If you talk to any workplace psychologist worth their salt they will tell you that just about anyone in the workforce can and will improve their performance level when presented with challenges, for example a new technology to master. The key to success is clearly the extent of the challenge. Too much and you may get burnout. Too little and you may have a disappearing workforce, as they seek more of a challenge somewhere else.
What does this have to do with agents in call centers? Well many fall into the second category we have just described. Too little challenge and variety and agents move on. And call centers not only lose experience but incur huge costs as they seek out new agents to train up.
The new world of multimedia brings huge new challenges and opportunities for agents. Rather than sitting in a silo handling the same type of communication with people they don’t relate to, properly integrated systems allow agents to upskill themselves by mastering many related technologies – viz:- social media, voice, sms, chat, email and video. Not only do their jobs get to be more interesting, but it allows agents to engage in a more meaningful way with customers and prospects.
Picture it! You are on a call with a call center looking for information. You are busy (always) and about to move out of voice contact. But you want a very quick reply. “Sir, I can provide your information by sms or email. Which would you prefer?”
Ain’t that just great. “Yes, please” you can hear yourself saying, reminding yourself that this is a company you want to do business with again. Happy customer, and happy agent who has made a successful call, using some of the new skills he has picked up in his multimedia contact center.
But it’s more than that. What about building on such a good call and making sure that the agent adds this customer to his portfolio of people to look after? A bit like a business broker. People buy from people, especially those they get on with. So use the opportunities that technology provides to allow individual agents to forge great relationships with their own customers.
It’s not something you hear talked about a lot, but if you want happy and productive agents, it has a lot to commend it!