The value of happier call center agents

Posted on: December 07th, 2017 by Lance Hood

How you authenticate callers is critical to your customer relationships, business profits and your overall contact center operations. Putting your customers in the hot seat to answer security questions creates anxiety and frustration that directly impacts how they feel about your brand.

While telephone interrogations damage your customer relationships, have you considered how they impact your own team? It’s not a stretch to say that contact center agents loathe interrogations as much as your callers do.

Think about it. Your reps take upwards of a hundred calls per shift. They are trained and enjoy solving problems, not grilling customers. But if they’re asked to interrogate every call, it’s eventually going to impact their morale and level of service.

We know the authentication process is the contact center’s necessary evil. Validating who your agents are talking to is something we must all do. But at what expense?

The median annual turnover rate for call center agents is 29 percent. That’s almost a third of your staff. One of the top contributors of agent stress is knowledge-based authentication (KBA). Once an effective method for identifying customers over the telephone, KBA has become a costly and unnecessary disruption to the customer experience, causing harm to customer trust and your agents’ ability to effectively do their job.

One way banks can remove annoying telephone interrogations is by automating the authentication process. With the TRUSTID® Pre-Answer Caller Authentication solution, agents skip the most stressful part of the identification process. Instead of wasting your customers’ valuable time with a bunch of challenge questions, TRUSTID’s advanced telephone network forensics instantly validates the inbound call as the phone is ringing.

As a result, agents don’t have to dedicate the first 30-plus seconds asking security questions to identify each customer. This reduces significant call handle time on thousands of inbound calls per day. Along with lowering your agents’ stress levels, it can also save your bank a lot of money.

Let’s just say that your contact center processes 10,000 calls per day at one dollar a minute. If you could reduce just 30 seconds on each call, that would save your call center operations $5,000 per day, which equates upwards of $1.8 million in annual labor expenses.

Additional savings can also come with not having to replace as many of your call center agents. A less stressed workforce can reduce the $5,000 to $8,000 that contact centers pay to replace agents. That adds up to a lot of savings over time.

Finally, happy agents make better brand ambassadors that deliver better customer service. Combine that with more satisfied customers, and you have a team of call center agents that are less likely to quit and more customers that are less likely to take their business to a competitor. In my book, happier agents and satisfied customers is a winning formula for everyone.