The Conversational AI and Automation platform that unlocks the value of every enterprise conversation.

What Is Real-Time Agent Coaching and Why Do Call Centers Need It?

Real-time agent coaching is a new way to empower your agents to be successful, help them be more productive and effective faster, reduce their stress and anxiety, and improve not only their experience but that of customers as well. Because we all know that a great customer experience begins with a great agent experience.

Agents are more stressed — and likely to leave — than ever

Being a customer service agent has never been an easy job, but today’s agents face more frustrating and stressful challenges than ever:

The average customer-service representative between the age of 20 and 34 stays on the job for just over one year, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. It’s no wonder that call center turnover rates in many areas have reached untenable levels, with average turnover rates as high as 45% — which is at least twice the average turnover in other departments.

Watch Eric Scipio Del Campo explain the inner workings of contact centers in Season 2, Episode 6:

 

Current challenges with
call center coaching

Coaching has been an important part of call center success for as long as call centers have existed. But human coaching has its limits. Large organizations, higher call volume, more complex issues, rapid change, and remote work models — nearly everything about today’s call center environment means that human coaches can’t possibly help every agent at the right point in time to make a real difference.

It’s no wonder current coaching methods no longer deliver the kind of measurable results companies expect. And it’s no wonder that agents are more frustrated than ever. With coaches only able to listen to or review an extremely small number of interactions, they’re far more likely to:

Call Center Life: "I need a call center genie …"

Today’s call centers need real-time agent coaching

We know that coaching that is timely, targeted, actionable, and objective helps agents improve their performance, deliver a better customer experience, and reduce their stress for a better agent experience. We also know that human supervisors and coaches can’t possibly monitor every interaction in real time, instantly ascertain the customer’s emotions and intent to help the agent understand them and respond appropriately, or offer every agent specific guidance in real time to help them resolve customer issues quickly.

However, machines can do all this and more, and they can do so in real time. A conversational artificial intelligence (AI) platform can offer real-time agent coaching at scale — with incredible accuracy and effectiveness — to help agents with objective, actionable guidance during every interaction.         

Believe it takes great EX to provide great CX.

Source: “Here’s What Happens When You Focus on Employees to Better Serve Your Customers,” Brian Solis, Harvard Business Review, August 2021

What is real-time agent coaching and how does it work?

Real-time agent coaching empowers agents with specific insight, automation, and guidance during the interaction with the customer. It helps every agent become your best agent by guiding them on how to resolve the issue, providing them with next best actions, and automating tasks based on real-time recognition of customer needs and emotions. Using conversational AI to recognize and automate tasks both during and after the call prevents mistakes from happening in the first place and frees up agents to focus on the conversation.

Unlike human coaching, real-time agent coaching using conversational AI helps agents in every interaction, providing specific guidance based on understanding of the conversation, predictive analysis, and recognition of customer (and agent) emotion, customer sentiment, and intent.

Here’s an example: A customer calls about an unusually high account balance. The conversational AI identifies that the customer is frustrated and the real-time agent coaching solution suggests the next best action of waiving the annual administrative fee. The agent can click the offer to instantly resolve the issue for the customer.

The business case for AI-powered real-time agent coaching

Call centers that invest in empowering their agents with real-time coaching are seeing measurable and sustainable improvements in the metrics that matter, from agent retention to customer satisfaction, ramp-up and training time to improved conversions.

This is the heading

Improved agent experience and retention: Empowering agents with conversational AI-powered insights, guidance, analytics, and automation helps agents perform at their best, reducing stress and anxiety and improving retention.

This is the heading

Improved customer experience and satisfaction: When agents have a better experience, so do customers. Agents get the guidance they need at the moment they need it while automation frees them to focus on the customer conversation instead of performing menial tasks across multiple systems. The result is happier customers and increased customer satisfaction and Net Promoter Scores.

This is the heading

Reduced training and ramp-up time: Instead of requiring agents to read and memorize novel-size manuals, real-time agent coaching uses automated workflows and integration with the knowledgebase to provide agents with the correct guidance to handle complex issues in real time. Agents become proficient much more quickly and continue to improve rapidly, flattening out the initial learning curve and helping agents become successful more quickly.

This is the heading

Fewer errors and improved first call resolution (FCR): Real-time agent coaching helps agents resolve issues faster, with fewer mistakes via AI-powered guidance and automation. FCR goes up and repeat calls drop as agent effectiveness improves.

This is the heading

Fewer repeat calls and happier customers: With a solution that automatically identifies, manages, and automates promises (also known as commitments) made during the interaction, agents don’t have to spend valuable time on manual tasks but can focus on helping the next customer. Automation eliminates agent mistakes that disappoint customers expecting the appropriate follow-up and reduces repeat calls due to missed commitments.

This is the heading

Reduced average handle time: Real-time agent coaching helps agents resolve issues faster by automatically determining intent, providing guidance on the next best action to take to resolve the issue, and automatically providing relevant information as it’s needed. Automation of manual tasks also optimizes agent efficiency for a speedier resolution.

This is the heading

Boost sales and customer lifetime value: Highly accurate predictive analysis guides agents with the best next action and offer to increase conversion rates and drive revenue and higher customer lifetime value.

Priceline simplifies the agent experience

Find out how this leading online travel company handles 4.5 million interactions every year with consistency and empathy.

What technology is needed for real-time coaching?

Real-time agent coaching is powered by call center-specific conversational AI that recognizes and comprehends human language and uses this understanding to optimize, automate, and analyze conversations in and across multiple channels. With this ability to understand human-to-human conversations, advanced conversational AI platforms can recognize and analyze human emotion and sentiment and predict intent with a high degree of accuracy.

Legacy call center solutions were never created to understand and optimize human-to-human conversations. Only a conversational AI platform specifically designed for call centers can do that.

That’s why you need a platform built around advanced conversational AI to enable real-time agent coaching. That platform needs to include:

Final thoughts  

Agent experience and retention are critical issues for call centers. Real-time agent coaching can help you keep agents from leaving by improving their experience and reducing their stress and anxiety. Every agent can become your best agent when the help and guidance they receive is immediate, accurate, precise, and actionable.

Only a conversational AI-powered solution can do that at scale. In fact, by automating the difficult job of coaching every agent, it can free up your supervisors and managers to focus on your people and other ways to improve the agent experience.

By submitting your email, you agree that Uniphore may send you industry insights, service updates, and other marketing communications. You can unsubscribe anytime. For more details, review our privacy policy.

Uniphore Converse Logo

Don’t miss your chance to learn how to drive revenue and customer retention from key industry analysts and executives.

Join us online for Uniphore Converse 2022 on March 1 @ 8:00 am PT.

By submitting your email, you agree that Uniphore may send you industry insights, service updates, and other marketing communications. You can unsubscribe anytime. For more details, review our privacy policy.

By submitting your email, you agree that Uniphore may send you industry insights, service updates, and other marketing communications. You can unsubscribe anytime. For more details, review our privacy policy.

By submitting your email, you agree that Uniphore may send you industry insights, service updates, and other marketing communications. You can unsubscribe anytime. For more details, review our privacy policy.

By submitting your email, you agree that Uniphore may send you industry insights, service updates, and other marketing communications. You can unsubscribe anytime. For more details, review our privacy policy.

Search