Agent attrition is a massive pain point for contact centres, with annual turnover exceeding 30% in many organisations. This churn is expensive, with typical replacement costs equaling around 20% of an agent’s salary. Low engagement caused by factors like repetitive work, lack of development, and minimal autonomy leads to poor morale that fuels quitting. That’s why contact centres must prioritise initiatives to improve agent experiences and retention.
Luckily, thoughtfully integrating AI with human skills can make roles more satisfying. When designed as an enhancing tool rather than a replacement, AI can give agents the freedom to focus on meaningful work in an engaging environment. Here are four impactful ways to leverage AI to boost agent morale:
Automate Mundane Tasks to Allow More Fulfilling Work
Nothing burns out agents faster than constantly repeating routine tasks like data entry or information lookup. AI chatbots can efficiently handle high-volume basic customer enquiries to resolve common issues. This frees up agents to devote energy to higher-value conversations utilising their expertise. Reducing repetitive administrative work enables more time for meaningful interactions that make the job rewarding.
Deliver Personalised and Constructive Coaching with AI
Ongoing skill development is key for engagement, but traditional evaluations can feel punitive. AI algorithms analysing recorded interactions can identify concrete opportunities for improvement via customised feedback. By objectively and positively highlighting development areas, AI makes coaching feel supportive, not critical. AI chatbots also provide bite-sized, personalised training nudges to build competencies.
Analyse Interaction Sentiment to Help Agents Empathise
Delivering compassionate service requires understanding customer emotions. AI sentiment analysis uses natural language processing to detect mood from conversations. These insights into caller mindsets allow agents to respond appropriately with empathy. When enabled to better understand people’s feelings, work becomes more human and less robotic for agents.
Implement AI Assistants to Dynamically Augment Experiences
Constantly having to lookup data during calls is tiring for agents. AI assistants can automatically surface relevant information instead of making agents search. For example, speech analytics algorithms can listen to calls and pull customer records. AI can also recommend knowledge articles or past cases to resolve issues faster. By reducing inefficient hunting for information, assistants make work more dynamic.
The Key is Using AI to Empower Agents
When thoughtfully applied, AI can eliminate the mundane work diluting agent morale. But AI’s role should be supporting agents, not replacing them. With the right strategy, AI can reduce repetitive tasks, drive development, increase empathy, and make work more dynamic. This empowers happier agents who feel elevated by AI, not threatened. Plus, engaged agents lead to better customer satisfaction. However, the agent experience must stay central when leveraging AI. Contact centres that ensure their AI is an agent ally will see improved retention and service.
Here are some additional tips for further boosting agent morale with AI:
- Involve agents directly in the design process for new AI tools. Getting their input will ensure the technology meets their needs and desires. When agents help shape AI, they’ll be more motivated to use it.
- Be transparent about how AI will be implemented and what tasks it will handle. With clear communication, agents won’t feel threatened by AI coming in.
- Have patience and provide ample training when initially launching AI. This change takes time to stick, so celebrate quick wins to get agents excited.
- Regularly survey agents and run focus groups to monitor their sentiment around AI. Listen to any concerns and continuously refine the technology.
- Leverage AI-driven analytics to gain data-based insights into the employee experience. Identify what drives engagement versus burnout.
- View investments in AI as investments in your agents’ success. The returns come from more empowered and satisfied teams.
- Prioritise diversity and inclusion throughout AI development. Biased data produces biased results, so ensure representative input.
Technology that supports the agent
With a thoughtful approach that keeps agents at the centre, AI can reinvigorate the contact centre employee experience. When AI is designed as an ally, it allows for more meaningful work and nurtures engagement. This is the future of the contact centre – where technology supports agents so they can deliver superior experiences.
At Cirrus, we recognise agents are the heart of customer service. That’s why our AI is designed to be an agent advocate and hero. By combining AI with human strengths, we create elevated experiences. Our agent-centred approach removes friction and provides the tools for agents to build skills and focus on meaningful work. When AI feels supportive, not disruptive, agents stay engaged. Join us in creating AI that puts agents first, boosts morale, and delivers superior experiences. The time is now to reimagine the contact centre employee experience with an agent-focused AI strategy.