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12 Proven Ways to Improve Agent Productivity

12 Proven Ways to Improve Agent Productivity

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Support agents play a vital role in customer service, sales, and overall business operations by serving as the direct connection with the customers.

It is essential for businesses to find effective ways to improve agent productivity, as it greatly impacts success and the quality of customer service.

However, the most common complaints and poor customer experiences from disappointed consumers are related to delayed responses and issue resolution by unqualified customer service representatives.

Even with advancements in live chat, workflow automation, canned responses, and self-service platform technologies for customer support, why do businesses still suffer from unproductive support agents?

In this blog, we’ll dive in and discover how you can empower your agents to perform at their best.

improve agent productivity

How to measure agent productivity in customer service

Evaluating agent productivity in customer service is a data-driven process that relies on specific key performance indicators (KPIs).

These metrics provide valuable insights into individual agent performance and overall team effectiveness.

By analyzing these KPIs, managers can make informed decisions about staffing levels, operational processes, and training needs.

Improve agent productivity

Some of the most common KPIs include:

  • First response time: This is the targeted time for the initial agent response to a customer.
  • First contact resolution (FCR): Measures the percentage of customer issues resolved during the initial interaction. A higher FCR indicates efficient problem-solving and reduces the need for follow-up contact.
  • Average handle time (AHT): Tracks the time spent handling an interaction, including time on hold and after-call work.
  • Customer satisfaction scores (CSAT): Gathered through surveys or feedback forms that provide a crucial perception of the quality of the customer experience.

These combined metrics offer a comprehensive picture to improve agent productivity and customer satisfaction within a contact center.

Why is it important to improve agent productivity?

Customers frequently encounter issues that require resolution by businesses, particularly in customer service.

Often, agents take extended time to address and resolve these issues. The following are key reasons why improving agent productivity is important.

agent productivity

  • Enhances customer satisfaction: When the support agents are more productive, they can handle customer queries or issues more efficiently. This leads to reduced wait times, quicker resolutions, and overall better client experiences.
  • Productive support agents save you money: Efficient agents manage more customer interactions, reducing wait times and the need for additional agents. This translates to cost savings and enables support agents to focus on other pressing issues
  • Improves agents’ morale: When agents can effectively help customers, they feel accomplished and are more likely to stay engaged and motivated.
  • Provides valuable data for improvement: When agent productivity metrics are tracked, you can identify areas for improvement in customer support operations, training, or technology. This data-driven approach can lead to continuous customization of your operations.

Best tips to improve agent productivity in business

Efficient agents not only provide better service to customers but also contribute to the overall success of your business. Here are the top practices to increase agent productivity:

Improve agent productivity

Recruit and provide training for suitable agents

To help support agents excel in their positions, start by selecting suitable employees for the customer service role.

Strong communication skills, empathy, problem-solving abilities, adaptability, and a customer-focused mindset are characteristics of effective support agents.

According to PwC, 46% of customers will stop doing business with a brand if its employees lack knowledge.

To prevent this, it’s essential to have a proper onboarding process that introduces new hires to the company’s policies, tools, and customers and provides them with the necessary knowledge to increase agent productivity.

You can achieve this through:

  • Offering training programs
  • Organizing workshops
  • Providing online courses
  • Creating user guides and manuals
  • Preparing how-to-do videos

After all, a lack of agent-general knowledge can slow down and affect their ability to resolve client issues quickly within the provided time.

Offer integration with  third-party applications

To enhance the efficiency and agent productivity , it is recommended that they be provided with collaboration tools like Slack, Gmail shared inbox, and Microsoft Teams.

With the help of these tools, agents can receive automatic notifications for new tickets within the chats and channels.

This advanced ticket-handling feature facilitates seamless communication and enables agents to address issues more quickly, improving customer satisfaction.

Provide agents with the right tools and technology

The investment in tools for agents increased by 62%, making their work easier (Cirrus). Equip your agents with the right tools and technology to streamline their work processes.

Using artificial Intelligence (AI) can assist businesses in automating routine tasks and workflows, enabling agents to dedicate less time to answering common questions and more time to developing difficult solutions.

Other AI tools and technologies to use include:

  • Ticket summarization: This feature provides summaries of customer interactions, enabling agents to concentrate on finding solutions instead of reading each communication in detail.
  • Error-free communication: Grammar-checking and rewriting tools help agents create responses that are both professional and free of grammatical errors.
  • Multilingual support: Agents can engage with consumers globally by utilizing AI translation tools, which help them overcome language challenges.

Set realistic goals and expectations

Establishing clear expectations to improve agent productivity begins with clearly defining each agent’s roles and responsibilities.

This involves outlining the required tasks, specifying the standards agents must adhere to, and ensuring they understand the level of service expected from customers.

When agents precisely understand their role, setting achievable targets can motivate them to stay focused, work more efficiently, and provide a basis for evaluating their performance.

