August 22, 20226 min read
In our previous blog, we looked at Evelyn’s daily schedules and exhaustive list of to-dos. We saw her robust responsibilities and got to know about her favorite parts of the day. But when you are a Gen-Z support agent, you have to face complex challenges and get into uncharted waters every day. To be precise, some days can be really tough. In this blog, we will explore some of the challenges faced by support center agents like Evelyn and understand how they tackle them with the right tools and technology.
For Evelyn and most other agents, it is burnout.
Even though it might not reflect in their work, agents are always susceptible to burnout more than anyone else. Burnout can occur due to the following reasons:
Pending requests, cluttered inboxes, complicated queries, tight SLAs, strict rules, and endless ad hoc requests can be tough on agents. In addition, there is always mounting pressure on agents to stay glued to their screens and handle queries.
How we help — Sprinklr can help in managing caseloads and speeding up resolutions for contact centers of any size. With multiple self-service options (self-service communities, online forums, IVR software, SEO-optimized guides, and AI-bots), customers can find answers to their queries on their own without having to reach out to your agents.
In between juggling several support-related tasks, handling unusual requests, and dealing with highly technical queries, it is easy to miss things. And some of these misses, if not spotted early, can harm the business. In the absence of a mechanism to alert supervisors, the support process tends to become erratic and keeps agents from achieving their goals.
How we help — Sprinklr’s AI-powered Smart Alerts can analyze transcript records, missed SLAs, low CSAT predictions, and agent performance indicators, and notify managers about escalations in real time. This will allow supervisors to spot early warning signals even before agents raise any alarms.
Many agents tend to get cold feet when it comes to incorporating new tools and technology into their daily routine. This is due to skill gap, the absence of relevant training, and piecemeal approaches all of which exacerbate agent frustration and disengagement.
How we help — Sprinklr’s AI-powered internal knowledge base software gets agents up to speed quickly by floating troubleshooting guidelines, step-by-step guidance, SOPs, and best practices on their screens. This can help agents familiarize themselves with the Sprinklr platform without any hassle.
Many times, agents perform the same old mundane tasks day in, day out, which could include handling the same type of ticket and typing out templatized replies and phrases over and over again. This can leave them deflated, stressed, and demotivated.
How we help —Sprinklr’s conversational AI and bots can listen to conversations, analyze sentiment and customer context in real time, and resolve customer cases at scale without any human-agent intervention.
Though agents are trained to handle customer complaints independently, it doesn't eliminate the need for evaluation of agent performance. That said, if agents are scrambling for solutions or violating SLAs often, they need to be notified or advised. Else the entire team's productivity could take a hit.
How we help - Sprinklr’s AI-powered contact center intelligence creates quality score cards, measures SLA metrics, and analyzes agent KPIs so supervisors can coach agents and plan support strategies accordingly.
Evelyn and her coworkers handle a lot of complex queries on a daily basis but their sole aim is to maintain a high first response rate (FRR). To strengthen relationships with customers and improve service outcomes, agents need the right set of tools, individual training, timely feedback, comprehensive checklists, and how-to guides.
Here are some tried and tested ways that can help agents like Evelyn better serve customers, increase their productivity and performance, and achieve a high ASAT score.
Guided workflows are the holy grail for troubleshooting customer problems and completing exhaustive routine tasks without extensive training. In addition, Q&A-based guided workflows contain specific instructions and provide instant access to crucial data needed to resolve critical customer queries faster.
Did you know 65% of humans are visual learners? A study carried out by 3M Corporation concludes that the brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than text. With the help of visual guides or pictorial instructions, agents can grasp critical concepts and troubleshooting steps much faster, no matter the type of customer query.
Support agents like Evelyn should have access to a robust knowledge base created by SMEs – including but not limited to guides, insights, and training resources to help them delve deeper into complex customer problems.
54% of employees would spend more time learning if they had access to specific training to help them achieve their goals. Regular training and learning opportunities play a key role in agent retention and satisfaction. It helps them build their interpersonal communication, conflict resolution, and crisis management skills to become more confident in their roles.
Since agents get requests from a variety of channels, hopping from one channel to another to address issues or engage customers can become unmanageable in the long term. A unified platform that pulls together rich, contextual data from multiple channels can help agents like Evelyn breathe a little easier. With a 360-degree view of customer conversations, agents can solve customer issues faster.
According to Gartner, 70% of employees believe they lack the skills needed to do their jobs effectively. That’s because most employees rarely receive feedback from their supervisors. And in a support center where agents need to handle hundreds of calls, it is important that they understand how well they are dealing with customers and understand their strengths and weaknesses. For example, call quality monitoring forms can present a detailed assessment or analysis of customer calls by focusing on call etiquette, script compliance, and the agent’s problem-solving skills.
But tools and technology can only do so much. To ace customer support, an agent needs to possess certain character traits. Caring, resilience, patience, diligence, empathy, and calmness are all worth their weight in gold. But empathy is the most important trait of the lot.
Here are a few more skills that have helped Evelyn sail through CX challenges without any hassles.
Active listening and good communication skills win more loyal customers
Empathy should be the heart of every conversation, no matter what
Product knowledge helps agents handle sales objections better
Knowledge retention practices can diminish the forgetting curve
Time management can keep agents focused
Out-of-the-box thinking when solving customers' unique problems
Problem-solving skills to understand the whys and hows
Cross-team collaboration to gain better insights into customers’ activities
Over both Part 1 and Part 2 of this ‘A day in the life of support agent’ series, you have got a glimpse of the daunting challenges that support agents face. The best way to navigate through these challenges is to acquire a few top-notch skill sets. In our next article, we’ll elaborate on the must-have skills that every agent should own to become a support center wizard. Stay tuned!