Customer interactions can be fleeting. A quick call here, a social media post there, a second sale months or years after the initial purchase. Companies need to do all they can to make these moments positive ones for the customer. Yet often, the people who interact with customers the most — contact center agents — aren’t aware of their own performance or how it affects the people they serve.
One reason for this disconnect is the new remote reality. With many contact center agents now working from home, managers have less visibility into their performance. Customer spending patterns have also shifted, with purchases moving from on-premise to digital. Customer expectations haven’t changed — superior service is still the standard. But with so many experiences happening virtually, agents need more tools to help them deliver exceptional customer experiences.
Employees Need Feedback in the Moment
The world is moving faster, and in the days of priority shipping, one-click shopping and instant gratification, older ways of delivering feedback aren’t adequate for the new world of work. Many businesses have ditched the annual performance review as companies shift from accountability to coaching. Managers can’t influence behavior change if employees are only informed of how well or poorly they did six months ago. Likewise, if contact center agents are only being shown their successes or mistakes after the fact, that doesn’t allow them to improve in the moment. Post-call evaluations help, but they can’t reinforce behavior as it happens.
Feedback is critical to employee growth; 27% of employees strongly agree the feedback they receive helps them do their work better. Yet training retention can’t happen if feedback isn’t given in a timely manner. Agents may forget what they’ve learned between coaching sessions — and because they are remote, any informal communication that was once given doesn’t exist.
As a way to coach contact center agents in the moment, NICE Real-Time Interaction Guidance is crucial for optimizing contact center interactions as they happen. Real-Time Interaction Guidance assists agents in providing service excellence analyzing customer service interactions as they occur and providing context-relevant behavior and process guidance (as needed) for a consistent service experience from every agent on every call. It uses NICE Enlighten AI to guide agents’ behaviors that influence customer satisfaction.
Real-Time Interaction Guidance is meant to reinforce positive behaviors. It should be used together with coaching and post-call evaluations to empower agents to address customer issues, increase customer satisfaction and aid customer retention.
Unlocking Hidden Opportunities
Interactions between customers and contact center agents are filled with opportunities to increase both customer satisfaction and the bottom line. Agents can use these calls to upsell new products, recognize customer loyalty, increase compliance or simply improve the customer experience. Yet, contact center agents might not recognize the signs and cues that indicate when it’s the right time to engage with customers in this way. Whether due to overwork, lack of training, time constraints or low engagement levels, agents might miss these incremental opportunities.
This is another area where Real-Time Interaction Guidance proves valuable. By monitoring interactions in real time, the system can spot the hidden opportunities contact center agents might miss, and guide them in the right direction. Such small interactions have the potential to make a large impact over time.
Reaping the Rewards of Positive Customer Experiences
In this era of shrinking customer loyalty, companies need all the help they can get. Using Real-Time Interaction Guidance to emphasise connections has strong bottom-line implications. When customers feel connected to brands, 57 percent report increasing their spending with that brand.
Evidence suggests that using AI in the contact center has positive effects. In a recent survey, companies that used AI in their contact centers saw more than a threefold increase in satisfied customers and increased customer retention, according to Aberdeen research.
Real-time Interaction Guidance is designed to complement all the other ways managers are guiding their contact center agents. It isn’t intended to replace 1:1 feedback, coaching sessions, post-call evaluations or any other ways agents are evaluated on their performance. Rather, Real-time Interaction Guidance is another tool in managers' toolkits to give employees insights into their behavior and interactions as those interactions happen.
With customer loyalty more precarious than ever, businesses often don’t get second chances. This is part of what makes Real-Time Interaction Guidance so essential. Contact center agents need a helping hand to move the needle on customer experience, and receiving positive reinforcement and coaching in the moment is one way to achieve their goals.
Learn how NICE can help improve your customer experiences at www.nice.com/analytics.