What is AX, and Why Does it Matter?
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At Liveops, we’re not only committed to delivering exceptional experiences to our clients and their customers, but also to agents. A hallmark of our operation is prioritizing Agent Experience (AX), so agents are best equipped to deliver excellent Customer Experience (CX) for their partnering businesses. There’s a lot of “Employee Experience” buzz in the contact center world these days, but Liveops takes the concept from theory to practice. Rooted in collaboration, consideration, and respect, positive AX is fundamental to success at Liveops and, ultimately, to your enterprise.
At Liveops, exceptional AX means delivering on the promises of valuable and flexible work. It means always prioritizing and improving agent satisfaction with a more intimate and direct approach. It means being welcomed into Liveops Nation, an engaged, enthusiastic community made up of fellow agents and dedicated community experience and communications teams (AX teams). Formed with the sole purpose of serving independently contracted agents, these specialized AX teams are one of the most remarkable differentiators between basic contact center services and Liveops. While modest in size, Liveops Nation’s AX team is mighty, dedicated, and passionate about elevating experiences and clearing the way to ensure agent contentment and progress.
The right talent profile + the right support/engagement/tech = excellent AX
Liveops values delivering excellent AX from the very first connection an agent has with the company. Clunky or buggy application processes are industry agnostic but regrettably common in the contact center realm. At Liveops, it’s important that even the completion of an initial application is a positive experience for agents. Great AX starts at the beginning, setting the tone for the experience agents can expect throughout the journey. Plus, a streamlined process attracts more agent applications, ensuring a top tier talent pool of independent contractors for Liveops to partner with. Of course, this also means that your business is partnering with agents who are the best of the best.
From onboarding, to certification, to providing services for our clients, the AX team is engaged in optimizing experiences and celebrating agents. A positive AX can create a ripple effect, carrying on to an agent selecting their first client, providing services for that first client, and so forth, informing their entire Liveops journey. Delivering excellent AX is critical to the success of all parties involved: Liveops, independent agents, and your enterprise. When agents are content, they provide better service to clients and their customers and are motivated to go above and beyond.
It’s a core belief at Liveops that the quality of AX is directly correlated to the quality of CX. Good CX begets loyalty, a characteristic that informs your business’s bottom line. Therefore, when the goal is to retain happy customers who yield repeat business, AX should never be underestimated.
As Liveops’ Senior Director of Agent Experience and Talent Acquisition, cultivating and maintaining top-notch AX is my privilege and M.O. I get the chance to interact with agents on a daily basis, listen to what’s working for them, understand what’s not, and work on developing and implementing solutions to the problems that’ll help them be more successful. I also have the opportunity to lead our AX teams, critical components to ensuring agents are successful. It’s important that agents know what’s going on in their community and with their client and for us to ensure consistent, easy access to resources. I want to remove any roadblocks for an agent being successful here at Liveops.
Enthusiasm to help and improve processes is not limited to leadership positions, and the sincere desire to “remove roadblocks” is a common refrain throughout Liveops’ AX teams. When AX barriers are promptly addressed and cleared away, businesses are better able to flourish and graduate from mediocre CX to stellar CX.
Agent support, celebration, and community
It may seem minor, but mindful use of language reinforces agent value. For instance, replacing the word “employee” with “agent” or “independent contractor” not only accurately describes the position in question, it also connotes the agency (see what I did, there?) inherent to the home-based, small businesses of independent agents. In the same vein, the moniker “Liveops Nation” is inclusive by design, embodying the AX teams and contracted agents as one. Together, these parties lean on each other and operate in tandem to optimize client and customer experience. Word impeccability is simple, and significant.
When agents feel valued and supported, they are more likely to take ownership of their success and strive to deliver outstanding customer experiences. Whether it be earning Agent of the Month, or being featured as an Agent Spotlight in our quarterly agent community events, the AX team uses every opportunity to celebrate agents. During these events, agents have the chance to engage with each other and Liveops staff all while learning important information critical to their business.
The Liveops VirtualFlex model means agents are located across the US, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t create a sense of community in a virtual setting. Liveops Nation is an online virtual community where agents connect, getting the most out of their experience contracting with Liveops. Agents supporting a common client have a private, dedicated space to share best practices while staying connected to and engaged with their program members. Plus, it is a place that fosters personal and professional growth, allowing networking and connection opportunities across the agent community.
Liveops Nation is a safe space for agents to bounce ideas off each other and engage with AX teams. For example, an unfortunate reality of AX in any contact center setup is that agents are sometimes on the receiving end of a less than friendly customer interaction. While enterprises are always working to minimize dissatisfied customers, they’re bound to pop up from time to time. When an agent feels understood and encouraged on the back end, they’re better able to take unsavory calls in stride, remain consistent and heartened, and deliver better service to customers in general.
Voice of Agent and Improving People’s Lives (IPL) score
A big part of the ever-evolving, always-advancing AX endeavor at Liveops is taking feedback seriously. This means not only soliciting feedback thoughtfully and often, but also—here’s the kicker!—actually employing feedback to enhance AX. Our robust Voice of Agent program gives agents the opportunity to share direct feedback through surveys, focus groups, and a dedicated Agent Advisory Board. These various channels give the AX team critical insight into what’s working for agents and what’s not. An important and unique part of our sentiment collection strategy includes asking agents to rate how well we deliver on our purpose to “Improve People’s Lives.” We capture this score quarterly and also give agents the opportunity to share how we deliver on that promise.
We’ve all been there, providing well-considered feedback and then wondering if it will ever actually see the light of day. When agents know their thoughts are valued and actionable, they are more likely to give feedback, repeat. Maintaining an ongoing dialogue inside of Liveops Nation is key to idealizing AX.
Just like a customer, an agent who feels appreciated and heard is more likely to stick around. The internal support creates a higher retention rate, which means agents are increasingly familiar with the ins and outs of their clients, enabling even better and more detailed service to your customers as time goes on.
Skill development opportunities
The AX team leans into agent feedback to learn what development and skill-building opportunities agents are asking for. Our monthly Lunch & Learn series is another way we invest in our agents with ongoing skills development. Previous topics have included: understanding common KPIs used to measure performance and tips for improvement, ideas for goal-setting, and other topics that educate agents on how to build their business with Liveops. We know that more knowledgeable and skilled agents enhance the level of service provided to customers.
Liveops streamlines customer service for clients with a flexible, virtual platform, and connects enterprises with satisfied, talented agents who are able to meet the ebbs and flows of your customer needs accordingly. Liveops serves as a liaison between client and agent, enhancing that relationship by building out a community that serves agents, ensuring they know their value with support and meaningful engagement. Liveops interfaces with agents on a daily basis, troubleshooting what’s working for them and what’s not, and implements thoughtful solutions so they may prosper with their remote business.
In essence, Liveops creates a robust support system for the agents who then support your enterprise. Think of it this way: Liveops provides an in-house feeling for contracted agents, which benefits all parties. Happy agents=happy customers and, when it comes to your business, there’s not much more valuable than that.