The key to a successful business is a stream of happy customers willing to repeatedly purchase your products or services. One of the ways to ensure that your customers are satisfied is to ensure that your contact center agents handle them well. According to the Employee Engagement Benchmark study 2017, conducted by the Temkin group highly-engaged employees are almost five times more likely to recommend the company’s products and services. Only contact center agents, who are happy and contended with the work that they do, would care to engage the customer the right way. Unhappy contact center agents are disengaged, which means their productivity and the quality of their work is low. As the cliché goes, “Happy contact center agents= Happy customers”. The quality of the customer interactions are affected by the quality of work experience of contact center agents.
Your business will not thrive for long – if your customers make a beeline to your competition based on poor customer service. The benefit of having highly motivated and engaged agents who step into office every morning is what every organization desires.
Here are some suggestions on how you can ensure just that:
(1) Communicate a compelling customer experience vision to your agents:
A clearly defined customer experience vision provides a sense of purpose for the agents. How does a compelling vision translate into action? It creates an emotional connect between the customers and agents, it delivers customer value as it shows the organization understands what their customers want, it is simple to understand and it shows commitment setting customers and employers expectations right.
(2) Encourage transparency:
If you want to keep your best agents happy you have to be transparent. Communication should be more open between all levels of the organization. Learn to trust them and empower them with a transparent company culture.
(3) Provide a comfortable workspace:
You need to have a pulse on how your contact center is working. You need to be aware of the various tools your agents are using to perform their jobs. Make a few calls to see if you are able to hear your customer’s voice. Ask agents’ about their opinions on the tools they use. Are the instruments working fine? Is the seating and other arrangements comfortable? Is the ambience conducive to productivity?
(4) Offer professional development opportunities:
Design the workplace with a sense of equity. Leaders at all levels should be available to access as front line executives. Give challenging projects and opportunities for personal and professional growth. If possible, allow them to switch their physical locations. Encourage them to explore what interests them and allow them to try something new.
(5) Build relationships with co-workers:
Often, people work with a diverse group of colleagues with different skill sets, backgrounds, values and interests. Therefore it is natural for tension to build. Especially, it is an environment where people depend on each other to accomplish their goals. Help your team build better relationships with their colleagues. Try to bring people of different teams together to work for a common project. Plan picnics and outings where different teams are involved which will help them to bond together.
(6) Motivate your team:
Boost your team’s morale by appreciating a job well done. Recognition programs reinforce the accomplishments of employees. A year-end gratification with bonus does not always offer the right sort of job satisfaction. Celebrate small wins and appreciate your agents in front of their co-workers. Sometimes, a word of praise is all it takes to keep their morale up.
(7) Link Employee engagement score with key business metrics:
Most organizations measure employee engagement by means of a survey. This includes organization-employee fit, job fit, motivation, dedication, organizational support, work-life balance etc. The team leads should work with HR team to understand the current engagement strategy and check if it can be enhanced to receive regular feedback. This score has to be linked with other business metrics so that it is easier to track and monitor as well as focus on the right engagement investments.
(8) Make training as part of your culture:
Contact center agents are eager to develop new skills that will make them more successful in their current position, as well as to grow in the industry. Providing Recognition programs reinforce the accomplishments of employees. will ensure that they are better able to handle customer interactions.
(9) Create a happy environment:
Who likes to work in a dull, boring office? Creating a positive and vibrant environment for your agents to be fully engaged at work is crucial. Small gestures to make the workplace more enjoyable will be greatly appreciated by them. It is important that the customer service team receives adequate respect.
(10) Find champions:
Last but not the least, find champions who will “walk the talk” and be passionate about your customer experience vision. They will become role models and strong influencers who can motivate the team.
The happiness of your contact center agents determines a lot of factors that impact your business, from productivity to engagement and overall retention. It is more important than ever before to keep your agents happy as it is becoming increasingly difficult for contact centers to retain informed, connected and motivated customer service agents. Take a leap of faith and believe that happy contact center agents do create happy customers.
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