How has the Agent’s Role Changed in Modern CX?
The changing role of the contact centre agent
As new technology and processes continue to transform the business landscape, it’s not just the contact centre that’s changing, but the people within that environment too. Over the decades, the customer contact agent has been the primary point of contact for clients. These agents bridge the gap between companies and their customers.
Whenever your consumer had a question about a product or service, they could contact your call centre and your agents would do everything they could to help. The agent’s role as a source of assistance and brand development is still the same today. However, critical factors like the rise of artificial intelligence, automation, and digital transformation mean that how agents perform in their jobs is changing.
Here’s how the role of the average contact centre agent has evolved in the past few years.
Creating Stronger Customer Experiences
Perhaps the most crucial role of the customer service agent is to provide satisfactory experiences to your clients. These days, “experience” is the most crucial consideration for any brand. Your customers value the knowledge that you can give more than the price cuts you offer or the features you provide. Increasingly, consumers from all environments are looking for personalised and instant gratification. They want their service moments to be specifically catered to them, and they want resolutions faster than ever.
The demand for 24/7 consistent support has driven a need for things like conversational AI, chatbots, and robotic process automation. These intelligent tools all work alongside the contact centre agent today. On the one hand, the introduction of new smart features into the contact centre serves to make the agent’s role a little easier. Augmented agent solutions can deliver useful contextual information about a customer in seconds so that agents can spend less time searching for data.
Additionally, intelligent routing ensures that the right customer is directed to an agent based on skill level and relevance. This means that advisers spend less time trying to deal with issues that aren’t linked to their talents. However, automation has also elevated some of the skill requirements of the average agent too.
Automation Has Created a Demand for More Skilled Workers
Emerging technology like machine learning, artificial intelligence, natural language processing, and more are all transforming the contact centre at a rapid pace. These tools mean that monotonous and repetitive tasks can easily be managed by robots on the back-end. For instance, AI solutions can deal with things like answering common questions, finding trends in customer data, and more. This leaves the human contact centre agents of today dealing with larger, more complicated issues.
As automation and robots take up the simple and repetitious jobs in the contact centre environment, it’s up to a human to handle more complex and creative work. On the one hand, this means that modern agents generally deal with less boring and repetitive work. On the other hand, it also means that advanced agents need to tap into a broader range of skills, access deeper knowledge into service and product portfolios, and perfect their problem-solving talents.
The new age of the contact centre has created a demand for greater training solutions for agents. Employers need to make sure that their team members are prepared to handle complex conversations with problem-solving support and strategies that develop their soft skills. At the same time, today’s agents need to consistently learn how to use and leverage the latest tools in their arsenal.
Today’s agents are relying on everything from team collaboration tools that help them to access specialist support from their coworkers to virtual assistants that can help them access contextual information about a client or customer.
The Changing Nature of the Contact Centre Agent
The role of the contact centre agent is no longer the boring and monotonous job that it used to be. Today’s agents are working with some of the most advanced tools and technology on the market to make sure that they can deliver consistently incredible experiences for customers. Agents are even beginning to spend more time on outbound calls, rather than just dealing with inbound requests.
Smart technologies that feature predictive analysis allow agents to get ahead of the curve and contact customers with up-selling, cross-selling, and maintenance solutions, all in advance. Increasingly, we’re seeing teams take a more proactive approach to helping customers.
Today’s contact centre agents are some of the most important people in the age of customer experience, and their evolving position in the workplace reflects this.