Using Customer Feedback To Empower Frontline Agents


With so many frontline contact center employees working from home, holiday destinations, and outside the traditional contact center, the topic of how to keep employees engaged is a hot one. Yet many companies continue to overlook a key resource that can be used to engage and empower staff: customer feedback.

Management guru and author of The One Minute Manager, Ken Blanchard wisely said that “feedback is the breakfast of champions”. Individuals that continually improve their performance are those that utilize the feedback they have received to better understand their weaknesses and improve upon them, as well as building up on their strengths. 

Good contact center managers should constantly provide feedback and insights to their agents. When done in the correct manner, it will be seen as a support and encouragement, rather than a criticism. But feedback doesn’t just come from management and colleagues. Some of the most valuable feedback that agents can learn from will come from the customers they serve.

Yet, many organizations won’t allow or don’t have a way to share customer feedback with frontline staff, particularly in cases where it’s related to a specific individual, rather than a collective group of employees.

In general, the concern is that the agent will be negatively impacted by the feedback received; that a customer will flag something that the agent will perceive as a personal attack and their performance will suffer as a result. However, research shows that the vast majority of feedback provided by customers about employees is, in fact, very positive

Customers today are also very good at clearly differentiating between product, pricing and customer service when providing their insights. Typically, they understand when an employee is doing everything they can to help them through an issue, even if they are unhappy with the final outcome. 

Customer feedback can help contact center agents feel more valued and appreciated by the very people they are interacting with each day. And the benefits of sharing customer feedback with employees does not stop there. When employees are able to directly engage with the customer insights, it empowers them to build on their strengths and improve upon weaknesses.

A contact center feedback management solution, like Cyara CentraCX includes a sophisticated feature, called Tribal Analytics, that allows frontline employees to engage with and comment on specific customer insights. This provides further context to feedback received, and adds an additional level of depth and richness to what is being said by the customers, helping agents, managers and whole contact center teams understand and action feedback to continuously improve CX. Critically, this ability also amplifies the voices of frontline employees and makes them feel more heard and understood.

The knowledge and experience of contact center agents is a goldmine that organizations too often leave untapped. It’s ineffective to rely on antiquated tactics like biannual internal employee surveys. They are incapable of capturing exactly what is happening on the frontline day to day. They also introduce a significant time lag between an event and when it is reported, which leads to the majority of experiences or incidents going undocumented. This creates a significant loss of knowledge, which could have been used to further enhance frontline agent performance and improve the experience of customers and prospects.

So let the customer’s voice ring out across your organization and allow your contact center team to engage with, learn from, and respond to it. This leads to greater insights, customer understanding and empowered frontline agents.