The right contact center solution improves the employee experience and, ultimately, member service.
Sponsored by Content Guru
We’ve recently heard a lot about the Great Resignation. In fact, according to Ceridian’s 2022 Pulse of Talent report of employees, a total of 61% are at risk of leaving—23% actively job searching and another 38% ar open to new prospects. Winning the war to attract and keep talent takes more than pay, and this is especially true for attracting and keeping contact center staffers. Winning the war to attract and keep contact center talent depends on providing a great employee experience.
What’s an employee experience?
While different organizations define it differently, at its core, employee experience is the employee’s journey with your organization. Just like the customer or member experience, the employee experience is comprehensive and includes every interaction the employee has with your organization.
So, employee experience includes how the employee interacts with the workplace, job role, co-workers, managers, organizational policies, internal processes and technologies. Just like member experience success, employee experience success is overall employee engagement, productivity and well-being.
Everyone knows that member experience and contact center positions can be notoriously challenging. Such positions require great communication and problem-solving skills as well as the ability to work well, and pleasantly, under pressure.
Credit union contact center managers can do several things to improve an agent’s employee experience, especially if an organization uses a cloud contact center with the right capabilities, as opposed to a legacy, on-premise call center.
Here we share secrets that every credit union should know about improving the contact center employee experience. These secrets will bear fruit. By implementing them, credit unions can cut costly turnover, boost contact center retention and, ultimately, grow member satisfaction.
1. Follow Agent Training Best Practices for Both New and Experienced Agents
This is a big topic all by itself, but here are a few tips:
- Build a solid foundation by teaching agents your organization’s service goals, so they understand their importance to overall organizational health.
- Train by letting new agents shadow and learn from experienced, top-performing contact center leaders. In addition, use call simulations and recorded call reviews to teach agents what is bad, good and excellent performance.
- Establish, communicate, and use reasonable member experience metrics like average wait time, resolution time, and missed calls. And build a positive culture by consistently rewarding credit union contact center agents for meeting them.
2. Simplify the Agent Desktop
Use an end-to-end cloud contact center that doesn’t require your credit union’s agents to constantly flip between systems, point applications and data sources—one that operates in a “single pane of glass.” Employees simply interact with one application that includes all functions and communications channels for a true omnichannel experience.
Additionally, the single pane of glass should come with a single, unified data environment. Again, when there’s no flipping between databases, agents have faster access to all knowledge and customer databases needed to do the job all in one place.
Moreover, that single unified data environment is always up-to-date. This is true regardless of whether a member first engages on the phone, follows up via text, and then continues to engage by email.
The result of using such an agent desktop is that agents solve member issues faster, keeping agents from getting frustrated by complex or cumbersome technology. This all makes for happy, productive agents that lead to more satisfied credit union members.
3. Be Flexible About When and Where an Agent Works
Not everyone is cut out for a 9-to-5 existence. And some people are more productive working outside the office. Give your credit union’s contact center agents the ability to work from home at least occasionally.
When you offer a browser-based cloud contact center, your agents get the same access to the contact center desktop and the resources they need to support members when they are working remotely as they do in the office. This makes agents’ remote work consistently productive and secure whether they’re working at the credit union or elsewhere.
Furthermore, by taking advantage of contact center workforce management functions, contact center supervisors can easily manage agent work preferences. One of those can be the hours an agent prefers to be available for work.
Need to accommodate working parents with small children? A drag-and-drop app allows a supervisor to easily plan around break time when a parent needs to meet a school bus. Or an agent who is pursuing higher education can take a daytime class, and contact center supervisors can use an intuitive, no-code interface to create schedules that work around the days and times that agent is not available.
Such small and easy accommodations go a long way to improving contact center employee experience.
4. Predict Omnichannel Contact Center Volume So You Can Staff It Appropriately
To reduce agent stress about demand surges, contact center supervisors can use reports generated from that single, unified data environment.
Since cloud-based reporting is always accurate and up-to-date, it can accurately forecast contact center volume. Further, it can forecast by communications channel needs by time of day and day of the week.
This way, supervisors can prevent agents from becoming overburdened by ensuring there’s enough staff to meet projected demand.
5. Deploy Contact Center Automation to Meet Unpredicted Demand Surges
Some demand surges result from an unplanned event like a natural disaster. Say there’s a tornado in a neighboring town where many members live. All of a sudden, members need immediate loans or access to their certificates of deposit.
By using a low-code cloud contact center with accurate, real-time reporting, your contact center supervisors can make workflow changes on the fly. They can better triage member inquiries to serve the most immediate needs first. Or supervisors can temporarily use more machine agents or chatbots to help fill the gap.
Once again, using automation improves the agent employee experience by making the job less stressful.
6. Plan Member Journeys That Use Artificial Intelligence
Using AI, supervisors can direct members to self-service options for simple but high-volume inquiries. Self-service options can be provided through interactive voice response systems or chatbots, directing a member to a given website section containing the information sought.
This way, contact center agents spend their time dealing with more complex member issues. They spend their time on inquiries that require judgment and specialized problem-solving.
In the process, the agent’s job becomes less routine, more about serving the customer and more fulfilling for the agent.
7. Use a Cloud Contact Center With 99.999% Uptime, Not Just a 99.999% Service-Level Agreement
Sure, outages lead to unhappy members. But remember your contact center agents are first to endure dissatisfied members when contact center services don’t work. You have the option to use a cloud contact center famous for performance, scalability, and reliability—whose uptime is unparalleled across the globe, serving the world’s most demanding organizations without an outage in more than a decade.
After all, avoiding outages is the easiest way to improve credit union contact center employee experience.
If your call center is preventing your credit union from delivering a high-quality agent experience, it’s time to transform and modernize. After all, only the right processes and technology together can take care of your contact center employees along every step of their journey with your credit union.
Andrew Casson is a longtime network engineer and telecommunications and contact center architect. He’s currently a VP for CUES Supplier member Content Guru, Campbell, California, maker of the highly-acclaimed storm®, an all-in-one contact center-as-a-service solution with industry-leading functionality, performance, reliability and flexibility.