In Search of the Universal Agent

One of the rising trends in call centers is the increasing development of the universal agent as the one-stop point of contact for inbound calls. Most offices now route calls through multiple different queues, differentiating by what a caller’s needs are – technical support, billing questions, sales, etc. By employing universal agents, however, more and more businesses are capable of providing a more versatile solution for their customers.

Universal agents, or super agents, allow centers to route all calls through a single queue, with every representative able to handle all potential needs that a caller may have. This provides a great boon to a call center, as there is no need for an agent to be idle if there isn’t a large volume of calls coming in. As Intradiem notes in an article on universal agents, centers can do more with less by using fully adaptable team members to manage all types of customer requests through any channel – email, phone or chat.

Universal AgentsAdaptable

While creating a pool of universal agents requires a more robust and often lengthier training regimen for new team members, this pays off in increased value to the overall team. With every representative able to handle every need, you can easily manage your customers’ needs through whichever channel they are contacting you, allowing you to handle a higher volume of emails in the morning, technical questions in the afternoon or sales calls in the evening – whatever the flow of requests is.

Ongoing training

On the other side of the equation, if your agents are unusually light in a day, you can assign ongoing training tasks or agent improvement items for them to work on. These can provide you a way to have employees learn more about the latest products you offer or current or upcoming promotions to be aware of, allowing them to continue being fully aware of all aspects of your business. You can also use downtime in your inbound queue as an opportunity to work on cross-training employees to also perform outbound call duties or coach them on the best practices and strategies for upselling existing clients.

Customer satisfaction

Your customers also receive a greater benefit with the universal agent, as a single point of contact is all they need for any concern or question. If an individual calls with a multi-tiered request – for example, a technical question that results in identifying an additional service or product is needed that requires a new sale – a universal agent can work with that caller from start to finish instead of transferring them from department to department. This provides a more streamlined and personal experience for your customers, improving customer satisfaction and your company’s reputation for customer service.

While the universal agent approach isn’t perfect for every company, it is definitely a growing trend in call centers. Many small and mid-sized companies are seeing great successes with adopting this model, and as the methods for customers to contact your business continue to adapt to digital contact means as a priority, the need for cross-trained  agents is only likely to increase.

At CSS, we can help your company find great and experienced candidates to join your team  and grow your capabilities. We also work with qualified and trained job-seekers to help them find their next careers. Contact us today and find out how we can help with your search!