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The Importance of Agent Effort Score

Many companies today measure Customer Effort Score (CES), but only a few have started to focus on Agent Effort Score (AES), a metric that helps identify how much effort it takes for an agent to accomplish their role of supporting customers. AES determines how easy it’s being for agents to assist and/or resolve customer issues, highlighting where exactly are the difficulties and frictions experienced during a customer interaction. This helps smoothen rough edges and empower agents to provide the best customer experience possible.

 

How to measure AES and why?

Organizations measure AES in different ways. Some measure it by evaluating how many mouse movements it took for an agent to resolve an issue; others compute the total amount of tools, dashboards, and logins required to solve the problem; and some do periodic surveys to question their agents on how easy it is being for them to assist customers. 

 

Whichever method is used, AES is important to measure because a) a high AES provides a low agent satisfaction, meaning that those agents who have complex processes in their day to day basis tend to get 

dissatisfied, leading to high employee turnover, and b) less AES means less CES. Every minute that your agent spends going back and forth between tools and searching for solutions, increases the total resolution time. A high CES may include customers having to repeat themselves, have multiple call transfers, long wait times; which altogether lead to a high agent effort.

 

Here are some ways to help reduce Agent Effort: 

  1. Include a cognitive platform that consolidates various content sources to ensure instant access to case resolving information, regardless of where it resides within the organization.
  2. Incorporate smart apps, NLP and search analytics to fetch the most relevant case resolving information such as top related articles from the knowledge base. This will enable your agents to resolve customer queries faster, and map customer journeys to personalize results that directly answer user queries.
  3. Properly document customer cases to build a robust knowledge base that can help your agent assist users a lot faster and easier. 
  4. Ideally, you would want your agents to be proficient at handling all sorts of issues, but in reality, agents gain expertise in different areas or topics. Round-robin systems route an incoming ticket to the next available agent as opposed to the most appropriate one, helping them focus their effort in what they know how to do the best. This improves a whole lot the customer experience.

That being said, AES and CES need to be seen together, because where the effort an agent puts in to resolve customer queries spills over a user’s experience, it will ultimately impact CSAT, AHT and other CX metrics. So, providing a great CX really begins with equipping agents with the right knowledge, tools and processes that directly answer customer questions, reduce their effort, and guarantee an amazing experience.