How to manage agent churn and operational efficiency in the pursuit of customer centricity

Author: Simon Black | Date: 13/09/2023

Can contact centres deliver affordable process improvement while keeping agents and customers happy?

An age-old challenge for contact centre leaders in the pursuit of customer centricity is managing agent churn. The challenging role of an agent means that advisors often leave the company within a few months because they feel unable to deal with the difficult nature of the job. And of course, this has an impact on the operational efficiency and customer experience levels within the contact centre.

Most contact centres have agents with vastly different levels of experience, knowledge, skills and confidence. And as contact centre leaders will know, with those variations in performance comes risks to customer experience, compliance, average handling times and operational cost levels.

For many years, contact centres have attempted to mitigate these risks via a range of solutions. As a result, guided workflows and scripting technology, rose in popularity. But the original versions of this software were often unstable, lacked intuitiveness and hindered agents from delivering exceptional customer experiences.

These days, with the rapid advancements in contact centre AI, agent guidance and scripting solutions have moved forwards in leaps and bounds paving the way for dynamic, intuitive and efficient customer interactions that are more enjoyable to work with.

Agent guidance and dynamic scripting provides agents with real-time assistance during customer interactions, including things like suggested responses, information about the customer, and guidance on how to resolve the customer’s issue.

In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of modern agent guidance and scripting solutions and how the right platform will drive customer-centric and operationally efficient solutions.

The early challenges for agent guidance and scripting

Historical guidance and scripting platforms (often self-built by contact centres) were interpreted as clunky and difficult to work with. As they worked to a rigid framework they didn’t account for unexpected twists and turns in conversations, creating barriers for agents.

The rigidity of scripted conversations meant that agents often ended up sounding robotic and unnatural and delivering positive customer experiences felt like an uphill battle.

It was also hard to update scripts and workflows which often increased reliance on IT support, instead of removing it.

As times have changed, for example, we live in a far more regulated world, and with the emergence of advanced contact centre AI capabilities, agent guidance technology is once again gaining popularity.

The traditional pain points associated with agent scripting and guidance have now been replaced by dynamic, adaptable, and intuitive solutions. That means flexible conversations, the ability to ensure regulatory compliance, and providing agents with all the tools and information they need to deliver a successful customer interaction.

Real-time agent guidance and dynamic scripting – operationally efficient, empowered agents delivering positive customer experiences

Here are 5 benefits of modern agent guidance and scripting solutions and how they are transforming contact centres today:

  • Reduced training times, faster onboarding: New agents can be onboarded quickly without the need for weeks or months of training and operational costs are reduced as the guidance and scripting platform eliminates the need to learn every intricate detail of complex processes. The time that’s been saved can be channelled into training programs that instead focus on delivering exceptional customer experiences, instilling company values and driving a customer-centric culture.
  • Confidence in compliance adherence: Built-in triggers and rules means that agents are led through each call and will automatically adhere to the relevant and required compliance standards and regulations. This not only minimises the risk of breaches but also safeguards the company’s reputation. By reducing the margin for error, agent guidance and scripting creates an environment where agents confidently provide accurate information while staying within the boundaries of compliance rules.
  • Improved agent wellbeing and satisfaction: Agents are empowered with real-time assistance that eliminates confusion and positively impacts their confidence levels. Modern guidance and scripting provides agents with automatic ‘next best action’ prompts, empowering them to deliver exceptional service consistently. The need to remember complex processes is eliminated, allowing agents to focus solely on providing a great customer experience, reducing the feelings of overwhelm and burnout and boosting job satisfaction.
  • Reduced interaction handling times: Agents are provided with real-time prompts and suggestions during interactions so they can help customers efficiently and effectively. Guidance and scripting enables agents to follow a structured approach that aligns with company standards, while also allowing room for personalised interactions. By minimising unnecessary pauses, delays and hold times, call times are reduced without any impact on service, contributing to higher levels of customer satisfaction and reduced operational costs.
  • Easy updates and integration with legacy systems: Agent guidance and scripting software seamlessly integrates with legacy systems and is so easy to work with that it doesn’t need maintaining by an IT department, saving weeks of delays. This eliminates the risk of agents giving outdated and incorrect information – keeping the company reputation intact and building trust with customers. In industries where rules and regulations are constantly changing, this software can easily keep up as changes to the platform can be made instantly.

The additional features of our agent guidance and dynamic scripting solution

Modern contact centre platforms work by using a variety of technologies, including artificial intelligence, natural language processing and machine learning. From a guidance perspective, these technologies allow the systems to understand and lead agents to the next best action presenting the most relevant information and guidance.

Aside from all the benefits we’ve covered in this article, here’s a quick overview of some of the other most popular features that our agent guidance and scripting solution delivers:

  • Unified agent desktop: Consolidates disparate systems through integration to give agents a unified interface. This single point means that any process can be followed easily, regardless of where information is housed. Agents can handle all their interactions in one unified, customisable desktop.
  • Next best action: Our platform understands the conversation the contact centre agent has had with the customer and suggests the most relevant next best action for them to take. It dynamically guides them through the most efficient process, improving the first call resolution, and importantly, increasing the customer’s overall satisfaction with their interaction.
  • Generative AI: Modern large language models (LLM), such as Chat GPT, have been incorporated to provide advanced services like call summarisation, knowledge base Q&A, and coaching tips.
  • Multi-lingual support: Translation capability in dozens of languages that enables agents to converse with customers in their chosen language.
  • Graphical editing: Our drag-and-drop editor utilises accessible low-code, with 40+ controls that can be combined to create scripts for any contact centre process.
  • Streamlined post call escalations and contact methods: Automatically identify the appropriate resource and contact method for post-call escalations, based on location, date, and time, all delivered in real time.
  • Social and email integration: Facebook, Twitter and Email feeds linked to scripts for consistent customer experience across channels. This means that no matter how customers choose to get in touch, they will always receive a consistent, efficient and excellent experience.
  • 100% web-based application: Enables the proactive development of call scripts and workflows to support any contact centre processes and campaigns. Scripts are built using a library of system controls that act as building blocks that can be fully customised.

Guidance and scripting solutions have come a long way from where they started with modern platforms enabling a consistent customer journey no matter which agent handles the call. With this intuitive, powerful and agile solution you can be sure that your customers are receiving the service they deserve, the experience they expect and all while meeting your operational efficiency goals.

Contact the Awaken Team today to organise a free demo of our real-time agent guidance solution.