Last week we hosted our quarterly Customer Advisory Board. One of the most common concerns raised by multiple enterprise executives was the impact of economic uncertainty on their service organizations. In this post, we will explore the impact of economic inflation, and five best practices for improving performance by driving adoption of the technology innovations leaders have already made in order to boost service efficiency.
Every executive in this closed forum shared that due to economic uncertainty, efficiency is their leading concern. As such, automation is top of mind. The right support technologies will make your agents more efficient, effective, and productive. This shift is generally a proven way to improve customer satisfaction scores, first-call resolution rates, and average handle times. However, in order to deliver the desired efficiency gains, agents have to remember to use the technology in the prescribed manner. Improving adoption is a win-win for service leaders, as it requires minimal additional investment while improving the impact of sunk costs.
Below are five best practices that will help you enhance agent adoption and improve your service efficiency.
- Optimize Your Agent Interfaces
As a service leader, you should ensure that new support technologies are user-friendly and intuitive. The interface should be easy to navigate, and the technology should be easy to access. A well-integrated support technology will increase agent productivity, reduce handling times, and lower training costs.Integrate your service technologies wherever possible, to ensure that agents are never more than a click away from the latest offerings. Once again, collecting agent feedback is a critical tool for understanding where and why some agents are showing strong adoption whereas others are lagging.
- Shore Up Your Agent Training / Retraining
To ensure that your agents effectively use new support technologies, it’s important to provide structured training. Training should be tailored to meet the needs of individual teams, and it should be delivered in a manner that is engaging and easy to understand. Work with your technology partner and customer success manager to ensure that you have access to the latest training materials, as well as to brainstorm new ways to retrain or follow up on previous training sessions. At TechSee, our customer onboarding program includes robust training for trainers and at times, the initial rollout teams, as well as follow-up coaching to training and adoption leaders in order to ensure optimal impact.
- Foster a Culture of Continuous Learning
Today’s agents are being asked to carry more than ever before. It’s essential to create a culture of continuous learning in to boost service efficiency. This will both improve agent adoption of new support technologies and improve their adoption of new support techniques.Typically, improving training and developing a culture of continuous learning will include increased agent satisfaction, lower attrition rates, and higher customer satisfaction scores.As a service leader, encourage your agents to participate in ongoing training and development programs. If continuous learning is not mandatory, consider how you can promote continuous learning organically. This can include everything from celebrating team members who are always learning and developing in a public forum, to including this question in employee performance reviews (e.g. How did you demonstrate continuous learning?).
You can also further develop your culture of continuous learning by inviting agents to share their own ideas with management. Inviting this feedback will similarly demonstrate a continuous learning and improvement mindset to your middle management and agents.
- Empower Agents
Empower your agents by giving them the authority and responsibility to make decisions and take action using the new support technologies. Provide your agents with the necessary tools and resources to make informed decisions, handling a greater variety of tickets on their own. When agents experience greater flexibility and performance through a new technology, they will be more likely to adopt it moving forward.
- Monitor and Measure Performance
As a service leader, regularly monitor and measure the performance of your agents’ usage of new support technologies. This data will help you to identify areas where your agents may be struggling and provide additional support or training as necessary. This data will also help you measure the service efficiency impact of your technology investment. Similarly, reporting the performance gains of strong technology adopters to the wider team will encourage individual agents to utilize the new technology and similarly improve their performance. Ideally, this will create a flywheel effect wherein each successive team or team member will serve as a case study for the next, further encouraging adoption and ultimately, improving your overall performance.
As a service leader, improving agent adoption of new support technologies is critical, especially during periods of economic inflation. By implementing the best practices outlined above, you can enhance agent adoption and improve your overall performance. Ultimately, this will result in higher customer satisfaction scores, increased agent satisfaction, and a more productive and efficient service team.