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Blog | November 2, 2021

Can You Hear a Smile?

Increased sales, larger deals, greater retention –– the benefits of offering great customer experiences (CX) are many and well documented. But significantly less research has been conducted into the relationship between customer experience and employee experience (EX) in the contact center.  In short, so much time and energy are focused on the benefits of pleasing customers we forget there’s a serious upside to pleasing agents. And this is a big miss for those in CX leadership. 

That’s because happier employees are up to 20% more productive. This impact is further magnified in sales situations.  A 2018 IBM report noted that organizations that scored in the top 25% on employee experience reported a 2x return on sales compared to those in the bottom quartile. This begs the question; how does employee happiness translate into better ROI?

It turns out the answer is both surprising and simple. Listen up

It Turns Out, Happiness Has a Sound

It might seem crazy what I’m ’bout to say …

Happy – Pharrell 

According to Pablo Arias, a cognitive scientist at the Institute for Research and Coordination in Acoustics/Music in Paris, people can hear smiles –– and often respond in kind when they do. 

The facial movements necessary to smile create subtle yet important differences in how our voices sound when we speak. Smiling makes us subconsciously adjust the pitch and cadence of our speech to match, just as the register of our voices is often lower and our speech slower when we’re feeling low.

If we can hear someone smile in their speech, then prospective customers on the phone will be able to hear when your agents are smiling.

Coaching In the Moment Makes Agents (Feel) Better

But don’t expect agents to start smiling all on their own. Improving the agent experience requires support. And one of the best ways to proactively support your contact center agents is to give them the tools they need to handle potentially difficult interactions confidently. This can be addressed, in part, by effective training. However, training will only take your agents so far. Even the best reps can lose their cool during particularly intense interactions, just as professional athletes can still choke at pivotal moments in a game.

Sales and CX reps and leaders have more tools than ever before to improve their techniques. But most of these tools come into play after a customer interaction has already concluded –– a post-game analysis rather than an in-the-moment audible.

Imagine if a football coach could somehow warn their kicker that, just as their foot connects with the ball, a slight gust of wind will blow, subtly altering the trajectory of their field goal. Now imagine that same coach could bring that magic to every player on their team, in virtually every conceivable scenario, every single time.

That’s the power of real-time, AI-driven coaching and assistance.

Expertise AI™ Makes Impactful, Real-Time Coaching Possible

Cresta’s real-time expertise technology empowers contact center agents by analyzing conversations and providing behavioral coaching and individualized suggestions to keep interactions on track and help agents overcome objections, respond to customer concerns, and maximize sales opportunities. This in-the-moment coaching upskills agents, helps strengthen agents’ confidence and improves call outcomes. Over time, our technology learns along with your agents, offering increasingly relevant recommendations. 

But don’t take our word for it – agents and supervisors have also weighed in on how happy Cresta makes them. In our latest round of customer surveys, over 90% of agents responded that they’d be disappointed if they could no longer use Cresta and 100% of supervisors responded that they’d be disappointed if their agents could no longer receive Cresta’s real-time coaching. Furthermore, Cresta increased agent satisfaction for one of our customers by 30-40%!

Of course, while real-time insights can mean the difference between striking out or closing a sale, post-call coaching and insights offer a wealth of data that can help managers and agents provide superior customer experiences. 

Cresta Director offers conversational insights and coaching tools that accelerate performance management and help managers assess, plan, and develop impactful and personalized coaching plans for their agents. This means more confident agents, better outcomes, and happier managers. 

In fact, our latest round of customer surveys revealed that 100% of managers would be disappointed if they could no longer use Cresta Director, citing that Cresta Director helps managers provide live coaching to agents, identify coaching opportunities, and compile coaching opportunities.

Increased Agent Happiness Leads to Increased ROI (Loving the Sound of That?)

We can indeed continue to help non-human aspects of customer service be more relatable. But thanks to evolution, we humans are inherently social creatures. And being so means no amount of emojis and exclamations points will allow a chatbot to replicate what contact center agents do. 

This is why we at Cresta believe the true power of AI technologies is to enhance human expertise, not replace it. So, request a demo of our real-time expertise technology today to see how we can help your agents offer superior customer experience and close more deals. All by helping them feel –– and sound –– you know. Happy.