5 ways to amplify agent productivity

Zoho Desk | November 30, 2016 | 3 min read

Have you ever heard of the Ivory Tree coral?

Though it may seem inconspicuous, this coral houses over 300 species of invertebrates. Any change in the number of these corals can lead to big changes and adverse effects in the aquatic ecosystem. As such, this inconspicuous coral happens to be the keystone species for its ecosystem.

Similarly, as invisible as their role may seem, customer service agents play an essential role in the health of any company’s ecosystem. Their ability to help customers effectively can make or break a company. According to Forrester, complex software with confusing user interfaces and slow processing adds to your agents’ list of woes.

In short, exhausted agents lead to unhappy customers. So, what can you do about this?

Here’s a list of five things you must do.

Let agents be themselves.

Agents are people, and no two people are the same. Acknowledge their different personalities and understand that not all agents work in the same way. As long as they are achieving their goals, let them be themselves. If Alice prefers to count down towards a due date, Bill answers high priority tickets first. While Carl focuses on the status of the ticket, Davy answers pre-sale and post-sale questions.

With this in mind, try to identify software that lets your reps do things their way. Zoho Desk’s Work Modes feature could be just the thing they need. 

Give agents as much information as you have. 

What are conversations without context? Alphabet soup without the alphabet.

Let’s face it: Nobody calls customer service to have a casual conversation. In order to make every moment meaningful for customers, your employees require as much context as they can get. This could include information such as the customers’ purchase or considered purchase, how long they’ve been buying from you, and what their past interactions with your team have been like. While you probably have most (if not all) of this information, it may be completely disorganized or scattered. Having to switch between CRM and helpdesk software may be holding your customer service department back. Zoho CRM and Zoho Desk integrate perfectly in order to bring the most context to every conversation.

Copy-and-paste is not a crime.

For most of the questions your customers have, the answers are usually straightforward and easily answered. Instead of having your agents re-articulate these answers every time, save time and effort by keeping these answers written down and available in a knowledge base. This way, agents can quickly answer questions and keep customers satisfied.

Redundancy doesn’t always help. 

While making secure copies of customer data is considered a safe bet, incorporating redundancies into your customer service process can be extremely counterproductive.

Picture this: A customer gets two responses on the same ticket, just because two agents jumped in to work on an open, high priority ticket at the same time. Wouldn’t it be more chaotic when the same situation gets repeated across any pair of agents on a regular basis? With a simple alert that shows which agent is viewing the ticket, avoid collisions and restore order in chaos.

It’s not a one-person job. It’s a one-company job.

Not all questions can be answered by a single agent right away. Some questions require the expertise of a specialized agent. Other questions can be answered by working with an employee outside the customer service team, or even multiple teams within your company. This is all fine in principle, everyone wants to build a customer-centric company but nobody wants to deal with the chaos that comes with it. Zoho Desk makes it easy for anyone in your company to jump into a conversation and help your customers work through their issues.

 

It’s the little, seemingly unimportant things that can create a big impact; even in customer service. So ensure that the cogs of your customer service efforts get the required grease, and waltz your way through providing great customer service.