CHALLENGE FOUR
DEVELOPING ENGAGED CONTACT CENTER AGENTS


The research indicates that engaged employees are happier,more productive, and consistently have better interactions with customers.

They are more effective at personal, emotional, and professional interactions with their colleagues, managers, and customers.

The challenge then is how to build higher levels of engagement in your agents.

EMPOWER AGENTS TO USE THEIR EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE

It is helpful for agents to understand the research on the importance of emotional connections with customers and to be able to use the concepts and skills of emotional and social intelligence to make more effective emotional connections. It is also important to provide agents with the skills to use their emotional intelligence with their customers, managers and colleagues.

MANAGE BOTH THE CUSTOMER EMOTIONAL STATE + THE SALES/SERVICE NEEDED

Engagement has a strong emotional component and it is important that the agent develop the awareness and skills of monitoring and managing his or her own emotional state and that of the customer. It is also important that Agents learn to respond in a way that manages the emotional cues of the customer, as well as the task needs of the customer in order to create better service responses and to create more product sales.

ENCOURAGE EXCEPTIONAL ENGAGEMENT CONVERSATIONS

In an engagement culture, it is helpful to encourage increased numbers of Exceptional Engagement Conversations (EECs) between agents and customers as well as agents and colleagues. EECs are conversations between two people in which a personal and professional connection is made, a shared understanding develops, and a mutually beneficial, win-win solution emerges that addresses both the task needs and the emotional needs of the two parties.

OVERCOME ANY RELUCTANCE TO CROSS SELL

Many agents can feel more comfortable with the role of cross selling by seeing it as an extension of their role of customer problem solving providing quality service. It is helpful to assist them to understand this connection.

PROVIDE AGENTS WITH SKILLS & TOOLS FOR SUSTAINABILITY

It is important to provide agents with resources, feedback, coaching, and recognition programs that can encourage continued development.Agents should be encouraged to continue to identify and select “ best practice” cases for the dual purpose of providing a certification and incentive program for outstanding performers, and for the continuous improvement of all agents.