State of Agent Experience 2022: Survey

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.
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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

Respondents: 456

Agent experience

Finding 1: Work-from-home (WFH) is a reality 76% of agents still work from home

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%

Agents say that customer questions are getting more complex

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 Has a search capability like Google Has search, & it guides me by advising me what to say and do next No KB tool. I find answers from docs or ask a colleague
Retail 32% 35% 32%
Insurance 27% 36% 37%
Banking /Fin 23% 58% 19%
Govt 33% 33% 33%
Telco 43% 47% 10%
Mfg. 27% 32% 40%
Other 33% 32% 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%

Biggest problems in finding solutions for customers

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 between apps No, I cannot see interactions on other channels
Retail 53% 20% 27%
Insurance 47% 24% 29%
Banking & Financial 59% 32% 09%
Government 38% 25% 38%
Telco 63% 32% 05%
Manufacturing 42% 15% 43%
Other 39% 30% 30%

eGain take: A 360-degree 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 a 360-view. This is problem and an 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

54% agents do not have 360 view of customer interactions
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 complaint. Yet 56% have no such integration. This is a problem and opportunity for a conversation hub, powered by a centralized knowledge hub.

Finding 7: 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%

Agent stress level by agent experience level

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!

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