It’s purely a fact these days: Customer experience comes first. It may be subjective, and it may be mostly conceptual and hard to measure—but it’s a top KPI for ISPs across the globe.
There are dozens of potential contributors to a customer’s experience. But one that often doesn’t get enough recognition is the agent experience. After all, support agents are the front line for any customers calling in. They’re the ones customers talk to, and they’re the ones who solve the problems customers face.
Let’s explore the support agent experience—and exactly how it impacts the experience your customers have with your support team.
First of all, what do we mean by agent experience?
Strictly speaking, the agent experience is the experience agents have every day working in your support center. In almost any ISP support setting, this experience is incredibly subjective, and can vary drastically, even just day to day.
This shift depends on a few different variables, including their own experience, their strengths (whether it’s technical or interpersonal), and even the volume and types of contacts that come in that day.
Typically, the agent experience has two major components:
- How agents are trained for their job
- How agents are supported on the job every day
When one component (or both!) isn’t managed properly, the agent experience can quickly turn toxic for your team. And this is a major contributor to the reputation support centers have in general for high turnover rates.
What determines a good agent experience?
Ultimately, a good agent experience is one that makes them feel supported and confident in their jobs, no matter what call comes through that day.
It should address both components of their experience. It should help them through onboarding, so they can get up and running quickly, and start resolving issues right from day one. Nothing destroys an agent’s confidence like being unable to solve calls when they get started.
Then, once they’re up and running, a good agent experience considers the agent’s day-to-day workflow, too. It needs to consider the types of calls that come in, and equip agents to handle those calls confidently and accurately.
Now, how does agent experience affect customer experience?
For better or for worse, the experience an agent has with your support team defines the experience customers will have. This generally impacts customers in two ways:
- The confidence they have in an agent
- The consistency they get from agent to agent
In terms of confidence, well, we may not be able to give customers credit for being able to sniff out any and all issues with their home networks—but they certainly have a skill for picking up on the nuances of support calls.
If your agents have the tools they need to be confident, clear, and concise, customers will know—and that will have an impact on their experience. It will leave the customer with confidence in both the agent and the agent’s resolution to their problem—which means a better customer experience.
And in terms of consistency, customers rarely get the same support agent every time they call in. They’ve come to expect that a different agent means a different level of expertise and skill.
When your team has the training and the support to deliver consistent experiences on every call, suddenly, customers won’t just ask for “so-and-so because they’re the only one who knows how to fix this;” they’ll trust your entire team to help them in a pinch.