The power of the Agent – The key to transforming your Customer Contact Centre
In the last 2 years we have seen a shift in the contact centre industry. As customer experience has become a more central focus, the correlation to employee satisfaction and retention has also become clearer. More and more companies are realising that customer engagement is directly linked to agent engagement. As the power of the agent is acknowledged and more progressive contact centres take the necessary steps to ensure that agents feel empowered and engaged in their jobs, they are reaping the rewards.
What the studies show?
Gallup research shows that worldwide, just 13% of employees are engaged in their jobs – they are involved in, enthusiastic about and committed to their work and workplace. The remaining 87% of employees are either not engaged or indifferent or even worse, actively disengaged and potentially hostile to their organisations.
The scary thought is your customers are coming in contact with these disengaged employees. How can you transform customer engagement, if your employees aren’t engaged? I look at this and I’m not dismayed, because I see a huge business opportunity. Something I hear all the time is, ‘How do we differentiate our customer service?’ As far as I’m concerned, this is the opportunity we have all been waiting for. So many companies are lagging behind in this area; this is the perfect time to become a game changer.
So, where do you start?
To begin to address employee engagement issues, you need to focus on internal communication, employee empowerment, process design, analytics and training.
- Internal Communications: No one wants to work in the dark. Get obsessed with internal communications! For one, employees need to understand how their work is connected to broader business objectives.
- Employee Empowerment: Empower your contact centre employees allowing them to make often apparent decisions. Are your agents empowered to compensate for poor customer service or to negotiate discount with a high-value client?
- Process Design: Are your processes so rigid that it reduces an agent to following a script? Then you need to look at your process design. Giving agents the opportunity to use their initiative or suggest alternative solutions for their customers and create a natural rapport with their customers.
- Analytics: Annual employee engagement surveys are not enough anymore. Use your analytics as an updated and frequent temperature gauge, so that you can adjust your strategy accordingly.
- Training: Training, improvement and development must be a continuous process. Live it! Breathe it! Invest in it!
So what are the rewards? At Mindpearl we have not only experienced a higher level of customer engagement, but we have experienced holistic benefit realisation. Including higher service and quality, higher customer satisfaction, increased sales, higher levels of profit and higher shareholder returns.
So what’s the point?
I have come to the conclusion that employee engagement is the key to customer engagement. I know many companies are focused on their people, but this focus needs to become more strategic. Measure it! Learn from it! Transform from it! It will only bring your business success.← Back to News, Trends, & Insights