Are your Agents Really Listening to your Customers?

Agents Listening To Customers

Are your contact center agents really listening to your customers or are they simply hearing them? It’s one thing to just hear them. It’s quite another, however, to really listen to what callers are saying and engage with them providing useful and appropriate information. When performed optimally, your contact center’s first call resolution rate will increase, reducing the number of calls your agents must handle moving forward.

Live Monitoring for Immediate Improvement

Live monitoring enables supervisors to determine the level of agent engagement. They can also live-coach agents as interactions occur, giving them the option to intercept calls and resolve issues as they happen. Live monitoring also allows supervisors to assess agents on their listening and engagement skills.

Customers often have unique requirements or questions that can be addressed with customized answers in real time. Your agents need to be well trained to handle unique scenarios or problems that may come up during a customer interaction. The 80/20 rule can certainly apply here; however, your agents should closely listen to what your customers are asking and provide thoughtful responses rather than replying with obviously canned responses.

If your supervisors or team leaders do not have time to listen to live calls, another option is to randomly record select interactions (using quality management software) for assessment. This can be done per agent on a scheduled basis, such as per month/week using quality monitoring scorecards to evaluate them. Assessment criteria may vary among teams.

Here are some common questions to use on your scorecards:

  1. Did the agent ask, “How can I help you?”
  2. Did the agent repeat or reword the caller’s question to demonstrate a solid understanding?
  3. Did the agent demonstrate compassion for the caller’s issue?
  4. Was the caller’s issue resolved fully?

Scorecards to Improve Overall Quality

Agent evaluation scorecard templates can lay the foundation for assessing listening and engagement skills, and your evaluators can tailor the questions as required. Customized scoring with assigned weighted scores enables supervisors to highlight specific skills or weaknesses. Quality scorecards provide valuable insights into agent performance and reveal skill gaps and training needs. Your supervisors can then coach them and provide the necessary training to boost your agents’ skills, such as listening.

Interaction Playback to Increase Coaching Effectiveness

Synchronized, single-screen playback of the call, agent desktop recording and/or chat provides an accurate representation of the interaction for evaluation purposes. Specific sections of an interaction can be highlighted upon playback to demonstrate proper/improper listening, engagement or reactions. Supervisor notes can be added at any point on the call recording timeline (or spanning a period) to address a particular issue and provide coaching.

These are just some of the many ways in which call recording and quality management software can be utilized to assess and improve agent listening and engagement skills. In time, your agents will indeed be listening to and actively engaging with your customers.

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