With an estimated 39,000 contact centers and 3.5 million agents across the country serving as the front-line of businesses, more research into common reasons for mistakes and which training tools are most effective will advance contact center performance and customer satisfaction. In September 2020, on behalf of BaIto, Centiment conducted one of the largest surveys of contact center agents by surveying 1,032 English-speaking agents across the U.S including agents from the insurance industry.

The survey uncovered why agents make mistakes and which training tools are most effective in advancing contact center performance, revenue, and customer satisfaction. Here were the key takeaways for the insurance industry:

Why Agents Make Mistakes

Agents were over 2x more likely to attribute their mistakes to human errors than gaps in company training. The largest reason was due to nervousness during the call while the smallest was lack of training. This indicates that there’s less of an issue with what is being taught to the agents and the problems reside in not having the guidance live on the call.

Most Helpful Training Tools

Agents found asking other agents for advice, company training, and 1-on-1 coaching as the top three helpful training tools provided at their contact center, respectively. This suggests that direct guidance are perveived to be the most helpful for agents.

What You Can Do To Capitalize On More Opportunites

1. Evaluate Your Processes
Look at what is and what isn’t working by evaluating key metrics like CSAT scores, conversion rates, ramp time, and average handle times. The first step is to know what your company’s strengths and weaknesses are and where your agents may need more support.

2. Identify Ways To Engage Your Agents
Based on the survey results, your more experienced agents are most likely bored with their scripts, which is a large reason why agent retention is very low for most contact centers. A method like creating a competition to gamify their tasks could boost engagement.

3. Optimize Your Training
Training tools related to coaching were cited as the most helpful resource. However, training is not enough since many agents also cited that they forget what to say on the call. It’s important to reinforce training materials by maintaining a training repository for agents to reference regularly to learn at their own pace and build confidence. Having strategies for testing and tracking best practices also help agents and managers understand which approaches are resonating with customers and which are turning them away.

4. Use the Right Technology to Support Agents in During Calls
Post-call analytics have become a standard tool for contact centers. While it’s useful in gathering data, it’s often too late for the customer. The most common reasons for making mistakes are during the call, so post-call tools can’t help agents when they need it the most. Many contact centers are turning to real-time technology to provide their agents with guidance in the moment.

Real-time guidance prompts agents with the best things to say live, on every call. Agents largely ranked company training as a helpful tool, so being able to offer live training during an active call would make the impact of training that much more effective. It would also help eliminate many of the common reasons agents cited for making mistakes, such as forgetting, nervousness, and boredom.