Friday Feature: Custom Agent States

This post is part of our Friday Feature series where we look at a part of the NewVoiceMedia platform that you might not be familiar with but we think you might find useful!

In today’s Friday Feature we look at a simple tool to help you monitor and manage your agents by the time they spend on various tasks. This can help you to uncover trends in your best performing employees and provide constructive coaching to those that aren’t.

Within the ContactWorld platform your agents are able to select their state to determine whether they should have calls delivered to them or not. Agent states are broken down into Major States and Minor States.

Choose the states you need

An example of a Major State might be Away – the agent is confirming that they are logged in, but away from their desk and unable to receive calls. But this information in a report immediately drives the question “Where were they, what were they doing?”

By adding in a Minor State you can give your agents some more options to choose from that provides you with some more detail.

  • Gone to lunch
  • Comfort break
  • Training session
  • Team meeting

Prior to creating your minor states it is worth spending some time with a range of people from Execs, to supervisors, to agents to understand what types of states need to be reported on, and what terminology agents use so that you do not have the change the settings later and muddle your reports.

It is also wise to balance your desire for specific data with option overload. Give your agents 20 options to choose from and they will tend to stick to a handful they use regularly rather than accurately recording each state (think about how you fill in a long survey with many options – 7,7,7,7…..)


Contact Centre platforms like ContactWorld can give supervisors and execs a huge amount of information to manage their teams, but it is essential to use this information wisely and with respect to your team of agents.

Bluntly pulling out data in team meetings and calling out individuals for poor performance or extended aways can lead to bad feeling and encourage gaming of the system – perhaps selecting “Team Meeting” instead of “Comfort Break” because they feel it looks better.

Data is only useful to you if it is correct, and therefore you should endeavor to focus on what’s in it for the agent. If you use the data positively to pull out trends for your top performers, and build team training sessions around this learning then you help your poor performers to see what success looks like, as well as publicly praising your top performers further increasing their morale.

One side of the story

Agent State data on its own is only one side of the story. It needs to be viewed alongside your other data sources – perhaps a revenue report, a customer satisfaction survey or an agent turnover report.

Look for your top performers in those reports, and then try to uncover what they do differently during the day.

Perhaps they spend longer on wrapping up calls, putting better information in the CRM system resulting in more closed sales when passing leads on. Perhaps they spend longer handling the calls and not letting a customer go until they are truly happy. Or perhaps they take extended breaks throughout the day that keeps them fresh and motivated when they are speaking with callers.

Using appropriate agent states can really help you drive your agents forward with accurate information to help everyone in your team improve.

What agent states do you use in your call plan? How do you use them for coaching?

We hope this post has been of use, if so please share with your network and subscribe to the blog.

For more information on ContactWorld please visit the NewVoiceMedia website.
Written by Vonage Staff

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