Published: May 21, 2014 | Comments
In our contact center, all of our agents are identical. They all type fast and have the ability to handle eight chats at once -- all while building deep emotional connections with each and every customer they speak to. By the way, our team members can all monitor social media in their sleep and every tweet results in at least ten retweets.
Detect a hint of sarcasm there? I hope you did, because I laid it on pretty thick. The fact of the matter is that each contact center agent has strengths and qualities that make them unique. I want to take a few moments to show how you can use this to your advantage in offering multichannel support.
Allow me to first introduce you to three real-life agents in my contact center.
Derrick - The Supersonic Typist
Derrick can type 120 words per minute with amazing accuracy. So when I give him the opportunity to focus on chats and email, he has the ability to complete a ton of work, at very high quality.
Darren - The Socialite
Darren is a star at connecting with people. Whereas I struggle to say anything fun or catchy in 140 characters, that kind of stuff just flows from Darren. Why? He's simply social, both online and in person, and the ability to engage our customers in a fun way comes naturally to him.
Grace - The Positive Communicator
Grace is extremely comfortable talking to people, and she does it with such positivity and sincerity that customers can’t help but bare their souls to her. She also has the ability to explain difficult concepts to customers in a way they can understand. It's not uncommon to walk by Grace's desk and hear her talking about real life issues with a customer in a way that brightens their day.
These are just a few of the many agents in our contact center with unique skills. At Phone.com, we don't hire customer service clones. Instead, we hire kind, likeable people with excellent communication skills and a knack for solving problems, and then we take the time to get to know them. Tools like Strengths Finder 2.0 are invaluable for understanding your team on a deeper level, and taking the time to nurture your agents as people lets them know that they are valued and important.
In a contact center environment where agents support customers over multiple channels it may not always be possible or wise to allow agents to focus exclusively on one channel. However, as you understand the strengths each team member brings, you may find that allowing people to focus on areas where they excel boosts engagement and increases the quality of the customer service you provide over each channel.