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Live & breathe agent empowerment – get customer satisfaction to boot!

Customer Satisfaction Using WFM, Engage Customer Service Staff

agent empowermentAs head of business development for Latin America, I’m a relative newcomer to Teleopti, having climbed on board just a few months ago. But in the short period of time I’ve been working with the company, I’m continually struck by how Teleopti truly practices what it preaches. By this I mean how Teleopti not only operates as a company, really taking care of its employees internally, but how this action is also reflected in its innovative, developmental work on its workforce management (WFM) solution. Basically, the motto is: take care of your employees – engage them, empower them, satisfy them – and customer satisfaction will follow to boot.

It was no surprise to learn that Teleopti ranks among the top 100 best places to work in Europe – for the past three years in a row! Nor was it a surprise to learn that Teleopti won the 2016 Frost & Sullivan WFM Solutions Customer Value Leadership Award. Both these recognitions, in my opinion, back up my view.

With still very fresh eyes, I see Teleopti as representative of a company that focuses on its people – one of, for and by the people. Everyone at Teleopti is so friendly, helpful and easily accessible. It is like a big family that really cares. This employee care permeates not only throughout its corporate culture but also characterizes its WFM solution development – with employee focus in its DNA. Backed by knowledge and proof that engaged employees raise productivity and customer satisfaction, Teleopti has made and continues to make the well-being of customers-service representatives its prime focus.

It is, in my view, what singles Teleopti out in the industry. In fact, Teleopti is one of the last remaining pure breeds of its kind,with a focus on WFM per se. Unlike Teleopti, the vast majority of competitors have branched out into the wider workforce-optimization space, dabbling a bit here and a bit there. They end up doing a bit of everything but no longer have expertise in anything. This single-minded focus of Teleopti – i.e. making the life of contact-center employees easier and more enjoyable – has put the company leaps and bounds ahead of the competition in this area. Focusing on pure WFM and putting employees in the center – and doing this exceptionally well – this is what makes Teleopti stand out and rise above the crowd.

Empowering your agents – how to concretely
How does this translate in real life? Well, let’s face it: the working life of a contact-center agent is not all fun and games – no bed of roses exactly. First, we need to help alleviate the monotony, boredom or stress caused by over- or under-staffing through better volume forecasting and then assigning agent resources accordingly.

Then, what’s called for is an injection of fun, motivation and encouragement. Enter gamification: Teleopti was the very first WFM supplier to develop and introduce this on the market recently. Some still don’t know the meaning of this: in a nutshell, it makes the life of an agent more fun and enjoyable at work, through competitive, game-like features that win agents awards and rewards – based on their performance.

Furthermore, did you know that it’s a proven fact that if you can clearly track your performance – see it right there in front of you on your screen while working – that you’ll improve your performance? Of course, Teleopti offers this.

Give them scheduling freedom – through mobility
Another example is agent access to their shift schedule and, more importantly, the ability to request shift swaps instantly – when necessary. Imagine Jim, a contact center agent, is at Starbucks and soon on his way to work. He gets a call from his wife, asking him to stay home that afternoon to take care of their daughter who has fallen ill at school. Jim whips out his smart device and via the corporate network’s self-service agent portal, accesses an updated schedule of colleagues – visible in plain view right on his display. He can either swap shifts or ask his supervisor for permission off that afternoon. This is all done in automated fashion and instantly, with notifications received in response. Now how’s that for work-life balance?

Teleopti offers this level of mobility and more. Floor managers, for example, with tablet in hand, can walk the floor, monitor their teams’ performance, trouble-shoot or coach right there and then – on the spot.

It’s a mobile world we’re living in and there are no signs of it letting up. Everything is pointing and heading more and more in this direction. And it’s no wonder, with smart devices getting cheaper, better made, more available, more widely adopted and more “authentic.” By the latter, I mean that access is now quicker, easier and safer – more than ever before. We wouldn’t want a fellow-agent hacker or any other hacker for that matter messing around the corporate network, gaining information or making changes that would favor them, would we?

Omaha, Nebraska, home to countless contact centers, is the capital of this industry in the U.S. Unfortunately, it’s an industry that’s marked by high attrition that’s atrocious and rife. Agents can and do quit, moving across the street to another contact center for a mere 5 US cents/hour pay increase.

But, do you think agents would be as apt to leave when they’ve got all this supporting technology available at their fingertips – technology that makes their work-life balance easier and better and their working life more enjoyable? I think not. You must do what it takes to keep your employees happy, satisfied, engaged and empowered. This is getting at the root of being able to deliver outstanding customer satisfaction.

The fourth of July – U.S.Independence Day – came and went recently. On this note, I’d like to conclude with: “Join the revolution! Long live raising agent empowerment – and getting customer satisfaction to boot!”

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