This Valentine’s Day you should show your call center employees how much you appreciate all the work they do. Their job is not an easy one. But through technology, training and supportive management, employee engagement can thrive, which leads to a better customer experience and better business results! See below 10 blogs featuring a variety of contact center experts on stronger employee engagement in your call center.
Managers and employees alike know the benefits of high employee engagement. When prioritizing our needs in the workplace, we value a pleasant work environment over a big paycheck, according to a recent British study conducted by the Association of Accounting Technicians. For managers looking to boost engagement, the key is to find the combination of perks and culture that helps build that high level of engagement. In an attempt to increase employee engagement, employers have tried a range of solutions. Some, according to Andre Spicer at The Guardian, insist that fun is the solution. Here’s their reasoning: Creating a fun atmosphere will make employees more willing to spend more time at the office. Call center managers have worked to incorporate fun in the form of gamification. A bit of healthy competition can increase employee engagement.
Other companies focus, instead, on how well a prospective employee fits in with the company culture. Micah Solomon, writing for Forbes, is skeptical. He looks at Zappos, long known for their focus on company culture, as a tale of warning. The company’s efforts to identify candidates who align with its values put too much weight on those attributes and too little on the skills needed to excel at the job. So if slides at work and company culture aren’t methods of improving employee engagement, what is?
No matter what industry you serve, one thing is certain; call centers can’t deliver a positive customer experience without the right agents in place. Hiring the right team can make or break any call center, but it takes more than just reviewing qualifications during the hiring process. Leadership and management teams have a responsibility to maintain morale and keep agents happy after they are hired.
When a call center builds a team of trained agents, the last thing they want is for the agent to quit or move on to another company. Agent attrition is an ongoing problem for many call centers across the country. According to Gartner, agent attrition is at its highest during their first 90 days on the job and is a result of being overwhelmed by the responsibilities. The cost of losing an agent, depending on their experience and responsibilities ranges from $1,500 to $20,000.
The good news is that agents are more likely to remain at a call center when they are happy, and studies show that happier employees are actually more productive. Taking steps to create happy employees becomes a significant win for call centers
In the call center environment, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to managing agent performance. Best practices will vary from agent to agent and organization to organization, but one thing is for certain: Proactively and consistently managing agent performance is critical to delivering superior customer service and a positive customer experience overall.
In today’s increasingly customer-driven marketplace, it’s critical to provide unparalleled customer service at every stage of the customer lifecycle. The above tips – monitoring agent-to-customer interactions, utilizing agent scorecards, and providing personalized agent training – are just a few of the ways to drive agent performance improvements across all levels of the organization.
Let’s explore a few additional ways to manage call center agents and empower them to become top performers.
When a customer contacts your call center, they expect answers to their questions and solutions for their problems. They don’t expect to find themselves on hold for a long time or talking to an agent not equipped to answer their questions. In a world where customer experience is more important than ever, call centers must empower their agents to exceed customer expectations at every touch point.
Empowering agents doesn’t mean you blindly hand over the reins. Instead, call centers should establish best practices that encourage and guide agents and managers to make crucial decisions to benefit the customer and your business. Since every agent has a different amount of knowledge, experience, and type of personality, it is hard for call centers to implement best practices that work successfully for every agent every time. The key is to be flexible and strive for consistency in the areas that have the highest impact to the business.
Multi-Tasking & Active Listening for Call Center Agents
Sometimes it feels impossible to not multitask within a given workday. When on the phone with a customer, agents are responsible for juggling the incoming information that a customer provides while processing data presented on the screen in front of them. Have you ever noticed how exhausted you feel after doing that for several hours?
Agents may have more success by practicing active listening when working with customers. The Wall Street Journal’s Elizabeth Bernstein laid out the definition of active listening: Fully interacting with another person, without distraction. However, this can be difficult to do when worrying about average handle time and resolving the call quickly.
Restructuring Your Talent Strategy Through Workforce Planning
Organizations, big and small alike, draw strategies and build cultures that seek to fulfill customer requirements. Talent management is the preferred and exploited tool used to drive organizational health and customer satisfaction. However, what most companies overlook in the rush to gain a competitive edge and stay relevant in a digital age is their human capital. Interestingly an organization’s satisfied staff is likely to outperform the competition by 20%; so says a SnackNation article.
Employees who feel satisfied with their jobs, the parameters of job satisfaction still remain respectful treatment, compensation, benefits, and job security; are 12% more productive. Of course, the dearth of the right talent at the right place is making CEOs press organizational issues. Instead of only chasing new target markets, employers need to focus on retaining and nurturing their current talent pool.
In a dynamic business environment, talent can be turned into a competitive advantage for businesses if paired with strategic workforce planning, states a McKinsey article. By leveraging workforce planning, organizations validate their capability and capacity to drive home the planned business strategy.
5 Employee Engagement Trends in 2019
Contact centers with engaged employees often cite better productivity and higher levels of happiness amongst its employees, improved customer service and retention, and, of course, higher profits. Still, according to a report by Gallup, roughly 85% of the global workforce is disengaged at work. And when employee engagement takes a backseat, everything from office culture to the bottom line suffers.
How do you improve employee engagement in today’s contact centers? By giving agents a sense of purpose through open and honest communication, enhanced visibility into day-to-day operations, and a better employee experience, which in turn improves the experience for your customers.
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