Changing agent behavior is hard.
In fact, changing human behavior is hard–period. But if you’re going to future-proof your company, it’s important to change with the times and technological advancements of the digital age. One of the most common causes of under-performance with newly implemented information systems is poor adoption. People, and more specifically your agents, are creatures of habit. They tend not to immediately like what they don’t know and are often hesitant to change the way they work because it doesn’t feel right. However, they’re not the problem. Where you have likely fallen short is in articulating the true benefits of an upgraded information system.
Getting Agent Buy-In
Your agents, like your customers, want to feel like they matter. Putting in the extra effort to explain why this change benefits them will go a long way. If you expect them to get excited because you’ve implemented search or “a new technology”, you may be sadly mistaken. Instead, you have to help them understand that you’re equipping them with the tools they need to seamlessly align with others in the organization, processes that are in place to help them succeed, and the technology you’ve implemented to make it all possible.
When a new information system is introduced as a central part of agents’ success, with proper time and training, adoption can reach 100%. Skipping that step can effectively kill an otherwise great project, and often results in a loss of time and money.
The Secret Sauce
Coveo has been in the game for a number of years and has seen first-hand how successful companies can be with an effective information system roll-out. Customers with the most successful implementations tend to follow five golden rules.
- Have a process to capture & re-use knowledge. To increase your time to proficiency, you need to make this process easy. Having a knowledge management process in place, such as Knowledge Centered Service (KCS), allows your agents to find and evolve knowledge in their flow of case resolution. KCS has even been proven to lower agent turnover because agents are empowered to see the case from creation to resolution – creating a sense of ownership and empowerment that tiered support couldn’t deliver.
- Elevate the search experience. Your agents can’t use what they can’t find, it’s as simple as that. As you’re likely experiencing, content in multiple repositories is too cumbersome for agents and as a result, the incredible content your team spends so much time creating often goes unused. A relevant search experience ensures that content is findable. Users who benefit from query suggestions, machine learning, dynamic faceting, and intelligent personalized search are realizing the true benefits of elevated search technology.
- Provide unified access to knowledge. The next step to enabling your agents to find the information they need when they need it, is to unify your company’s collective knowledge. Beyond making your company knowledge findable, a unified search experience offers an effortless and intuitive experience that allows your agents to find the best, most relevant answer, wherever it resides, and all from a single search box.
- Embrace the power of AI. AI-powered search is revolutionizing agent proficiency by putting content in context. The ‘intelligence’ is powered by rich analytics and machine learning. With it, you can automate agent activities and process flows. This will help your agents to analyse case history, liaise with internal experts and recommend relevant solutions to your customers with ease.
- Learn from your crowd to continually improve. Probably the most critical piece of the puzzle is routinely analyzing the user analytics. This will give you visibility into what content is being searched, attached, clicked, viewed, and re-used. Understanding your data will also help ensure that your KPI’s are being met. By regularly studying simple user dashboards and taking action where necessary, you will be able to continually improve the process for your agents. Over time, you’ll begin to learn from power users, encourage laggards, and address what the data tells you. Issues such as content gaps, low participation rates, low attachment rates, and low click-through rates can all be addressed so that subsequent users benefit from what you’ve learned along the way.
To ensure that you have optimal results with agent adoption on a large scale, it is recommended that you ease into it with a phased rollout. By starting with a pilot team that you can rely on, you can capture valuable feedback about the process and develop a group of evangelists that can help onboard the next wave of agents. It’s imperative that throughout your implementation, you have designated leaders who will own the agent experience, and make sure that they feel heard and valued every step of the way. These leaders will be responsible for providing training, acting on feedback, acknowledging top performers, and offering rewards and incentives.