9 Tips To Boost Your Contact Center Agents’ Performance

An efficient call center can give your business a real competitive advantage. Here are 9 tips to boost customer support agent performance.

April 21, 2021
10 min read
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One of the easiest ways to set yourself apart from competitors, regardless of industry, is through excellent customer service.

An overwhelming 95% of global customers consider customer service to be essential in their choice of, and loyalty to, a company.

By resolving client queries quickly and efficiently, your clients will be happier, which will ultimately boost business. That’s where an efficient call center can give you a real competitive advantage.

Equally, anyone who has ever been on the receiving end of a bad contact center call knows that a subpar experience can damage a company’s reputation and cost you business.

Boosting the performance of your customer support agents and the overall efficiency of your contact center should therefore be an essential part of your business strategy. 

What makes a great customer support agent? 

A good customer support agent has the following attributes: 

  • Excellent communication skills
  • A positive attitude 
  • The right tools and guidance

9 ways to boost your agents’ performance

1. Hire the right people

When hiring call center agents, look for staff with emotional intelligence and life experience who are more likely to relate to customers. Problem-solving skills and a positive attitude are invaluable attributes as they will enable agents to deal with complicated customer issues and difficult situations.

2. Provide excellent onboarding and training

A call center agent with a bored or unhappy tone of voice will put off customers, who expect to be treated well and want to feel they are being heard. Look for the best interactive training tools, including an agent scripting tool with training capabilities to ensure your training is effective and focused on enhancing customer service skills. The use of dynamic digital agent scripts to guide agents through the process step by step ensures they never feel at a loss when handling a difficult call. 

Data from live agent scripts can be used to create interactive training scenarios, ensuring your agents are prepared for even the most challenging of inbound calls. With a dynamic script that guides an agent through the different complexities they might face, a new agent can get up-to-speed potentially weeks faster, which helps them deliver value to the company faster and requires less assistance from veteran agents. 

3. Ensure agents know what is expected of them

If the agents in your call center are unsure of exactly what they are meant to do, they can’t possibly perform to the best standard. It’s up to the call center managers or team leaders to set clear and consistent guidelines and key performance indicators (KPIs). This way agents know exactly what “good” performance looks like and what they will be measured against. Interactive digital agent scripts also help agents comply with company protocol – avoiding costly mistakes.

Another way of reinforcing good performance is by sharing best practices. If you identify an exemplary customer call, consider studying it together with the team, with the permission of the agent.

4. Empower employees

Allowing customer support agents to have an element of control over what they do will boost confidence and agent productivity. Provide opportunities for growth − such as promotion, transfer across departments, or the opportunity to learn new skills − which could also benefit the center as a whole. 

Commit to ongoing training – even during busy times in the center – as this sends signals to your employees that what they do really does matter and is worth time and thought. 

5. Make it easy for them to make good decisions

Equip your agents with the right tools and information so they are able to make the right decisions without having to turn to a team leader every time.

Zingtree’s call center software, with easy-to-use agent scripts, guides agents through questions and complicated conversations in an intuitive, choose-your-own-adventure way. This leads to less stress for the agent, higher performance, and improved customer satisfaction.  

6. Monitor the performance of each team member in real time 

Collect as much data as possible about each customer support agent, including average handling time, the number of transfers, the type of call, and any client feedback. By monitoring the performance of every agent you will know right away when someone is underperforming. Consider using call center software with powerful analytics capabilities to give you actionable data, such as where your agents are hitting and exceeding key KPIs, and where they have room to grow.  

7. Give regular feedback 

One of the best ways to motivate contact center agents is to give regular, constructive feedback. These observations should be linked to clearly defined KPIs. When agents know they are being effectively monitored, they are more likely to perform well. 

8. Motivate agents to perform better 

Consider offering rewards such as bonuses and perks to recognize improved performance. Encourage and acknowledge innovative suggestions from agents to boost the center’s performance. Rewarding performance motivates agents to continuously improve and deliver better customer care. 

Stimulate camaraderie by introducing some healthy competition – for example challenging advisors, teams, or departments to compete against one another for titles or prizes. Share achievements on social media to encourage a sense of pride in their work.

9. Create a pleasant work atmosphere

Happy agents mean happy customers, whereas disgruntled employees struggle to be upbeat on customer calls. Cultivate a workplace where agents feel at home, and provide regular breaks and opportunities for them to interact. Ask the agents for ideas to create a chill-out room or virtual space for them to hang out when they need to destress. Employees who feel well looked after and have job satisfaction are more likely to be loyal, reducing staff turnover.

Choosing the right tool to support customer support agents 

When searching for the right software solution to boost the performance of your contact center agents, look for one that’s interactive and easy to use. 

Zingtree is a user-friendly decision tree solution that helps you build and deploy effective agent scripts in no time. Zingtree is used by contact centers across almost every vertical to boost efficiency and improve customer service. 

No coding is required, so any contact center manager can implement Zingtree’s solutions without any IT expertise. 

Ensure call compliance with the use of Zingtree interactive agent scripts, as well as reduce call wait times – for example, CARTI reduced wait times by 18 minutes by switching to Zingtree. 

Interested in learning more about implementing Zingtree in your contact center? Request a demo with our specialist team today.