customer service is utilizing the right tools. Interactive voice response (IVR) systems are used by call centers to route calls to the appropriate agent. IVR systems can be very helpful in reducing call wait times and improving customer satisfaction. By using IVR, your call center agents can focus on more complex tasks, such as resolving customer issues. Having a well-curated menu means your customers arrive at a solution more quickly and agents are free to work with more complicated issues.

There are many benefits of using IVR, such as: 

  • Reducing the number of customer service calls
  • Freeing up your call center agents’ time
  • Improving customer satisfaction

If you’re not using IVR, now is the time to start. Your customers will thank you for it.

Streamline customer support

Call center agents often have to juggle multiple tasks at the same time, so they have to be able to prioritize and manage their time effectively. You can help them manage their time better by eliminating avoidable calls coming into your contact center.

Self-service options are not only helpful for your customers, but they also help reduce the number of calls that come into your call center. This means your agents can spend more time on complex tasks and provide a better customer experience. 

Here are some self-service options you can implement: 

  • A knowledge base or FAQs page
  • An automated chatbot
  • Automatic callbacks

By streamlining customer support, you can help your call center agents be more efficient and provide a better overall experience for your customers. 

Offer training

It’s important to provide your call centers agents with top-notch training. Especially for new agents. Make sure your training program is comprehensive. It should include general customer service best practices and tips as well as company-specific training on your mission, products, and/or services. 

Additionally, you should provide on-going training opportunities for your agents to stay sharp and up-to-date on the latest company news, product changes, or industry trends. 

Organize regular training focused on the most common problems that agents face at your company, like talking with angry or frustrated customers, to make sure that agents continuously develop their skills.

Customer service can be a demanding job, so it’s important that your agents have the tools and training they need to succeed.

Be transparent with your metrics

How do you know which agents are the most productive and effective without the right data? The first step is ensuring you have the software in place to track the most useful metrics. Second, share which metrics your tracking with your agents and why. They can’t improve if they don’t know what’s being measured.

Some of the most important contact center metrics to track include: 

  • First call resolution rate 
  • Abandonment rate 
  • Average handle time 
  • Net promoter score
  • Customer satisfaction score 
  • Cost per contact 

Tracking these metrics will give you a good overview of how your agents are performing and where there might be areas for improvement. 

Another note on metrics: When looking for the right contact center software for your business, make sure the solution you go with offers real-time data visualization that you can use to uncover problems that hinder agent performance. Call center managers should then review the data regularly and make necessary changes. 

Reward successful agents

It’s important to encourage and motivate your agents to do their best work. One way to do this is by rewarding successful agents. This could be in the form of monetary bonuses, gift cards, paid time off, or simply public recognition.

Recognizing and rewarding your agents for a job well done will not only help them feel appreciated, but it will also motivate them to continue providing excellent customer service.

If you want to help your agents be more efficient, make sure you’re fostering a work environment in which your agents enjoy being. After all, a happy employee is a productive employee.

Bonus tip: Reassess agent scripts

Does your contact center feature stale and boring agent scripts? In some cases, traditional contact center scripts might be necessary. But in most cases, they can actually do more harm than good.

Agent scripts often lead to longer handle times and a less personalized experience for customers. If you use them, make sure they’re flexible enough to allow for some personalization.

The goal is to make sure your agents sound natural on calls and are able to build a rapport with customers. People do business with people they know, like, and trust. Enlist your more seasoned agents to help with the process of reviewing and refining scripts. They’re usually the ones interacting with customers the most.

There are many other areas of improvement for call center agents, but these five are a great place to start. By utilizing the right tools, streamlining customer support, offering consistent training, being transparent with your metrics, and rewarding successful agents, you can help improve your call center agents’ performance and provide better customer service. 

NICE’s AI-powered contact center solutions enable agents to provide best in class customer service. Our reliable, easy-to-use technology fuels effective engagement strategies across customer channels to drive performance in your contact center. With 20 years of pure cloud expertise, NICE is at the forefront of cloud contact center innovation.