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Great Customer Service Requires Engaged Agents

Published: March 21, 2022 | By: John Englund

Maya Angelou said that “people will forget what you said… and what you did… but not how you made them feel.”

This is true for the customer service experience, which though constantly bolstered by new technologies, is and will always remain a fundamentally “human” experience.

The Forefront Executive Council gathered on February 23-24 to discuss the central impact of contact center agents on the customer experience, and how technology contributes to agents’ ability to deliver experiences that satisfy customers by making them feel valued.

Forefront brings together forward-thinking industry leaders to share best practices and thought leadership on how Intelligent Automation is revolutionizing customer service by improving the experiences of agents and customers alike.

At this meeting, held in Scottsdale, Arizona, Max Ball from Forrester Consulting led a conversation on contact center trends in 2022, noting the importance of the “human touch” and how organizations can use technology to reduce or eliminate factors that contribute to agent stress and, by extension, attrition.

Mr. Ball spoke of specific actions organizations can take to improve the agent’s work environment, including:

• Hiring and empowering the right agents
• Choosing metrics to gain the most relevant information
• Building a positive work environment
• Getting technology “out of the way”
• Extending CX teams include colleagues from outside customer service

Participants at the Forefront meeting agreed that agent engagement has always been a key factor in service delivery quality, but high agent attrition rates aggravated by the pandemic have made the matter more important than ever.

The isolation of working at home, and fielding calls from customers whose lives have also been made more stressful by the pandemic, increases the need to reduce agent stress and ensure continued high-level performance. “Location-agnostic” Intelligent Automation makes the agent’s work less stressful and more meaningful, and promotes consistency across customer service teams as organizations move to a hybrid work model that combines remote and in-office agents.

Senior executives from MetLife, Virgin Media, American Express, Synchrony and AXA shared insights on how their organizations are leveraging Intelligent Automation to improve agent engagement and productivity, which in turn leads to better end-customer experiences and more loyal customers.

The Forefront meeting also included a briefing on Forrester Consulting’s Total Economic Impact™ (TEI) study, conducted at the end of 2021. The study showed that organizations leveraging Intradiem’s Intelligent Automation technology achieve a 342% ROI over three years and recoup their investment in less than six months.

Intradiem executives also shared opportunities and challenges gleaned from customer surveys collected in 2021, as well as an overview of the company’s product roadmap and strategy for 2022.

Through its capacity to capture and process massive data flows in real time, Intelligent Automation is helping organizations make smarter minute-to-minute decisions and grow more adaptive to emerging trends in customer service.

Critically, this technology is designed to enhance human agents’ ability to leverage their flexibility and empathy—qualities which remain their most valuable tools for solving customer issues and making them feel valued.

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