Technology is a game-changer for customer service. But a recent study by Vistio found that one of the most challenging aspects of managing a contact center’s existing technology tools is getting agents to adopt and use the new tools.
In the current atmosphere—where some agents are working remotely, some are in a physical office, or there is a hybrid environment—it’s crucial that all agents use the same tools and use them correctly to deliver a fast, efficient, and consistent customer experience.
Contact center agents aren’t always eager to adopt new technologies. They’re not convinced the technology will improve their current performance and job satisfaction, they don’t believe change is needed, they’re not familiar with the technology, or they haven’t been trained properly on the new platform.
So how do we get agents to adopt new Customer Service Representative (CSR) technologies? The answer may be simpler than you think: Listen and create an environment of transparency.
Here are the steps for getting your agents to successfully adopt new CSR technologies.
Involve Agents When Choosing CSR Technology
What better way to get your agents to use a technology tool than to include them in the selection process? Jenny Dempsey, who is known for her thought leadership on CX and agent satisfaction, suggests that before purchasing a technology tool, you should speak to your agents first.
Ask questions like:
- What do you like best about the current technology tools you are using?
- What do you find difficult or challenging?
- If you could create the perfect technology tool to make your job easier, what would it look like?
From this feedback, you can navigate the technology marketplace and choose a technology that best fits the actual needs of your agents instead of just going with the hottest trend or what your competitors are using.
Once you have selected a specific technology, go back to your agents and demonstrate its benefits by showing the tool in action with recordings of live call interactions.
Select Internal Agent Technology Champions
A study by PWC found that the two main reasons employees are motivated to adopt new technology are the promises that it will make their jobs easier and more efficient.
To illustrate these two points, do the following:
- Select standout agents that are natural leaders on the contact center floor and have shown fast adoption rates of previously implemented technology tools.
- Before releasing the tool to all your agents, train these champions diligently on the new tool and ensure that they genuinely believe in its impact on making their fellow agents’ jobs easier, faster, and more efficient. These agents can be helpful in the adoption of the tool and resources to the greater agent population when it comes to troubleshooting in the future.
- Utilize these internal agent technology champions as the team included in CSR vendor selection and a focus group to track the agent satisfaction with the technology.
- Before releasing the technology to all the contact center agents, have the agent technology champions update their coworkers on the new technology to create an internal buzz, intrigue, interest, and sense of urgency to get their hands on the tool.
Make it Easy
Make every step of using the technology easy, ensuring that:
- The implementation process of the tool is done well, and bugs are worked out (as best as possible) before the tool reaches your entire agent population.
- The possible integrations work seamlessly.
- You provide in-depth training, focusing on the tool’s proper use, benefits, and proven outcomes.
- You do not have too many tools or tools that overlap with the function or job the new technology tool is there to accomplish.
Further Reading: Agent Retention: 4 Mistakes You’re Making in the Work-From-Anywhere World
Encourage Feedback and Provide Support
When agents feel heard, supported, and recognized, they are happier. And happier agents mean happier customers, so continue to listen to your agents.
- Keep up with agent satisfaction regarding the new technology tool by checking in with your team of agent technology champions on an ongoing basis.
- Create a safe space for your agent technology champions to give feedback openly and honestly on what they feel and what they are witnessing from their fellow agents.
- Take this information back to your provider. A great technology provider will appreciate the feedback from actual users and perhaps even improve the tool for you.
- Follow up with your agents if changes did or did not occur, acknowledging that their voice was heard and valued.
- Communicate and recognize how agent performance has changed, enhanced, and improved directly correlated with the tool.
If you stay open and honest with your agents, they will do the same with you. Share the company vision of what the technology path for the contact center will look like. Perhaps some of their technology needs will not be met immediately, but provide transparency on the new tools being researched and how they will benefit them in the future. Then, communicate a plan for providing those tools.
Although it has been found that one of the most challenging aspects of managing a contact center is getting agents to adopt and use the new technology tools, the agent is also the solution to this issue.
Use your agents as a research tool, a champion for adoption, and a gauge of the tool’s success. As decision-makers, it is easy to get disconnected from the reality of who will be using the tools we purchase. When in fact, these individuals are the best tool for gaining insight and delivering great customer service.
See how Vistio can help!