Workforce Optimization Featured Article

Best Practices and Tools for Engaging Customer Service Agents

December 29, 2016

Customer service is the frontline at any organization, and naturally, having enthusiastic and engaged agents is directly proportionate to business reputation and success. Agent engagement and enthusiasm are not necessarily organic properties, though, and must be developed and cultivated through a combination of best practices and a positive and engaging work environment.

Fostering and promoting a positive and engaging work environment for agents takes time and requires some strategizing to achieve success. NICE Systems (News - Alert), a company that specializes in perfecting customer service and promoting agent engagement, recently published a whitepaper outlining the top strategies and applications companies can use to better engage their agents.

The company believes in a 14-step employee lifecycle that may be applied to all employees, but certainly sales and contact center agents, to achieve workforce optimization and maximum engagement. The cycle includes clear definition of the job description at the onset of the hiring process, a thorough recruitment process to match candidate skills and mindset to the job description, followed by an extensive interview process. The next steps are fairly straightforward, including hiring, training and on-boarding employees to transition them into their new work environments.

Additional steps include monitoring the new agent’s performance, along with coaching to offer positive feedback and tips on how performance may be improved. Agents must also be evaluated on their performance and output, rewarded appropriately and surveyed to ensure they are happy with their work environments and given an opportunity to suggest changes and improvements. Finally, that information may be used to help fine-tune the agent’s work environment and encourage them to remain engaged and positive. And a good performance may also be rewarded with a promotion and the opportunity to advance within the organization.

There are, of course, a number of tools that may be used to help facilitate and manage this critical employee lifecycle and encourage agent engagement. These include QA and analytics applications, coaching and feedback delivered via software solutions and incentive management tools in which financial rewards are provided based on performance. Other valuable tools include enterprise feedback management and surveying to determine customer satisfaction, workforce management solutions and contact center performance management.

For additional information on the best ways to engage agents and foster positivity, download the NICE whitepaper.

Edited by Maurice Nagle
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