How to manage the customer experience in a call center.

Anyone who has ever worked in a large call center environment where there are 20 or 30 agents on a team knows that there are always agents that are complaining about one thing and sometimes those complaints are unwarranted, some people just need to complain about something,  and sometimes they are legitimate.  One of the things you learn in the call center environment is that agents will often talk about what is making customers unhappy.  I learned a long time ago that the agents on the phone are a valuable resource that needs to be taking advantage of.  Often companies will spend a lot of time and money on Customer Experience Management (CEM) by creating various customer service surveys, whether that is by email, using an automated system at the end of a call, postal mail, etc.

One thing I have always noticed is that sometimes management cannot see what is right in front of them, they have one of the most valuable sources of customer feedback at their disposal and it doesn’t cost a thing.  That resource is your agents, they are on the front lines, and they deal with the customer’s day in and day out.  They know what is making customers happy and what is making them unhappy.  Don’t get me wrong customer service surveys are always a good idea, but you are only going to get so much out of them and only a small percentage of people are willing to participate, but agents on the phone have firsthand experience of what is going on with the customers and they are a source that can be surveyed.  Sure some agents will complain about things that are not relevant to customer service or state things that don’t really hold water, but if you are surveying 200 agents, you are able to analyze the answers and see which answers are common, what is the number one issue that the majority of agents are saying that is making the customer happy or unhappy.

Agents are a resource that is often overlooked that every call center should be utilizing with CEM in ensuring that customer retention is a priority.