How Agent Performance Affects Business Success
Updated: Feb 8, 2022
One thing is unarguably true for the BPO industry: call centers and quality customer service determine your business’s overall performance. Studies indicate that excellent customer service can help rescue the company from poor marketing techniques; on the other hand, bad customer service can jeopardize a company with even the most delightful marketing strategy. Your business must get customer service right by keeping the customer service agents happy. Hiring the right personnel for the team determines whether the call center team succeeds or not. Additionally, successful customer service incorporates leadership and management teams that keep the agents happy and maintain their morale after they are hired. According to Gartner, keeping the agents happy will prevent agent attrition that could cost the business between $1,500 and $20,000 per month.
How to Make Your Agents Happy
Happy agents are likely to be loyal to your call center and be more productive at their station. The business wins with improved productivity, decreased training and recruitment costs, enhanced customer retention, and better customer service. Below are some things you can consider doing to help make your agents more productive at work.
Micromanaging is suffocating in any environment, no less so in a call center. Managers should train their agents to the point of competence and then trust and inspire them to perform at their best. As a business leader, it is your primary responsibility to adequately train your agents and outline decisions they can make independently.
Build Recognition Guidelines
Whenever an agent does a good job or goes beyond their tasks, it is beneficial to recognize them. Since not all employees love public adulation, you can recognize them through incentives or rewards. Having a customizable rewards system shows that you care about the agent and not just about being perceived as caring.
Organize team-building events
Agents are often happy when they enjoy their job and have a good relationship with co-workers. Team building events allow them to associate freely and learn about each other outside of work, improving overall communication within their shifts.
With the ever-changing marketplace, products also change at a fast pace. Keeping the agents in the loop and on top of these changes through continued education. This helps to reduce customer complaints and improves the overall productive flow of the company.
Promote from within
When there is a vacancy, allowing agents to apply shows they are valued. Training them for increased responsibility can also keep them happy as they know they are always being considered for promotions.
What is a Bad Customer Service?
Bad customer service, in a nutshell, is the improper and unfortunate handling of customer complaints. In call centers, this is commonly seen when customers have to explain their concerns to agents (sometimes more than one) multiple times without actually arriving at a resolution. It makes clients angry and can cost the business a fortune. Studies show that 52% of unhappy customers do not recommend your brand to close associates, and 32% are likely to stop any engagement with a business with unhappy customer agents.
How Unhappy Agents Affect Business Performance
One musician sang that it takes a million people to build a good reputation, but it takes one stupid man to destroy everything you have done. The same can be true with the damage of one bad customer experience on the gains you have made. These harmful effects can be reversed even mitigated if you act quickly; otherwise, they may result in the following:
Unhappy customer agents can result in ineffective sales calls, contributing to lost opportunities. Many customer relation models (CRM) employ technology to examine sales objectives and deadlines to perform their functions better. CRMs use customer needs, client demographics, and customer priorities to improve sales and customer loyalty. Unhappy call center agents may lack the motivation to provide accurate customer information to the sales representatives, contributing to lost sales.
Customer interactions that are constant customer complaints can give your competitors a window into your established market. Unhappy agents will not put forth the effort to ensure strong customer relations, and competitors will take advantage of disgruntled clients. Competitors may offer free technical training, better services, free product sampling, troubleshooting advice, or one-on-one personalized meeting to determine customer demands. These attempts may leave your market share dwindling, thus affecting your bottom line. In essence, disgruntled call center agents are foot soldiers for your competitors.
Your employees may leave.
Bad customer relations may have ripple effects on the company’s employees. When you lose customers, you risk losing valuable employees. Unhappy customer service agents often create a sales mess that your hardworking employees need to clean up, causing them additional stress. As your employees deal with angry customers, pressure and stress levels skyrocket, and this can force them to leave the company for better opportunities elsewhere. When your employees leave, you incur more costs for hiring and training new ones. Some loyal customers used to former employees may not feel inclined to buy your product since the person they identify with is gone. In some instances, these customers may follow the employee to their new place of business.
Bad image for the company
Some studies indicate that a customer who has had a bad customer experience with an unhappy agent is prone to telling their family, friends, and colleagues about the experience. We live in an era where brands are held more accountable for their actions than in the past. Several years ago, if you bought a product that did not meet your expected needs, the best you could do was get a refund for the item you bought after sending a complaint letter. Today, with one tweet, your company can trend on social media for the wrong reasons. Your brand can be hung in the court of public opinion, which destroys your reputation and damages your earning potential. Let’s be honest here; we’ve all seen those memes! That is why it is so important to keep your customer service agents happy to enhance customer experience and loyalty.
Loss of Profits
Unhappy call center agents translate to reduced sales, leading to reduced profits. Every business’s dream is to profit by increasing revenue unless it is a non-profit organization. Keeping your agents happy means your customers are served the best. The customers are likely to increase their purchase volume and promote your brand among friends. If the agents leave a good taste on the clients’ hearts, be sure of increased profit, and the contrary is true.
Employing agents is an obvious step in scaling any call center; however, if the agents are not appreciated and respected, the recruitment exercise will not achieve its goal. The leadership and management should ensure that customer service agents are treated well. Keeping happy may be the difference between business success and failure.