How’s everyone feeling out there? “At Christmas we tell the truth” (Bloke that’s in love with Kiera Knightley, Love Actually, 2003) and so it’s okay if the answer is that you’re not full of festive sparkle. As we reach the finish line of another year and stand at the foot of a fresh twelve months, our teams might be a little jaded. We’re not here to Scrooge at anyone, but did you know that according to a 2023 study by Westfield Health, 46% of workers in the UK are feeling burned out? It’s not the most festive statistic, but we think Christmas is maybe the best time to reflect on how to help each other glow again. Years of experience at Adexchange has taught us that contact centre teams feel most fly when they have the right tools to solve customer problems quickly and accurately. These support systems cause them less faff, less stress, more job satisfaction and productivity. Let’s tell you what they are before we all self-medicate with a mince pie:
1. Pre-written templates
When customer enquiries are routine, pre-written templates can help our agents to bash out consistent solutions at pace, without repeatedly taxing their energy. On the flipside, when the enquiries are more technical, templates offer a solid crutch for our agents to start the solution process off right. Templates are also smooth operators when it comes to keeping our brands’ tone of voice consistent. What’s not to love? Nothing, as long as the templates are (vitally) well-researched and crafted. That’s our job though, so exhale away.
2. Investing in workshops and coaching
Not everything can be solved by a template (life, if only) and so investing in our agents’ development is important. Creating designated time and space to coach our teams in writing effective replies might sound like a headache when keen Trish first suggests it in the team meeting, but Trish is right. This act of prioritising will make our agents feel valued, nurturing a more engaged team. It will also arm that team with skills that will make our customers very happy (and ultimately nicer to talk to). The long-term wins of dedicated coaching are clear, but the immediate benefits are also for the taking. As we walk away from our Adexchange workshops, we often notice a lift in team mood and morale. It makes us do a little jig on the way back to the car park.
3. Befriending chatbots
Done well, chatbots can be the Robins to our agents’ Batman, combating customer enquiries like silent ninjas so the big guy doesn’t have to worry. They’re also great for relieving the burden of monotony from sentient humans (let’s be honest, changing Bill’s postcode for the seventh time would make us all feel a bit done). Chatbots eat up the repetitive queries that people don’t want to, as long as they’re programmed well (with bulletproof responses we can write for you). Once we’ve got your chatbot written to perfection, your agents won’t be bothered with the boring stuff so much – and can get to juicier and fulfilling work.
4. Streamlining customer journeys
There’s nothing like speaking to an angry customer after they’ve been spat out by a convoluted customer journey to ruin an agent’s day. Fuming people tend not to be friendly. Which is why ensuring systems like our IVRs, website click-throughs and business apps are slick and satisfying to use, can give our agents a nicer life. At Adexchange, we love going on a customer journey and troubleshooting our travels, so give us the worst you’ve got.
5. Building video libraries
Imagine if every time someone asked you how to do something fiddly, you had to actually tell them. This is all in a day’s work for most contact centre agents (and mums), but it doesn’t mean it sets their hearts on fire. A great way to relieve agents of this drudgery is to equip them with a bank of easy-to-follow “how to” videos instead. They can send these to customers instead of saying “don’t worry, let’s try that again Jeff” through artfully gritted teeth. Both parties are winners in this exchange: an agent is saved from timely repetition and our customers get a trusty visual aid that is theirs to keep. At Adexchange we thoroughly dig the art of a knowledge bank (these can include video, audio and written content), so try us with your fiddly customer conundrums that make your agents want to cry. And we’ll try to turn that frown upside down.
Burnout often starts with feeling alone with too much to do. Agents say RELATE. The obvious antidote in a contact centre is self-service. Especially as recent studies revealed that 67% of customers prefer self-service to speaking to an agent. At Adexchange we can help you identify exactly where the self-service opportunities are in your customers’ journeys…and these will almost always save you money, your agents time, and make for more satisfied customers.
In conclusion this Christmas – if your team isn’t feeling its sparkle, the answer isn’t pouring a shedload of glitter on them at the office party. Instead, it’s about stripping back and leaning into the tools and technology that can take the pressure off next year and beyond. As you’re probably overworked yourself, let us worry about exactly what those tools are. Just send us a tired email and we’ll bring the va-va voom.