Establish a centralized system for ticketing

Implementing a centralized ticketing system can greatly improve agents’ productivity by bringing together all customer interactions from various communication channels into one unified platform.

This eliminates the need for agents to switch between multiple platforms, saving time and minimizing the chances of overlooking any inquiries.

Additionally, this system offers a comprehensive record of each customer’s interactions through tickets, enabling agents to deliver personalized service and address issues quickly.

Implement performance metrics

Establish clear performance metrics aligned with agent productivity goals to monitor and motivate agent operation.

Customer service software can assist with this by providing advanced data and analytics tools that track agent performance.

Businesses can track and improve agent productivity using customer service KPIs such as:

  • First response time
  • Average handle time
  • First contact resolution rate
  • Customer satisfaction score

After gathering this information, discussing it with your agents is important. Openly discussing your findings can ensure accountability and pinpoint areas for improvement for both your agents and the support team.

Improve agent productivity
Improve agent productivity by measuring their performance

Make use of self-service options

According to research conducted by Cirrus, 70% of agents wish to have the freedom to address customer problems independently and improve first-contact resolution rates.

Customer self-service portals enable clients to track progress, submit tickets, and access information, helping agents prioritize urgent issues.

When clients can resolve their issues on their own, it leads to increased productivity for the agent.

Troubleshooting guides help agents quickly resolve customer problems. Resolved issues are sent to the FAQ section for future reference.

In addition, provide support agents with comprehensive internal knowledge base software or an FAQ software, containing relevant information and solutions to common customer queries.

This will enable them to have the information at their fingertips, reducing research time and improving their productivity.

Use a task management tool

Businesses can utilize task management tools to reduce the number of steps needed to handle a problem and improve agent productivity by dividing the work into smaller tasks.

This maintains a centralized and streamlined record of customer interactions during calls and meetings, reducing mental strain and freeing up agents’ time for handling customer inquiries.

By focusing on one task at a time, agents become more efficient and resolve customer issues faster.

Empower agents with workflow automation

By automating repetitive tasks and simplifying complex processes, workflow automation empowers agents to focus on high-value interactions, boosting both efficiency and morale.

You can implement a SLA  feature to send notifications that empower agents to make decisions on their own within predefined guidelines.

This approach can save time and boost customer satisfaction by setting deadlines and enabling them to resolve problems without unnecessary escalations.

Other workflow automation features to use include:

  • Automation rule: Enable you to set up a workflow that performs actions based on specific conditions. This rule helps create tickets automatically and other specific ticket actions.
  • Work schedules: Establish business hours of operation and days off for your support team such as holidays or weekends.
  • Service level agreement (SLA): Assist in determining the automatic response and resolution times that your support team should adhere to for a ticket.

Guarantee clear communication channels for agents

It’s important to establish a clear and effective communication channel between your customer service agents and customers.

When agents have access to reliable and efficient communication tools, they can easily and quickly communicate with their colleagues, managers, and customers, which can help them resolve issues more effectively and efficiently.

Therefore, businesses need to ensure that their agents have access to communication channels that are easy to use, secure, and reliable, such as instant messaging, email, video conferencing, and social media platforms to facilitate quick response times and the resolution of customer queries.

This will improve internal processes and enhance the support provided to external customers by improving agent productivity and problem-solving skills.

Inform agents of new updates to the company

Foster open communication in your team to promote collaboration and feedback, enhance creativity, and solve problems.

Effective communication builds trust and stronger relationships, keeping agents updated on business changes to avoid providing outdated information.

Sending a simple announcement can prevent unprepared during calls, which improve agent productivity.

Offer incentives and rewards to improve agent productivity

Recognize and celebrate the achievements of your agents to boost morale and motivation.

Incentives such as bonuses, gift cards, certificates of achievement, or recognition can encourage agents to go above and beyond in delivering exceptional customer service.

Improve agent productivity
Reward your employees

Additionally, publicly acknowledging and rewarding top-performing agents for their efforts, milestones, and accomplishments can create a positive work environment and inspire agents to deliver exceptional service.

How BoldDesk helps to increase agent productivity

BoldDesk assists agents in staying focused and productive by achieving customer service goals by automating repetitive tasks, offering AI-powered assistance for better communication, and providing a central location for all customer interactions.

Through mobile apps, workflow automation, task management, and internal communication tools, BoldDesk promotes collaboration and eliminates unnecessary delays.

Agents are equipped with relevant information and a real-time task list, enabling them to assist customers promptly, resolve issues quickly, and improve overall customer satisfaction.

Contact us to arrange a live demo and experience how BoldDesk features can help you improve agent productivity in your organization. Or sign up for our free trial for immediate access.

I hope you found the article useful. Do you have any more thoughts or recommendations? Kindly leave your comments in the section below.

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Level Up Your Customer Support with BoldDesk

  • tickicon

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  • tickicon

    Increase customer satisfaction level to 92%

  • tickicon

    Decrease response times by 30 minutes

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