Santa Barbara, CA – BenchmarkPortal’s Agent Voices Report (a survey of over ten thousand contact center agents) shows that most believe their respective companies need to do a better job in communicating changes to their agents with respect to the product and services that they offer -- before the said changes affect customer experiences.

The question, “Changes that affect our Customers are communicated to us before they affect the Customer” garnered a meager 44.35% Net Score, the lowest from the Communication category of the report.

This result reveals the frustration and embarrassment that agents feel when they are blindsided on calls that regard marketing and other information that they should have been informed about ahead of time.

Prior communication is a problem with many centers, even though it is solvable with the proper attitude and processes. As a contact center manager, you need to be pro-active in building communication channels with colleagues in other parts of the enterprise. For example:

Marketing: If you are tired of surprise mailings or other initiatives that result in unexpected call surges to your center, set up regular check-in calls with your colleagues in Marketing so that you know what’s happening well in advance. We suggest you keep a shared calendar with these colleagues that goes as far into the future as possible.

Product Development: Pierce that wall between you and the product side of your enterprise by making sure you get informed about new features, product instructions, etc. Let your product colleagues know exactly what you need in terms of information, timing and tech support. Provide them with a form to fill in that you can use for training and for inclusion in your Knowledge Management System.

Billing: Changes are likely to be more rare, but very important. Again, stay ahead of the curve through communication.

Course corrections in offers, products are understandable. Some may even come attached to very short fuses. But, there is no good reason why these changes cannot be communicated to the front-line agent in a timely and effective manner.

Topics: Agent Satisfaction, Management, Customer Service, Optimizing Call Center, Call Center Agents, Agent Performance