A Day in the Life of... A Call Center Agent | Verbio Technologies

A Day in the Life of… A Call Center Agent

At Verbio, you will often hear us discussing the issue of call center churn rate. This can apply to customer churn, but in this example, we want to paint a picture that portrays why call center agent churn is one of the biggest topics being raised by the call & contact center industry at national events and exhibitions.

Let’s face it, call center agents have it tough. Usually, applicants tend to acquire jobs in call centers if they are relatively unskilled by professional standards and in need of a job that will earn a modest $15 USD per hour.

On average, a single call center operator will last just between 6 to 12 months in the role, having required 8 weeks of training at a cost of $10,000 – $15,000 USD. But why is this? Is employee satisfaction that much lower in the call & contact center industry than similarly paid roles in other sectors?

Operators dealing with frustrated customers and repetitive tasks.

A call center agent’s job could often be described as a thankless task. If we consider the position of the average caller picking up the phone to speak to a company’s contact center, we can imagine that they might already be frustrated by something that has led to the call. Firstly, most call centers only operate between working hours, meaning that customers are already juggling multiple tasks when calling to resolve a given issue.

Most likely, the caller has forgotten or does not know a simple piece of information. If not that, then they might need to complete a routine task, such as a payment.

However, when dealing with a pre-built Interactive Voice Response system (IVR), a caller might become frustrated by the Average Wait Time or robotic routing that they are forced to endure, before speaking to a real agent. In some cases, a caller may lose their place in a queue or press the wrong button and be directed to the wrong agent.

All the while, the customer has been on call even longer and is now annoyed that their simple task has not been dealt with. By the time they do speak to an agent, they must then explain the need for their call again before either resolving or being passed on to the correct department. You can bet that these frustrations are then directed towards the agent, who will suffer from reduced morale the more times that this happens.

Additionally, as most callers’ queries tends to lie within a predictable number of options, not only do agents experience a high volume of frustrated customers, but also a high quantity of repetitive tasks.

These repetitive tasks can add to feelings of low job satisfaction, as agents feel that they are simply stating the same phrases over and over again. Not to mention that in the time one agent has dealt with one caller’s simple request, another two callers have joined the queue to make similar or identical inquiries.

Permanent contact center solutions for high agent churn

With the above in mind, it is no wonder that agent churn is so high in the call center environment.

Whilst some employers may offer generous wages, holidays plans, or other added benefits to prevent an agents’ exit, these solutions only pave over the cracks and do not resolve the day-to-day issues that an agent is faced with.

These issues might be categorized by the following:

·      Dealing with frustrated customers.

·      Agents having to handle overly repetitive tasks.

·      The nature of work is not challenging or satisfying.

Therefore, to resolve these issues, a call center must reduce the frustrating elements of agents daily work and replace these tasks with more fulfilling activities. In doing so, the business will empower its long-standing agents to acquire knowledge and produce more positive interactions with customers, promoting customer experience and customer satisfaction.

Of course, this sounds like an obvious solution and the obvious questions around how to do this will arise.

Verbio has the answer: deploy Conversational AI to your call center.

Call Automation solutions helping agents, not replacing them.

Voice assistants aid contact center agents when implemented correctly. Conversational AI and Voice AI offers a new opportunity for contact centers to aid its agents and reduce churn rates for good.

This is done in two major ways.

Human-to-machine interactions faster than call routing

With a Conversational AI solution, a call center completely reshapes its IVR offering to the caller. Instead of offering frustrating call routes via “press 1 for X”, and “press 2 for Y”, a machine can simply ask the question, “How may I help you?”. During the caller’s answer, Speech Recognition technologies are at work to transcribe an answer from speech into written text.

Secondly, Call Automation – one of Verbio’s advanced Voice AI solutions – uses Natural Language Understanding (NLU) voice AI technology to understand the callers intent, before creating an answer and applying Text-to-Speech technology in order to vocalize the answer back to the call.

This is important, as it allows mundane and repetitive tasks to be dealt with completely be the machine. However, if the caller requires further support for a task that requires human understanding, the machine can forward the call to the correct department automatically.

Offer 24/7 Opening Hours with Conversational AI

Furthermore, when a contact center enhances its offering by choosing a Conversational AI solution, it is extending the timescales in which a customer can call. Because machines are at the first-line of support, they can work around the clock and can take an unlimited amount of calls.

Phone calls are an important method of communication, because they are conversational. Even when replacing human-to-human (H2H) calls with human-to-machine (H2M) calls during out-of-office hours, customers are more likely to report feelings of positive customer experience over the use of AI chatbots, for example.

Verbio White Paper offers insight into “Solving Contact Center Agent & Customer Churn”. Using internal research from our own scientific & product departments, plus referencing industry research. Empower your call center agents! Download today, for free.

The Result? Improved customer service & workforce management

In summary, the modern call center must is now facing a wave of agent churn issues. In the end, this not only has an impact on customer service, but a business’ bottom line.

To prevent high churn rates, contact centers must start to think outside of the box and put themselves in their agents shoes, in order to deal with the real issues hurting their work forces.

By offering a Voice AI solution that can handle multiple calls around the clock, CX Managers will be able to empower their staff to not only deal with more advanced caller inquiries, but also improve their sense of worth in the workplace. All whilst saving on the long term financial cost of constant turnover and training costs.

Could Voice AI technology or Conversational AI solutions be the answer for your call center agent churn problems? Contact us today for a free consultation. Verbio is a global provider of voice AI solutions, including Call Automation, and we have customers across Europe, North America, South America, and Asia.

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