Who are the contact center reps that wear the most hats? Look no further than blended agents. Blended agents work on multiple channels, such as chat, email, phone, SMS, and social media. In a world where technology is ever changing and new products pop up left and right, staying above water in this role can prove to be a challenging feat – almost 86% of today’s centers are multi-channel (Source: ICMI research).
From balancing concurrent support chats to handling tough calls with ease, it not only takes product expertise and empathy, but also dependable products that agents and contact center teams can rely on. In this blog, I’m referring back to my real-life experience working on the frontlines of a support team. Read on for three ways to enable success for your blended agent.
1. Support your support teams
Being a blended agent, it’s imperative to utilize the knowledge systems you have available. When I worked in support as a blended agent, my day-to-day was often stressful when it came to finding the right article to help guide customers through troubleshooting their problems. While the organizations’ Help Center was robust, finding the proper correlating article on the fly was not a straightforward process. I had to rely on the luck of using the right keywords to find the articles I immediately needed. When working with customers in concurrent chats, this meant endless tabs open and trouble navigating to the right article associated with a particular chat conversation.
KM (Knowledge Management) helps support not only your team of agents, but also your customers. KMs prepare and train contact center employees on the products they’re supporting and are helpful resources to customers when they call in or open a chat asking for assistance. Knowing the key search terms to use and having helpful articles at-hand is a game changer and allows you to help solve the problem in real time, with ease.
Using products such as RightAnswers and Panviva helps your team work smarter, not harder. Accessing the correct knowledge articles allows agents to pinpoint the problem and find the solution for customers quickly. With software such as RightAnswers, knowledge article suggestions auto-populate for agents to reference in the moment, while assisting customers. This is a win for agents, and a win for your customers, as agents can problem solve in a timely and efficient manner.
Additionally, being adaptable as a blended agent includes staying up to date with product training and learning courses. Ensuring that they’re “in the know” with the latest updates and new product lines is essential for your team to succeed at their job.
2. Showcase Emotional Intelligence
Focusing on the customer experience (CX) can be a true differentiator for the service provided by an agent. Poor customer service is a huge driver of customer churn, as a of customers said that they stopped doing business with a brand due to poor customer service.
Agents being able to put themselves in their customers’ shoes is essential, as this is where they can showcase their emotional intelligence and empathy as a customer walks them through their problems. Agents can assure them that they are here to help resolve their issues and be their guide as they assist them in finding solutions. Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a leading blended agent KPI for a reason.
In addition to putting empathy on the forefront, utilizing various tools such as CTIs (Computer Telephony Integration Systems, such as InGenius) and CRMs (Customer Relationship Management software) help personalize conversations with customers, reminding the agent of the person behind the computer or phone. Knowing the customer’s name and where they work as soon as they reach out to your contact center and having access to previous interactions helps paint a complete picture of what has brought them to your contact center today and keeps agents privy to past pain points.
3. Let the Stats Speak for Themselves
For blended agents, performance speaks for itself. Referring to reporting metrics ensures that they’re meeting their marks and staying on top of their case load on all channels. Metrics that encompass their KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) such as AHT (Average Handle Time), CSAT (Customer Satisfaction), FCR (First Call Resolution), and NPS (Net Promoter Score) are all strong places to check for indicators of success.
For example, when overviewing your contact center metrics, InGenius allows you to monitor and measure employee performance directly from your CRM or Ticketing System. You can track key metrics such as successful call counts, and agent call time to call volume and call results, and optimize resource availability during peak hours without needing to toggle between systems. With pre-built and customizable reports, spotting trends, improvements, and areas for opportunity is easy and straightforward.
If you’re looking for ways to bolster your contact centers’ success and best support your customers, reach out to the Upland team to find the right option for you – we’re here to help.