How to Clone Your Best Agents (Ethically)

Remember Dolly? Dolly the sheep?

Born July 5, 1996, Dolly was the first mammal cloned from an adult cell. At the time, no one thought creating a clone from adult cells was possible. Dolly proved otherwise. And her existence lit a firestorm of discussion around what this meant for the science (and ethics) of cloning human beings.

As it turned out (spoiler alert), the general consensus of said firestorm was (and still is) that cloning humans, while technically legal, is very, very not cool (ethically). And yes, the facts supporting these conclusions are tenable. But they’re also kind of a teensy-weensy bummer. Because maintaining talent in today’s business environment is difficult. Especially for customer experience-related business, where hiring, training, and churn were already challenging pre-COVID. At some point, what customer experience manager hasn’t wished they could just, you know, clone their top performers.

Well, here’s the thing:

In modern customer experience, you actually can clone your top agents. 100% ethically. Even better? The process involves no ethically-questionable, creepy science. Period. Instead, the trick lies in leveraging the right AI-driven contact center training — CX training that can:

  1. Learn which behaviors your top performers are using (that your other agents could be using)
  2. Operationalize those behaviors into impactful, real-time coaching and training
  3. Make it easy to sustain gains from your CX training over time

Honestly, cloning your best agents is what all those online training classes, CX courses, and modules are supposed to be doing. Right?

The difference is AI-driven platforms like Cresta are actually delivering on this promise. As outlined in this Cresta Insights Report, AI-driven training helps shorten ramp time, increase performance, and reduce attrition. And here’s how.

First, AI-Driven CX Training Learns Which Behaviors Set Your Best Agents Apart

Before AI-driven CX training can clone your best agents, it needs to learn what’s making them the best. Not just what they’re saying, though that’s part of it. But you couldn’t create a script based on just what they say, hand it to another agent, and expect success. In fact, it’s not a good idea to do this in general.

Instead, we, as contact center managers and coaches, need to understand what behaviors these unique agents are exhibiting that makes such a difference. And considering the sheer tonnage of customer interactions agents handle every day, this is no small task for a human being.

But this is an area where AI excels. In fact, top-tier AI-driven CX platforms begin with an impressive amount of conversations they already understand. In Cresta’s case, that’s 250 million pieces of contextually relevant moments in conversation, on day 1. That gives platforms like Cresta an impressive foundation. But it’s not good enough. Remember, our goal is to (ethically) clone your best agents. Not “good” agents “in general.”

So, Cresta begins by analyzing 100% of agent/customer interactions within a call center, both present and past. During this process, Cresta learns:

  • What agents and customers are saying
  • Why they’re saying it
  • Over time, context that is specific to a particular contact center: intent, verbatim phrases, brand and product names, common customer objections, and cross/up-sell opportunities

This process happens quickly, saving managers 20 hours per week on average. As the platform determines the best-agent behavior everyone on the team should be leveraging, these results are based on facts. Not opinions. That’s important for two reasons:

First, lots of time and effort go into developing CX coaching plans and training. Through the use of AI-driven coaching platforms, managers can be confident they’re training towards behaviors that deliver.

Second, coaching and training that fosters trust and engagement with agents is fact-based. And trust is essential as the actual training process begins. Because turning every agent into your best agents doesn’t happen in a conference room or in sessions away from where the work’s being done. It happens in the moment, during real-time customer interactions.

AI-driven CX training makes this possible. (And impactful.)

AI-Driven CX Training Helps You Level-Up Agents In Real-Time

Classroom training or pulling everyone aside for some coaching sessions sounds harmless. But this traditional approach to CX training has some downsides. Take, for instance, a surprising finding from McKinsey.

Their research involved comparing top and bottom quartile agents. Data showed a 30-40% gap in performance relating to vital CX KPIs. No one was surprised that top performing agents had better Average Handle Times (AHT), First Contact Resolution rates (FCR), and Customer Satisfaction scores (CSAT). But what did stand out was that McKinsey determined this gap was due to poor coaching. More specifically, coaches for these agents assumed what was happening in training was the same thing happening during live customer interactions. And this discovery underscores why real-time, in-the-moment coaching is essential for CX coaches and agents alike. Fortunately, AI-Driven CX Training platforms make this easy and impactful to do.

In Cresta’s case, this capability is referred to as Real-Time Agent Assist. It provides unique combinations of guidance and coaching tailored to each individual agent. And it does so dynamically, only providing support when needed, as needed, while agents engage with their customers over phone or chat.

The support itself takes the form of hints and prompts through the agent’s CX software. Each appears consistently whenever a behavior should be performed. This consistency re-enforces the “muscle memory” of these new behaviors. And the fact that agents aren’t forced to memorize and recall training at key moments reduces stress and cognitive load.

While the platform is active, Agent Assist also provides visibility on 100% of customer conversations as they unfold. This way, coaches don’t need to assume agents are adopting desired behaviors. They can see it happening in the agent’s day-to-day.

This whole training process quickly increases engagement of both agents and coaches. And the platform’s review capabilities make it easy for managers to identify key moments in specific calls/conversations and re-visit them with agents as they improve.

But managers, coaches, and even agents all know: improvement’s only half of the CX training challenge. You don’t just want every agent to become your best agent. You need them to stay that way.

AI-Driven CX Training Provides Tools that Help You Maintain Agent Performance

So, part of the power of AI-driven CX training platforms like Cresta is the transformational way you can clone top agent performance. The other is, truly, how these same platforms make these changes the new normal. Now, that’s obvious from a management perspective, but it’s as important for the hard-working agents themselves. Even the most motivated, well-intentioned employee can slide back into bad habits over time. And yes, slides like that affect contact center KPIs. But they can make for a hard hit to agent morale and motivation, too. Don’t worry — here’s where things come full circle. The right AI-driven CX training platforms help maintain agent gains.

In Cresta’s case, this involves more than the real-time adherence monitoring mentioned above. Cresta Director provides managers and coaches with an intuitive dashboard that conveys agent performance over time. The dashboard also makes it easy to compare performance between agents, teams, and cohorts. This frees up valuable time traditionally needed for reviewing conversations, time that can be reinvested into coaching agents.

And again, the ongoing discussions and behavior adjustments gleaned from Cresta Director are based on facts, not opinions. This means trust and engagement continue to be fostered alongside ongoing performance.

Seeing Is Believing: Discover the Benefits of AI-Driven Customer Experience Cloning Training

It’s true. The power of AI-driven customer experience training won’t fill your contact center with Dollys, but it can quickly help every agent working there learn to deliver like your top performers.

But seeing is believing. Fortunately, a growing number of businesses have already discovered how transformative Cresta’s AI-driven CX training is when put into practice. So, to get a good look yourself, download our recent case study: 5 Steps to Close the Contact Center Performance Gap.