Research Alert: Call Centre Agent Satisfation Key to Customer Loyalty

Latest Genesys Survey Connects Improved Agent Motivation and Productivity to Increased Customer Engagement and Revenue Growth

Wokingham – August 17, 2006 – Genesys today released the eighth study in its Contact Centre Realities series for Australia and New Zealand. Titled Optimising Agent Performance, the latest Genesys study comes at a time when contact centres are under increasing pressure to meet the often conflicting demands of service quality, revenue generation and cost efficiency. Although there are several aspects to address in order to meet these challenges, the Genesys research indicated that leading contact centres recognise that they need to focus on what is both their highest cost and their most valuable asset: agents.  

“Agents continue to be the face of most companies and it’s the experience they deliver to customers that has the most impact on customer loyalty,” said Mark Turner, vice president, UK and Ireland, Genesys. “At Genesys, we believe customer engagement begins with agent engagement, and turning customers into positive ‘word of mouth’ advocates and brand champions requires an emotional connection with companies that is delivered by agents.”

The Genesys research revealed that the key determinant of customer loyalty is the quality of the customer experience:

  • Consumers rated customer service as being the number one influence on their loyalty to a company
  • 71 per cent of consumers would do business with a company based on a great contact centre experience

While remuneration is important to agents it is not necessarily their biggest driver of motivation, and 75 per cent of agents are most motivated by factors that engender a sense of personal satisfaction and achievement in their daily work, although only 52 per cent of agents report experiencing this. The biggest agent motivator is feeling or being told that they’ve helped a customer, and a majority of their job stress relates to customer frustration and the inability to serve customers well.

The survey also revealed that there is significant room for improvement in the engagement and retention of contact centre agents:

  • Only 6 per cent of agents want their next role to be that of a contact centre agent
  • 70 per cent of managers agree that a tighter labour market has made it significantly more difficult to hire contact centre agents

Fortunately the report also identified some of the steps that leading organisations are taking to address these deficiencies:

  • More than two-thirds of agents would be willing to continue working as a contact centre agent for a 10 to 30 per cent increase in pay
  • 62 per cent of agents would be open to increasing the amount of cross-selling if it gave them the opportunity to earn more salary in the form of commissions
  • Leading-edge organisations are increasing the percentage of base salary that agents can earn as incentives and are funding this increase from their marketing and sales budgets in recognition of their contact centres’ revenue generation skill and capacity

One of the keys to maximising agent productivity is to manage the balance between service levels and costs, and many contact centre managers are achieving this by engaging agents to make outbound calls when inbound call volumes are low. Companies that have had the best success with this are the 27 per cent working with dynamically integrated inbound and outbound systems. One type of outbound call is the value-add or courtesy call, where companies make proactive outbound calls to customers to provide them with useful information or to evaluate their satisfaction with the company. In an era where telemarketing is becoming less effective, these outbound calls have a significant positive impact on both customers and agents, and 89 per cent of consumers said their opinion of a company would improve if they received a courtesy call, while 39 per cent of agents say these calls would make their job more satisfying. However, 27 per cent of companies don’t make any courtesy calls at all, and in the majority of  those that do, less than 5 per cent of customers receive a call at least once a year.  

In an environment where acquiring new customers is costly and highly competitive, companies are placing increasingly greater emphasis on maximising their revenue by cross-selling, and 75 per cent of commercial organisations undertake cross-selling during inbound service calls. The majority of agents feel quite comfortable with cross-selling, and only 13 per cent avoid it. Perhaps surprisingly, consumers are also quite open to cross-selling, and only 15 percent don’t want companies to tell them about additional products and services that may benefit them.

The latest report, which comprises feedback from 96 customer service executives from a diverse range of organisations in Australia and New Zealand and 420 contact centre agents from eight of these organisations, explores how organisations are optimising the performance of their contact centre agents. The respondents are drawn from 19 different industries, including government, finance, telecommunications, health and utilities. The report also considers the customer perspective by including relevant findings from a survey of 700 Australian and New Zealand consumers which forms part of the Genesys Global Consumer Survey 2006.

About Genesys Telecommunications Laboratories, Inc.
Genesys, an Alcatel company, is 100 percent focused on software for contact centers. Leading companies in the Global 2000 and Fortune 1000 use Genesys to deliver interactions that drive better business. With 3,300 customers in 80 countries, Genesys directs more than 100 million customer interactions every day. Genesys allows enterprises to achieve key business objectives by tying together customer interactions, people, and customer information in both traditional telephony and IP environments. Sophisticated routing and reporting across voice, e-mail, documents and Web interactions, coupled with integrated self service, ensure that customers are quickly connected to the right resource - the first time. Genesys solutions stop customer frustration and allow enterprises to deliver superior customer satisfaction and improved business results. For more information, visit us at

About Alcatel
Alcatel provides communications solutions to telecommunication carriers, Internet service providers and enterprises for delivery of voice, data and video applications to their customers or employees. Alcatel brings its leading position in fixed and mobile broadband networks, applications and services, to help its partners and customers build a user-centric broadband world. With sales of EURO 13.1 billion and 58,000 employees in 2005, Alcatel operates in more than 130 countries. For more information, visit Alcatel on the Internet:

Media Contact:
Lucille Jackson, Genesys, 0118 974 7144, 

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