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Introducing Alvaria Horizons: Our Innovation Lab

Empower Your Agents, Improve Your Contact Center

May 01, 2021, By Legacy Post

Want to improve your contact center? The first place you need to start is with your agents. Understanding what is most important to your own employees helps you create an environment of engagement and growth, which directly impacts customer experience.

Now that we’ve introduced the Aspect WFM Benefits Calculator, we want to zero in a bit on the key areas that impact your business: your people, your processes and the technologies deployed. The calculator is designed to place an estimated dollar amount on improvements to schedule adherence, occupancy rate, shrinkage rate and agent attrition; so naturally, the first place to start is with your people.  

Your business is built on customer collaboration. Better and more efficient interaction is the defining characteristic of your business model as well as your engagement, and growth strategy. However, to make that happen, it’s imperative to understand what is most important to your workforce. Understanding what motivates your agents is key to creating a work environment that is performance based. This helps ensure that agents are empowered, supported, and have the right amount of time in the day to do what they need to.  

This sounds like good business, but let’s take a moment to think about whether it’s true. As workforce management leaders, we employ a wide variety of tactics to recruit, train, motivate, and sustain our teams. Sometimes we rely on the trusty carrot-and-stick (monetary or bonus incentives). Sometimes we use the team dynamic to elevate expectations and achieve a shared business vision (peer mentoring, continuing education, team focused goals and training). We may even resort to basic hierarchy at times (sometimes a boss needs to be a boss). Ultimately, we can agree that there is no one magic formula but rather a hybrid of intrinsic and extrinsic motivators and indicators. In other words, money is good but so is recognition, respect, and autonomy.  

Empowering agents both internally and externally starts with visibility of their adherence metrics. For your people, responsibility is just another word for self-management; and visibility and transparency lead directly into empowerment. By creating a shared purpose, vision and management transparency, we can empower employees to perform better. They feel part of a community, know their role in the organization, understand what they need to do in order to achieve intrinsic and extrinsic success.

A workplace environment that supports agents’ needs and desires can help improve your contact center by fostering trust and building the foundations for a long-term commitment from your people. Looking forward, this trust and buy-in is exactly what leads to the improvements in processes and technology, which we will focus on later.  

Ideally, the creation of this type of work environment sets the stage for agents that can easily be moved to different functions yet adapt quickly. Many employees don’t like change because change is often viewed as the harbinger of failure. Conversely, a well-trained, confident, and supported agent knows their value and understands personal and professional growth relies on progress. Depending on your frame of reference, progress is often disguised as change. It’s up to workforce management leadership to make sure the messaging and intention is clear. Providing the appropriate training and having a safe environment to try something new can make your entire team more willing to learn techniques and tools; facilitating the adoption, improvements and implementation of better processes and technology; while also setting agents up for success. 

Would you like to see how much your organization can save with empowered agents? Check out our calculator, run the numbers  and see for yourself!  

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