BenchmarkPortal conducted a survey on behalf of eGain to find the state of agent experience (AX) in contact centers in the US. The survey also found from agents how good contact center knowledge is in helping them provide customer service.
The survey was held in: May 2022
Industries covered: Retail (14%), insurance (19%), banking and financial (7%), government (3%), telco (7%), manufacturing (21%), and other (29%) sectors
- <1 year: 16%
- 1-3 years: 20%
- 3-5 years: 20%
- 5-10 years: 19%
- >10 years: 26%
Finding 1: Work-from-home (WFH) is a reality
A huge 76% of agents still work from home. Remote or hybrid work has continued even as the pandemic has turned endemic.
eGain take: This means agents require robust knowledge-based guidance since there is no “next cube” for answers.
Finding 2: Customer questions are getting more complex
A majority 63% of agents say they find the complexity level of customer inquiries more complex than earlier.
- More complex: 63%
- Less complex: 37%
State of contact center knowledge
Finding 3: 64% agents do not have knowledge guidance
Banking offers the most guidance to its advisors among all the sectors at 58%, followed by telco at 47%. All the other sectors hover between 32-36%. This is what agents said about knowledge guidance at the contact center:
- I don’t have any knowledge-base tool. I find answers from documents or ask a colleague: 31%
- It offers a search capability like Google: 33%
- In addition to search, the knowledge tool guides me step by step through any customer conversation, advising me what to say next and what to do next: 36%
|Answer Choices||Retail||Insurance||Banking /Fin||Govt||Telco||Mfg.||Other|
|It offers a search capability like Google||32%||27%||23%||33%||43%||27%||33%|
|In addition to search, the knowledge tool guides me step by step through any customer conversation, advising me what to say next and what to do next||35%||36%||58%||33%||47%||32%||32%|
|I don’t have any knowledge-base tool. I find answers from documents or ask a colleague||32%||37%||19%||33%||10%||40%||35%|
eGain take: As queries get more complex, it is concerning that 64% do not have knowledge guidance. This is a problem and opportunity for modern Knowledge Management (KM).
Finding 4: Having to look at many windows to find the answer is the biggest problem agents face while finding solutions for customers
Agents could select more than one option to answer what they considered to be the biggest problems while finding solutions for customers.
- I have to look at many windows before I can find the answer: 49%
- The information keeps changing: 38%
- We have different systems and they give different answers: 25%
- Other: 25%
Finding 5: 54% agents do not have 360-view of customer interactions
Agents were asked, “Can you easily see prior customer interactions that happened on a channel different from the one you are handling at any given time?” They replied:
- No, I am not able to see interactions on other channels: 30%
- Yes, all interactions are in one place: 46%
- Yes, but I have to switch to different apps to see: 24%
|Industry||Yes, all interactions are in one place||Yes, but I have to switch to different apps to see||No, I am not able to see interactions on other channels|
|Banking & Financial||59%||32%||09%|
eGain take: 360 view of interactions reduces customer effort (no need to repeat context) and feeds more context for faster knowledge-based resolution. Yet 54% do not have 360 view. Problem and opportunity for a unified conversation hub.
Finding 6: Integration between self-service and agent-assisted service is still a big gap in agent and customer experience
When asked, “If your company offers online self-service (e.g., chatbot, other forms of online self-service), are you able to see these self-service interactions that a customer just completed before being escalated to you?” agents said:
- No: 56%
- Yes: 44%
eGain take: Standalone chatbots without context-aware integration with live agent chat is a common customer compliant. Yet 56% have no such integration. This is a problem and opportunity for a conversation hub, powered by a centralized knowledge hub.
Finding 6: Agents stress, across experience levels
How do agents feel when faced with a somewhat complex or complex question from a customer? 37% say they are stressed.
- Relaxed: 63%
- Stressed 37%
eGain take: Agent stress is not good for the agent or the customer. Novice agents experience 31% more stress. 32% of tenured agents are also stressed, which indicates even veterans are getting stumped by query complexity. Modern KM can help agents of all experience levels! Time to equip them with modern knowledge!