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29 November 2022

Who Are Today’s Contact Center Agents?

By: Geomant

The contact center as we know it has changed significantly in recent years. Today’s CX environments are focused on a broader range of platforms and channels, from video and messaging to SMS and social media. Moreover, they’re often equipped with a wider range of advanced tools, from AI assistants and bots to powerful analytics tools.

As the contact center has changed, the agents responsible for managing customer interactions have evolved too. Today’s contact center employees are digital natives, flexible enough to work from any environment connected to the cloud. The agents are driven by purpose and motivated by solid company culture, flexibility, and the promise of professional development.

Understanding who your contact center agents are and what they need from you can help your business identify the right talent and provide your employees with the tools they need to be as successful and productive as possible.

Who Applies for Contact Center Roles Today?

The ever-evolving nature of the contact center makes it a valuable place for a wide range of professionals. Anyone passionate about customer service and strong communication skills can often thrive in an agent role. This means the kind of staff employed in the contact center can vary.

According to Zippia, more than 417,000 agents are employed in the US with a variety of races, ethnicities and backgrounds. Education levels can vary significantly from one location to the next too. Most employees in this field have a high school diploma (37%), while 26% have a bachelor’s degree, and 21% hold an associate degree.

What Do Today’s Contact Center Agents Do?

The role of the contact center agent is evolving as customer expectations transform. Today’s experts are often confident in working in a wide range of channels to serve their clients and can manage multiple conversations at once.

Some contact center agents provide specific assistance with certain products and services, while others concentrate on sales and generating revenue. Some of the most common tasks completed by contact center agents today include:

  • Communicating with customers in an omnichannel environment
  • Evaluating and troubleshooting issues and resolving problems for customers
  • Answering common questions and educating customers
  • Upselling, cross-selling, and promoting various products and services
  • Processing orders, forms, applications, and requests
  • Collecting information and insights from customer interactions
  • Completing call logs and filling out reports
  • Following up with customers and strengthening customer success

Managers of contact center agents need to be equipped to hire, train, and support professionals in their role. They must also monitor and evaluate agents with tracking and reporting tools and pinpoint areas for improvement. They’re also responsible for evaluating crucial business metrics and identifying areas where the business may need to make crucial changes.

What Do Today’s Contact Center Agents Want?

One of the most significant changes in today’s contact center agents are their priorities. In the past, most agents were focused heavily on earning the right renumeration and benefits. While salary still matters to modern employees, many contact center agents want more from their roles.

Like most employees, contact center agents are increasingly seeking more value and purpose from their work. They want to see they’re making a positive impact for the company. These team members are also looking for more flexibility in how they work, prioritizing remote and hybrid schedules over traditional workplaces.

Contact center agents may also be looking for:

Attracting and Retaining Modern Agents

As contact center agents and their expectations continue to change, business leaders need to ensure they’re prepared to attract, retain, and engage the right talent. The right technology can be crucial to this process. For instance, wallboards and dashboards can help employees to track their performance and invest in their own development while working remotely.

These tools also allow supervisors to track the performance of different agents in various locations and identify areas where extra training and support might be necessary. At the same time, companies will need to invest more heavily in tools designed to empower their staff.

It’s important to have the right solutions in place, from collaborative tools like Microsoft Teams, to all-in-one cloud environments for omnichannel communications.

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