New article published by UK Service Management company claims a holistic approach to culture and technology is the solution to avoiding poor customer service and boosting revenues
UK-head-quartered Service Management company Sunrise Software today announced the publication of a new article that suggests agent burnout is a major threat to customer service. Entitled “How is Agent Burnout affecting your company’s bottom line?” the document recommends an integrated and holistic approach that combines culture and technology if organisations are to avoid the high costs associated with covering stressed-out customer service representatives on sick leave.
Technology that provides a complete and real-time picture of client activity is critical to the success of today’s Customer Service Desk. Sunrise Software believes deploying the latest solutions will empower agents to deliver the best possible service that retains customers, enhances brand loyalty and ultimately increases profitability.
Jay Modhwadia, recently appointed Business Development Manager for Customer Service Management at Sunrise Software, said, “The realities of business in recent years have heightened the pressures put on the Customer Service Desk. Efficiency measures, the drive to do more with less, and increased competition mean agents are struggling to keep customers happy. Days lost through stress-related illness add to the workload of those left behind and place additional burden on staffing budgets not to mention a growing customer dissatisfaction that ultimately affects the company’s bottom line.”
According to Sunrise Software, agents are often limited in their effectiveness by not having a clear and complete picture of client activity or having to spend time switching from one system or business application to another just to find the information they need to help customers. In addition, the impacts of legislation imposed by high-profile organisations such as the Financial Services Authority (FSA) or Central Government in the form of Freedom of Information (FOI) requests, present another burden. Failure to respond to customer complaints or requests within a specified time period can result in financial penalties for organisations and added stress for their already over-stretched customer service departments.
The situation is further complicated by significant changes in consumer behaviour driven primarily by the popularity of social media and the growing expectation from customers to interact with organisations in a variety of ways – Chat, Web, SMS, Facebook and Twitter – as well as traditional telephone calls.
Despite the challenges of doing more with less, Sunrise Software believes the time has come for managers to recognise that agents suffer burnout and do something positive to counteract its damaging effects on the overall business. The company makes several recommendations that combine culture with technology:
- Use technology to reduce overwork while maintaining efficiency and call volumes. A centralised system that brings together all customer information including feeds from social media enabling agents to:
- Deal with customers empathetically based on their circumstances
- Use their judgement to deal with difficult situations knowing that they have all the facts to hand
- Cross-sell and up-sell appropriately
- Fostering an environment of team work is proven to raise results and boost morale. A centralised system for handling calls where each can see what their colleagues are working on enables individuals to work as a team.
- Encourage agents to take the breaks they are entitled to by EU law. Even short periods of time away from the desk are proven to enhance performance and productivity, reduce absence and money spent on temporary cover.
Geoff Rees, Sales Director at Sunrise Software, concluded; “Agent burnout affects most organisations to some degree. Organisations need to embrace a culture that aims to support agents with clever technology that provides a single view of the customer. Our solutions are designed to work in today’s complex, multi-channel customer service environment. And, with a strong focus on innovation, we continually strive to offer new features that empower businesses to move to a more pre-emptive and pro-active model for CSM delivery. By partnering with us and taking a holistic approach to customer service, businesses can demonstrably boost agent morale and enhance the overall customer experience in a way that ultimately protects their brand reputation and increases revenues.”