Richard Snow's Analyst Perspectives

Evaluagent Focuses on Agent Engagement

Posted by Richard Snow on Oct 31, 2016 8:22:52 AM

Evaluagent is a U.K.-based company founded in 2012 that is carving out a niche in the workforce optimization market. Whereas most WFO vendors offer broad portfolios of products that focus on operational efficiency to reduce the cost of agents, Evaluagent’s narrower portfolio focuses on the people side of interaction handling, particularly agent engagement and satisfaction. The company’s founders had in-depth operational experience of contact centers, and they set out to improve the job experience for agents over what they had encountered, which included cramped working conditions, demanding performance targets, hard-to-use systems and, worst of all, customers often shouting down the phone at them.

To support these efforts, Evaluagent offers three products: Call Centre Gamification, Quality Monitoring & Coaching and Call Centre Surveys & Insight. Call Centre Gamification, its primary product is based on a simple process: Define the outcomes (metrics) you want to achieve, collect the data to determine how well agents deliver those outcomes and reward those who achieve the desired outcomes. The product reinvents the age-old process of showing performance data on a wallboard, including the best performing agents. The difference is that, being software, it can be based on a wider variety of metrics and outcomes. The user interface is in tune with modern user expectations and, along with the application’s ability to visualize results, makes it fun to use. Rewards come in multiple forms such as points (which can be traded for a variety of rewards), badges and rating levels. The outcomes can be shared between groups or across the center, adding an element of competition to its use. Call Centre Gamification can sit alongside existing systems and use data from them as input to identify desired outcomes such as closing a sale or improving customer net promoter scores. The key is the user interface, which during a demonstration I found easy to use and should help ensure wide adoption. Managers can increase the fun aspect by creating challenges between individuals or teams, helping create a friendly yet competitive environment, all with the objective of improving overall agent performance.

Quality Monitoring & Coaching follows a morevr_ngccc_04_need_to_handle_interactions_better conventional approach, assessing agent performance against a set of predetermined questions depending on the type of interaction, analyzing the results to derive quality scores, and reporting on agent performance. The key is the analysis, which also has an intuitive interface and focuses on the key performance information supervisors and managers need to identify areas that require attention and agents who need coaching in them. The system includes collaborative capabilities so agents can give feedback and managers can track how agents improve. This is essential as our research finds that handling interactions has the utmost importance in a significant number (69%) of organizations according to our recent next generation contact center in the cloud benchmark research.

Call Centre Surveys & Insight also follows a basic approach: Create customer surveys, deliver them through multiple channels, collect responses, analyze them to identify issues and trends, and track key performance metrics. All three products run in the cloud and are backed up by services to help organizations adjust their cultures and processes to make best use of the systems, including the initial configuration of the software, integration of it into the organization’s existing architecture, and initial training programs. Information from one product can be used as input to the others so that, for example, customer feedback can be used to set a target outcome or to identify agent coaching needs.

Our benchmark research into the agent desktop correlates agent satisfaction and the likelihood of agents meeting key performance targets such as customer satisfaction and net promoter scores; very satisfied agents meet these targets twice as often as agents that are merely satisfied – a clear benefit of improving agents’ work experience. Evaluagent focuses on this experience, and for me its user interface is key to achieving its aims. It is  visual and intuitive, has several “point and click” capabilities to access information, and in short is fun. I have said before my concern is that the term “gamification” implies playing games to keep agents amused while they have nothing else to do. In practice it is far from that.  Yes, some challenges may resemble games, but it has a serious side in defining business-oriented metrics and outcomes, and finding ways to encourage agents and other employees handling interactions to reach or exceed their targets. I encourage organizations seeking to improve agent engagement and performance to assess Evaluagent’s approach and how its products can help.

Regards,

Richard J. Snow

VP & Research Director

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Topics: Customer Engagement, Customer Experience, cloud computing, Customer Service, Call Center, Contact Center, workforce optimization, analytics, agent engagement

Richard Snow

Written by Richard Snow

Richard leads Ventana Research’s Customer and Contact Center Performance Management research practice, which is dedicated to helping organizations improve the efficiency and effectiveness of managing their customers, throughout their lifetime and across all touch points, including the contact center. He conducts research exploring the people, process, information and technology issues behind customer operations management, contact center management, and customer experience management. He also works with senior business operations and IT managers to ensure that companies get the best performance from today’s highly complex application products. Richard has worked in management and consulting leadership positions in the technology industry including with Price Waterhouse, Sema Group and Valors. In his work, he has been involved with all aspects of delivering highly complex IT solutions to a variety of clients in the telecommunications, financial services and public sectors. Richard has specialized in delivering customer care and billing solutions for telecommunications operators, and several multi-channel contact centers for organizations in both the public and private sectors.