Great CX Starts with Your Agents: 4 Ways Agent Experience Impacts Customer Experience

Customer experience is the difference between attracting and retaining customers or losing them to your competitors.

To improve your customer experience, however, you must first look at your agent experience. Is it confusing? Complicated? Inconsistent?

Above all, customers want to have their needs met and problems solved with the least effort. But how can agents seamlessly deliver if their own experience is full of stress and frustration?

Simplifying agent experience improves customer experience. 

In the quest for outstanding customer service, contact centers tend to overload agents with information, leaving them scrambling to find answers and making it difficult to perform their job efficiently or effectively.

Agent experience and customer experience are closely linked. When the agent experience is simplified, agents are good at what they do and enjoy doing it.

Here’s how happy agents lead to happier—and more loyal—customers.  

1. Informed agents are helpful agents.

Inadequate training can have agents questioning whether they can do the job. Developing a training program that takes agents’ needs into consideration overcomes the confidence barrier while preparing them for scenarios they’ll face on calls. And that confidence shows through in their interactions with customers and improved CSAT scores.

Applications and knowledge bases are another problem. Agents have to switch programs, search for answers, read through instructions, and interpret the best way to proceed. All while customers are left waiting and handle times go up.

This system also leads to errors. Agents may misinterpret the steps they find. Or, in a rush, miss a step, resulting in frustration on both sides and inconsistent service.

With agent-focused technology, agents only get the information they need for the present interaction, facilitating a frictionless experience with customers. And when customers get what they want, they’re more likely to stay customers.  

 “Customers aren’t looking for bells and whistles. They’re looking to exert the least amount of effort to fix a problem or an issue that they have. And they’ll reward companies that fulfill that with customer loyalty.” 

—Stephen Loynd, CX Trend Expert

2. Relaxed agents hear what customers aren’t saying.

In many ways, agents serve as your brand ambassadors, often acting as customers’ first, primary, or only point of human contact with your company.

Agents who are properly trained and guided through customer interactions can easily solve the problem at hand while also gathering insight into how customers feel about your brand, products, or services.

For example, how likely are they to buy again? Recommend your products or services? Be interested in other products or services?

Furthermore, when agents know what they’re doing, they have more capacity to handle complex and sensitive interactions with empathy and provide the personalized attention customers are looking for.  

3. Supported agents are more engaged with your customers (and company).

When agents don’t feel helpful or valuable, they start looking for the door. And agent attrition isn’t just a staffing or expense problem.

Attrition impacts your ability to meet performance metrics and deliver outstanding customer service. And that puts both existing customers and new business growth at risk.

Interactions with leadership, managers, and other co-workers should reinforce why agents are part of your company and help align them with the shared goal everyone is working towards.

Because motivated agents are more likely to stay and contribute to your company’s long-term success, which includes providing exceptional customer care.  

4. Thriving agents are a revenue-generating differentiator.

Your agents are the most important asset in your call center. And overlooking the needs of your most important asset is a costly mistake.

When agents are equipped to resolve issues and create positive customer interactions, they have an opportunity to protect customers’ current spend and grow future revenue.

Contact center success relies on your ability to deliver an outstanding customer experience.

And a great customer experience starts with your agents.

Finding ways to improve your agent experience from onboarding to interacting with customers and beyond ensures: 

  • Agents are happier
  • Issues are resolved efficiently, accurately, and uniformly
  • Customer expectations are met
  • Revenue is protected and generated
  • And both customer and agent loyalty increase

Keep Reading: Why Your Contact Center Needs an Agent-Focused Customer Experience Strategy—and How to Implement It

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The Great Debate: Price Versus Customer Service in Securing Brand Loyalty — Stacy Sherman

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