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How to Excel at Agent Efficiency in Contact Centres

Andy Turner

In today's fast and focussed business environment, contact centres sit at the core of many companies' customer communications. These centres handle enquiries, complaints and support requests, making them key to maintaining customer satisfaction and loyalty.  

However, managing contact centres can be challenging, especially when it comes to operational efficiency.  

In this blog, we will explore the importance of agent efficiency in contact centres, how to achieve it, what metrics are used to measure it, and how conversational AI, chatbots and automation can help. 

[See: Webio's Agent UI Puts AI Front and Centre]

What is Agent Efficiency? 

In essence, agent efficiency refers to how quickly, successfully and accurately a contact centre agent handles a customer enquiry while also considering how happy the customer was with the experience. It involves managing agents' workload, minimising idle time, and maximising productivity.  

Improving agent efficiency is crucial in contact centres because it directly impacts customer satisfaction, agent morale, and operational costs. 

What Metrics are Used to Measure Agent Efficiency? 

Monitoring and analysing agent efficiency helps uncover areas for improvement. The most common metrics to watch are: 

First Call Resolution (FCR) - The percentage of customer enquiries resolved on the first call. 

Average Handling Time (AHT) - The average time it takes for an agent to handle a customer enquiry. 

Occupancy Rate - The percentage of time agents spend on call-related activities compared to idle time. 

Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) - The percentage of customers satisfied with the service they received. 

Agent Satisfaction (ASAT) - The percentage of agents satisfied with their job and work environment. 

Cost per Contact – The amount it costs the contact centre each time an agent connects with a customer. 

Closed Conversations per Agent per Day – How many conversations an agent can complete each day. 

All these metrics together give a picture of agent productivity. Without automation, the average number of calls per day that an agent can handle is 70 to 80. When AI chatbots are introduced to work alongside human agents, this number bumps up significantly to 300+ (when 70%+ automation is achieved). 

See more: What Agent Performance Metrics Should you be Tracking?

conversational AI for customer engagementHow do you Achieve Agent and Operational Efficiency? 

To achieve agent efficiency in contact centres, organisations must adopt a holistic approach that covers technology, processes and agent training. 

Technology 

Automated debt collection software is a game changer in contact centres. 

Implement technology solutions such as conversational AI, AI chatbots and automation to build smooth processes and reduce agent workload, which all leads to increased productivity and higher job satisfaction. 

The best approach is a blended approach, where agents and chatbots each play to their strengths in an harmonious working relationship. 

Process Optimisation  

Optimise the workflow, customer journey, and communication channels to ensure agents can handle customer enquiries quickly and efficiently. A simplified and logical process minimises handoffs and reduces the waiting time for customers. The end result is a satisfied customer. 

Training and Coaching  

Provide agents with the necessary skills and in-depth company knowledge to handle customer enquiries effectively. They will feel empowered to do their job properly and customers will feel well looked after. 

Invest in Agent Morale  

Organisations can take steps to improve agent morale, such as reducing workloads, giving recognition, offering opportunities for career growth, reducing monotony, and improving management practices. By investing in their agents, companies can improve their customer service, reduce costs associated with agent turnover, and create a more positive and productive work environment. 

Read how Oplo Accelerates Digital Customer Engagement with Conversational SMS 

How do Conversational AI, Chatbots and Automation Improve Agent Efficiency? 

There's no dubt about it, introducing digital customer engagement makes a measurable difference.

Effortlessly Handle Routine Tasks 

Conversational AI, chatbots, and automation can handle common tasks such as answering FAQs, routing calls and dealing with basic queries, thus freeing up agents to handle complex enquiries. 

Enhance Customer Experience 

These technologies can provide instant, accurate, and personalised responses to customers, enhancing their experience and cutting down wait times. 

Reduce Wait Times 

No longer do customers have to wait in an endless queue for their call to be answered as an AI chatbot can handle multiple customers simultaneously. 

Improve First Call Resolution 

Besides dealing with queries themselves, chatbots can collect and analyse customer data, providing agents with valuable insights to resolve enquiries on the first call. 

Increase Agent Productivity 

Automating straightforward tasks and providing agents with real-time customer data can help increase their productivity, leading to higher job satisfaction and lower agent turnover rates. 

24/7 Availability 

Chatbots never sleep! They will always be on the job to receive customer queries. 

Give Agents More Interesting Engagement Opportunities 

The mundane tasks are taken care of by the AI chatbots while the agents can help customers with involved issues that require more thought. This gives agents better job satisfaction, and they feel they are really helping people. 

See more: How a Debt Collection Agent Can Close 300+ Daily Conversations 

Conclusion 

Overall, by adopting a holistic approach, you can achieve greater agent efficiency in contact centres resulting in better customer satisfaction, higher agent morale, and lower operational costs, making it a critical factor for success in any contact centre.  

 

Looking to achieve better agent efficiency? 
Chat to one of our conversational AI experts to learn how to automate your contact centre - contact us today 

 

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METRICS WE’VE ACHIEVED

52%
Uplift in Payment Arrangements
42%
Increase in Agent Productivity
57%
Decrease in Operational Costs
48%
Increase in Customer Engagement

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