On the Path to Super Associate Success

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Behind every great contact center associate is an equally efficient knowledge base system, and vice versa. Therefore, as brands seek to cultivate an emerging breed of super associates, care executives must understand that these two elements coexist in symbiotic harmony, each feeding off one another in unyielding pursuit of increased support effectiveness and improved customer satisfaction.
Ultimately, super associates mature from experience. These individuals normally have significant tenure and strong familiarity with particular business areas or product lines. Expertise develops on the frontlines, informing technical knowledge base advancements, which subsequently educate the next wave of support staff. This cyclical evolution allows every degree of progress to influence additional innovation, empowering employees and boosting overall confidence throughout every level of the contact center.
However, while there’s no single equation for facilitating such growth, companies have the power to offer associates the tools necessary to carry out their duties and learn valuable lessons in the process. Here are three tips for setting contact center technical support staff on the right path to super associate success:
1. Provide the proper tools for continued consumer support satisfaction. Empowering customer support associates in technology requires a specific technical knowledge base at the foundation of all operations. Companies must start by looking at what drives standard calls and the type of information each unique case may require so they can build and optimize an automated system that delivers the correct information to associates at critical points throughout their interactions. These systems should be visual, navigable, and customizable, for call flows from different departments with the technical expertise require separate streams and landing pages. Relevant articles should be readily available alongside forms that enable staff to narrow down results and improve accuracy based on each individual case.
2. Identify super associates by conducting organizational network analysis. Though seemingly obvious, most companies need only open their eyes to discover the natural super associates in their midst. For some technology brands, this means conducting an organizational network analysis to understand how information flows throughout the contact center and who the overall support team turns to for help. Less experienced staff members frequently put their customers on hold in order to ask someone else in the department for assistance with the matter at hand. Of course, who they turn to certainly isn’t random. This conscious choice reveals who leads the way with regard to knowledge and expertise and on whom other employees can depend. Much like their teams, care executives must recognize these leaders as invaluable assets.
3. Leverage experienced employees by bringing their expertise to action. Once brands have determined who qualifies for super associate status, they must leverage their expertise in order to better the entire organization. Because these leaders speak with customers daily, they bring granular insight to the overall technical knowledge base. Super associates must own their specific technical subject matter so they may periodically update knowledge base articles as necessary. They can make changes or additions, while also serving as the point person for fellow staff members. Ultimately, these super associates will equip the company with the sort of customer-facing knowledge base that supports self service and deflects call volume.
By increasing effectiveness, associates will be able to reduce the time spent between answering calls and solving issues, thereby learning from one another in ways that will improve customer satisfaction scores and boost brand reputation.

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