In a Customer-Centric Contact Center World, Does Agent Satisfaction Really Matter?

For some non-forward-thinking contact centers, the satisfaction of the associates, or agents, isn’t relative. For these centers it is all about efficiency, productivity, and customer satisfaction. What we’ve found is that the best producing contact centers also look at the satisfaction level of the associates or agents. This metric is based on the premise that more satisfied agents will offer a better service experience to the customer, and that more satisfied agents will lead to reduced turnover and in turn create a more experienced workforce delivering a higher level of service. WAIT, before you stop reading with a thought of, “Okay, that makes sense, Captain Obvious,” — the question that needs to be answered is how to best measure agent satisfaction. Ahhhh, I got your interest again, didn’t I?

So what does this agent satisfaction metric look like? Best practices would suggest the combining of four factors.

  1. Results gained from agent satisfaction scores. This is measured on a regular basis through a brief survey completed by the agents.
  2. Availability – measured in customer time/staff time. This allows management to better see how well agents are engaged. In order for this to operate, the degree of schedule flexibility for agents typically needs to be increased. This metric is often being used in place of, or to augment, a schedule adherence metric.
  3. Evaluate the agent’s satisfaction through the eyes of the customer. Questions to customers about the agents engagement/helpfulness/friendliness can help indicate the level of agent satisfaction.
  4. Measure the attrition rate of the agents. There are some anomalies that can influence the attrition rate, such as someone moving out of state to accompany a spouse with a job change, but those can be treated as exceptions and can be removed from the metric.

Overall, the attrition rate is a good indicator of agent satisfaction. The bottom line is – this metric matters! Look after the agents to make sure that they are satisfied, and that will translate into improved service levels and increased sales.

Joe Staples — chief believer in people