Two Things Every Contact Center Agent Needs to Know

Clarabridge series title image

By: Shorit Ghosh

January 13, 2020

Clarabridge Analytics
Contact Center
Customer Effort
Customer Emotion
Sentiment Analysis

Fast-paced and stressful, a contact center agent’s job involves interacting with customers who may have very different personalities, yet all want their issues solved immediately. It is critical for the agent to realize that customers are often frustrated by policies, products, or process issues rather than the agent themselves (it’s not personal). At the same time, the interaction between customer and agent holds strong influence over the customer’s subsequent action and attitude. Whether completing a purchase, remaining loyal to the brand, or recommending it to others, the customer’s contact center experience will impact his or her decisions. Here are two key tips that any agent can apply to achieve the best outcome when interacting with customers:

  1. Remember that “It’s not what happens to you, but how you react that matters.”  With artificial intelligence and self-service technologies primed to replace simpler and more transactional tasks, customers expect their agent to be capable of solving more complex issues and expressing higher levels of empathy. Agents must put themselves in the shoes of a customer and consider the individual’s emotional state in order to respond with empathy, even if they are not able to solve the problem right away. It is also imperative for organizations to measure empathy at scale by using text analytics to better guide agents who may be struggling to establish an emotional connection with their customers.
  2. Keep in mind “the peak-end rule” to make a positive, lasting impression. People judge an experience largely based on how they felt at the peak (or most intense point) and the end rather than on the total sum or average of every moment of the experience. This also applies to the experience that a customer has with an agent. To really make an impact at the “peak,” an agent should articulate a complete understanding of the customer problem using positive phrases such as “Let me recap your issue” or “I can help you with that.” Similarly, to ensure a great end to the conversation, the agent should be eloquent, polite and clear on next steps. Phrases indicative of good call closing include “To recap—here is what we did” or “Is there anything else at all I can help with” or “Thank you again for being a customer.”


Other Articles in This Series:

Improve CSAT by Creating a 360 View of Your Customer Across All Their Feedback
Published February 19, 2020

Enhance Your CX Program by Integrating Customer Service and Marketing
Published December 9, 2019

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About the Author:
Shorit Ghosh is the Vice President of North America Services at Clarabridge. Shorit manages a team of consulting managers, business consultants and technical architects to help his customers improve their own customer experience, increase revenue, and reduce cost and churn.