If you have a contact centre that has a number of active channels, aims to improve employee turnover and agent engagement multi-skilling is a no brainer – according to experts at Call Centre Helper [1].

For most contact centres, traffic comes from multiple channels therefore skilling and equipping the workforce to handle more than one line of enquiry is essential. For agents being tasked with ‘chats’, emails or phone calls alone can become repetitive, uninspiring and wearisome, which can only negatively impact your customer’s experience. Multi-skilling has been championed to ensure that agents are cross-skilled on a mix channels and subjects to combat this problem and help maintain motivation levels in the contact centre.

But according to almost 400 industry professionals, in the ‘What Contact Centres Are Doing Right Now (2017 Edition)’, the stats tell a different story. The percentage of contact centres that invest in multi-skilling has decreased, dropping by 10% in 2017 alone [2]. If the benefits of multi-skilling are so clear then why do more contacts choose not to invest?

Generally staff in contact centres are much younger in comparison to other professions, with the average agent being under 30 years old [3]. It is vital for contact centres to help agents learn new skills by offering professional development opportunities. The declining number of of contact centres investing in multi-skilling suggests that there is a lack of resources and time to conduct these necessary training programmes. With almost 30% of contact centres not tailoring coaching and learning to the individual needs of the agent, centres risk demotivating agents, increasing attrition and damaging the customer service experience [2].

Automating real-time processes is the key to overcoming these hurdles and providing your customers with a seamless multichannel experience – tailored training can be added into periods of otherwise idle time at the push of a button. Communication to a group of agents can be done instantaneously, ensuring that your centre can be as agile as possible in reacting to changing demands. The competing levels of demand can be proactively managed, meaning skilled staff are in place precisely when needed. And with more skills and a greater variety of work available to your agents, your workforce can be happier and more able to meet the needs of all of your customers.