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Improve Agent Engagement with Contact Center Automation

Improving employee engagement and empowerment is a top priority for centers in 2019, according to a recent Contact Center Pipeline survey. Center leaders know that employee engagement and lack thereof is directly correlated to workforce productivity, attrition rates, and financial returns. However, the very nature of today’s contact center landscape presents challenges when working in new agent engagement initiatives. Without making a change, the success and growth of their centers are at risk.

Contact center automation arms center leaders with the tools necessary to improve agent satisfaction and performance. Here are four ways automation can help increase agent engagement in your center. 

boost call center agent engagement

20% of turnover happens within the first 45 days of employment 1

Onboarding is a critical stage of agent development. You can use contact center automation to deliver targeted training based on employee nesting periods. You can create rules to send training more frequently to agents in the first 30 days and gradually taper off as they transition through each period. The types of content, communication, and training can also be customized during each 30-day transition period. Using automation to deliver the training also helps agents become acclimated to how communications and training will be delivered while learning how to handle customer inquiries.

Another point to consider during the onboarding process is to clearly explain why the information presented is beneficial to the organization, their team, customers and the agents themselves.

Agents will be more engaged and committed to learning when they understand the reason why. When using contact center automation, you can ensure training sessions are delivered regularly and consistently include an explanation of the value.

18.7% of managers believe limited growth potential is the leading cause of agent turnover 4

You can show agents a clear career path. When leveraging automation to consistently coach and train agents, you have unlimited potential to show agents how they can grow within your company. The time saved by leveraging idle time for training means agents can complete the core training needed to help them perform well at their jobs. You can also include career coaching and self-study sessions where they can learn about other departments. This helps agents build their skill set and sets them up for success as they move forward in their careers – potentially within your organization.

40% of Americans would put more effort into their jobs if they received recognition more often 2

Contact center automation offers new innovative ways to recognize agents. For example, you can show high performers that you value their dedication by delivering a surprise break - when center conditions allow. Since this break is delivered during available time, it does not impact shrinkage, and the value to the agent is truly priceless. Employees like to be recognized for their hard work. With this simple act of appreciation, you easily boost productivity and morale.

You can also deliver communications to the entire team that calls out top achievers based on metrics such as first call resolution (FCR), average speed of answer (ASA), customer satisfaction scores, etc. This is a great way to show employees you recognize their efforts and value their contribution to the company.

34% of agents want a more flexible working environment 3

Schedule control, flexibility, and simplicity are all important to today’s workforce. You can provide your agents with the flexibility they want and deserve with a mobile app that allows for easier communication. Agents can use the app to request schedule adjustments, time off, accept overtime offers as well as communicate with the supervisors and workforce management team. For example, if an agent has a flat tire, they can use the app to quickly send a message that they will be late. There’s no longer a need for back and forth emails and phone calls.

Oftentimes, workforce managers are manually making staffing adjustments as volume fluctuates. This can be inefficient, time consuming and lead to missed opportunities to send agents home early. Contact center automation monitors conditions in real time and delivers VTO/VOT offers directly to agents. The burden is lifted off workforce managers and agents receive early release or overtime offers when volume allows.

Automation can also help agents stay on schedule and improve key performance metrics. Many enterprise contact centers are using automation to improve agent engagement, increase productivity, reduce turnover and achieve greater financial returns. The result is greater overall success throughout the entire organization and a return on investment that has far outweighed other investments. 

O.C. Tanner (1)
Harvard Business Review (2)
Calabrio (3)
ICMI (4)

Photo via bernardbodo (adobestock)