Contact Center Agents and the Importance of Engagement

Achieving customer satisfaction by providing an enhanced customer experience is one of the main goals of the contact center and is an important metric by which the center’s performance is measured. A critical component of achieving this goal is the highly engaged and motivated contact center agent. Workforce engagement management and gamification are applications that can be used to produce high-caliber, highly engaged agents who can generate the quality customer experiences that will increase customer satisfaction and retention.

The Importance of Engagement

Agent engagement is an aspect of the workplace that can impact almost every aspect of a contact center, negatively or positively. Contact center leaders should recognize that engaging their agents so that they feel valued and that their contributions are appreciated is just good business sense. For example:

  • Agents who are more engaged in the workplace tend to be happy and more likely to create happy customers, resulting in higher customer retention. This is beneficial to contact centers, as Gartner reports that a mere 5 percent increase in customer retention is able to increase profits by 25 to 125 percent.
  • Lower attrition rates are another advantage of engaged agents, as they are more likely to enjoy their work, making them less likely to leave the center. Reduced turnover among means lower costs related to the recruitment and training of new employees.
The Shift to Workplace Engagement Management

Workplace engagement management, or WEM, focuses on the contact center agent experience. WEM provides contact center leaders or managers with the mechanisms to address:

  • Time management
  • Recognition and metric
  • Task management
  • Performance assessment and improvement
  • Recruitment
  • Onboarding

Feedback is an important feature of WEM. Thanks to modern data analytics tools, contact center leaders are able to provide agents with timely and relevant feedback that gives them valuable insights into their performances. Agents are able to take responsibility for the steps they take to improve their work performance. Leaders are also able to identify problematic issues and address them before they begin to negatively impact the customer experience.

Motivation Through Gamification 

Contact center leaders can also provide better management for their agents by encouraging the behaviors that correlate to improved customer service satisfaction and quality. Gamification is a practice that is founded on the principles behind the behavioral science and art of gaming; it applies game mechanics to non-game situations to generate loyalty and highly effective actions. Recognition, collaboration, incentives or competition encourage agents to put forth their best efforts for the contact center.

Agents are given objectives to reach and real-time feedback on their performance that details their improvements and progress. Once certain milestones are achieved, agents are given rewards. The techniques and tactics of gamification can have significant impacts on situations in which:

  • Turnover rates are extremely high and agents are demonstrating signs of burnout
  • There has been a recent increase in complaints from customers regarding inadequately trained or indifferent agents
  • Contact center leaders need a snapshot of how engaged agents are with their customers and job
  • Agents appear to be lethargic and there has been a recent uptick in agents calling in sick

Agents are the backbone of the contact center, and their performance will be one of the main factors in how customers rate their experience with the center. Contact centers with an agent-centric workplace environment that are developed so that agents feel like they are an essential part of a community in which they have a say and where they have confidence that their efforts will be recognized and rewarded, will have more engaged agents and more satisfied customers.

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