7 need-to-know statistics affecting contact centers today

At our recent Agent Engagement Summit, people from all over the world gathered to hear expertise from some of the world’s leading minds on contact center trends, technology and tactics.

Backed by data, the keynote speakers shared their insights to help tackle some of the big challenges facing the industry today – here are some of the mind-blowing statistics revealed at the conference.

1. Recruiting and retaining agents are in the top 5 biggest problems facing contact centers

Sharing his first-hand research of more than 700 decision-makers in the contact center industry, Peter Ryan, Principal Analyst at Ryan Strategic Advisory, revealed recruiting the right talent and agent attrition were leading problems.

In fact, they were only behind business continuity and limited budget flexibility when it came to giving decision-makers headaches. Further proof that investment in the agent experience and nurturing talent are more important than ever.

2. Only 5% of contact centers have had an attrition decrease in the last year

Further to his point of attrition being a top problem for contact center leaders, Ryan revealed that 95% of those surveyed had staff churn stay the same or increase.

It’s little wonder that employee turnover presents such a problem. Recruiting is expensive, and every time an agent leaves, it impacts team morale, resources available, and time – ultimately impacting overall efficacy and the employee experience at all levels of the contact center.

3. 88% of consumers agree that the contact center experience is just as important as the quality of the offering

This fascinating insight from Salesforce, shared by Katie Stabler of CULTIVATE, reveals that age-old statement of ‘they may not remember what you do, but they’ll remember how you made them feel’ still rings true today.

Even at an anecdotal level, most of us can remember a poor experience that undid our trust in a business, versus a great experience that made us more loyal to a brand. Contact centers are at the very forefront of this experience, with the unique power to turn stressful or difficult circumstances into a positive.

4. 90% of employees say gamification makes them more productive

Gamification was a hot topic at the summit, and rightly so. Katie Stabler also shared this statistic from Centrical and, coupled with the brilliant personal insights shared by attendees in breakout sessions, gamification seems to indisputably boost productivity among agents.

Furthermore, 9 out of 10 of employees say gamification doesn’t just make them more productive but also happier at work, even for repetitive or monotonous tasks.

Could this be the silver bullet to combat agent attrition? Potentially – but it’s worth remembering that gamification programs still need to be well thought through, offer appropriate rewards and be suited for your organization. Otherwise, you can risk encountering the opposite problem of demotivating your team. It’s a delicate balance!

5. Companies with engaged agents had 20% higher sales than those who don’t

The final brilliant stat shared by keynote speaker Katie demonstrates that it’s not just the employee experience that gamification and engagement can directly impact. Companies with an engaged workforce see it reflected in their bottom line, too.

We see statements all the time that suggest ‘happy agents = happy customers’, but if you needed any more proof, this is it. So if you’re seeing tell-tale signs that your agents are neglected, or you’re experiencing high attrition, it’s costing you more than ‘just’ team morale.

6. 80% of complaints that come into the contact center are about other parts of the business, not the contact center itself

Another sign that the contact center can often get the raw end of the deal – it’s rarely ever the agent’s fault that a customer needs to make a complaint. This statistic comes from evaluagent’s latest free white paper ‘AI: Its place in the contact center’, backed up by research from our partners at ContactBabel.

James Marscheider, Chief Commercial Officer at evaluagent, presented on the potential of AI in the contact center. Explaining how AI can help do some of the heavy lifting, he outlined that agents will be able to focus on those customers with more complex problems – turning those complaints into a positive outcome.

7. The average agent is having to use more than five systems just to do their jobs

Martin Teasdale, Founder of the Team Leader Community, delivered an insightful talk about what agents really need – as told to their team leaders. Polling his extensive community for first-hand data, he asked how many systems and packages agents are logging onto each day.

Overwhelmingly, the answer was ‘More than five’, showing just how the modern agent has to be tech-savvy, a skilled multi-tasker, and seriously on the ball to manage everything while giving great customer service. It all feeds into a lot of the advice shared throughout the day: keep your tech stack simple and streamlined, empower your agents, and watch how well they do as a result.

Want to know more? Watch our Agent Engagement Summit on demand – or have a read of our 10 key takeaways from the day.