There's long been a large focus on customer experience (CX). Now, employees are having their day as organizations begin to prioritize employee experience as well. According to a recent Deloitte study , 84% of organizations rate employee experience as important, with 28% ranking it in their top three most pressing issues. Evolving worker demographics and the historically low unemployment rate of recent years have acted as catalysts for change as companies fight to increase employee engagement and reduce turnover. This has led to companies spending an average of $2,420 per person on employee experience initiatives in 2019 .
What is employee experience?
Employee experience is the sum of everything an employee encounters while she does her job. This can include physical environment, supervisors, peers, technology, nature and volume of work tasks, training, and more. All of these factors add up to form an overall experience that shapes the employee's opinion of her job and employer and influences her satisfaction level. Employee experience shouldn't be confused with employee engagement. Employee engagement is a measure of an employee's commitment to their employer and its business goals. Good employee experience is often a means for increasing employee engagement.
Employee experience in call centers
Call centers have mirrored the rest of the business world by launching agent experience (AX) initiatives. In an area plagued by high turnover, AX initiatives have the potential to decrease attrition and increase engagement. Increasing agent satisfaction and engagement lead to a better customer experience, so the stakes are high.
There are many directions from which a call center can and should approach improving AX. For example, technology tools play a significant role in agent experience. According to a recent NICE inContact /ICMI study, when asked what made it hard to work in customer service, 30% of agents cited inadequate/hard to use systems. Conversely, "having the necessary tools to perform my job duties effectively" was the number two factor for driving engagement.
Agents want technical tools that make them more effective at their jobs while also helping with their professional development. The best cloud call center software can address these goals, and many more.
Working with the best cloud call center software can help improve agent experience. Here's how:
1. Unified agent desktop
The best cloud call center software easily integrates with other applications agents use, creating the opportunity for a single, unified agent interface. For example, integrations with customer relationship management (CRM) tools eliminate time consuming toggling between systems and can automate much of the post-call documentation steps.
2. Easy access to performance stats
Good agents are vested in their performance and want to know if they are hitting KPI targets. The best cloud call center software includes agent dashboards that make this data available on the agent desktop. It brings transparency to results and empowers agents to take control of their performance.
3. Steady, but not overwhelming, workload
Sometimes call center volume can be feast or famine, meaning agents can feel really bored or completely overwhelmed. Neither is good for agent experience. Best-in-class workforce management software can help smooth out the workload peaks and valleys with sophisticated forecasting, scheduling, and intraday adjustments.
4. Opportunity to work from home
Some people love working from home and the best cloud call center software can make this a reality for customer service agents. Because the application is in the cloud, agents usually just need a computer, headset, and high-speed internet connection to be ready for business.
5. Timely, constructive feedback
When done right, regular coaching sends a signal to agents that their organization cares about them and their careers. World class quality management applications help call centers do coaching "right" by ensuring more process consistency and facilitating two-way conversations about evaluation results.
6. Ability to collaborate with other employees
Anything that makes agents more effective at their jobs is bound to improve AX. The best cloud call center software includes collaboration tools that allow agents to consult with other company resources when faced with really challenging customer issues. Not only is it comforting to know someone has your back, but having this collective knowledge available to them positions agents for success.