This week we feature an article by Steve Bederman, President and CEO at NobelBiz™. He points out the importance of providing a positive employee experience in order to improve the customer experience.
At NobelBiz, we say,” Make a Promise, Keep a Promise!” That’s the single most important reason to improve CX. If that isn’t reason enough, improve customer experience because, statistically speaking, a dissatisfied customer can rapidly turn into a former customer. Keeping customers happy with your services is one of the most important strategies to keep a company afloat during these troublesome times.
And while there are countless resources out there on different tactics that target CX directly, today we’ll be talking about a different approach, one that is guaranteed to offer better long-time results.
In this article let’s look at how to improve CX by investing in your company’s most valuable resources: the agents that are directly responsible for creating customer satisfaction.
Take Care of the Physical Health of Your Agents and You Won’t Be Short on Personnel
While this is a no-brainer, or it should be, I do have an important point to make. Taking care of an agent‘s physical health means more than just providing them with the right resources (medical kit on-premises, basic insurance, sick days, etc.).
People are naturally wired to be grateful to the ones that take care of them. Investing a bit more in your agents’ physical well-being can mean anything from providing them with a daily fruit basket, a gym membership (or building a gym on the premise), allowing them to work from home during these troublesome times, making sure the insurance covers COVID-19 medical aid, etc.
This way you create a much stronger bond with an employee that knows the company has their back. And loyalty usually translates into going above and beyond to make sure you’re doing your part within the company. In some instances, this means a smaller turnover rate, fewer absentees, and an increase in overall productivity.
Take Care of the Mental Health of Your Agents and You’ll Have Better Conflict Resolution Rates
It’s no secret that contact center agents have one of the most stressful jobs out there. This is linked to a high turnover rate which bleeds funds with regular new employee hiring and training.
Having seasoned employees that go through regular training sessions to get better is always preferable to having to constantly train new people for the job. And one of the key solutions is to make sure you take care of their mental health.
Interacting with angry customers (which is about 80% of an agent’s workflow) can take a serious toll on a person’s mind and body. And while regular coaching to help teach agents to disassociate between work and personal life is useful, you need to put in a little more work than that. Having a mental health specialist provide regular care is the ideal scenario.
You can also try eliminating other stressors that are not crucial for the agent’s activity and prove to them that you’re acknowledging the problem and actively implementing solutions.
Addressing and nurturing call center agent mental health is a sure way of building a strong company culture and ensuring your agents will be motivated to always improve their performance. It’s easier to convince agents to give 110% when they feel the company is also trying its
Teach Your Agents to be Honest and You’ll Build Trust with Your Clients
The pandemic has greatly affected the way call centers interact with their customers. For the first time, companies were sometimes put into the position of not being able to provide answers or solutions to angry and disoriented clients that were seeking aid with a plethora of problems.
While agents are usually trained to do everything in their powers to satisfy the needs of the customer, it’s important to train your agents to distinguish the possible from the impossible and to be truthful with clients when the requests go beyond the company’s abilities.
Teach your agents how to deliver harsh truths in a pleasant manner and you’ll be sparing your agents any extra stress and show your clients that your relationship is built on a transparent, honest foundation.
Create a More Inclusive Company Culture and Your Agents Will Work Harder
Company culture is crucial when you want to create a healthy, competitive work environment. Employees tend to work harder and have better results when they feel like an integrated part of a team vs a lone wolf that is strictly selling their time for a monthly paycheck.
Help your employees acknowledge the fact that they are part of something bigger, that their work is appreciated, and that the company cares about them as people.
One idea I saw at a NobelBiz partner is to send regular wellness gift baskets to employees now that everyone’s stuck at home. A small gesture can go so far.
Equip Your Agents with the Proper Tools and They’ll Work More Efficiently
Another crucial step all Contact Center companies must take to remain relevant in the age of CX is to adapt their tools to customer expectations. And the finest example, in this case, is social media. Customers want to be able to reach out to their brands on more than one channel. They also prefer having a detailed account history that agents can rapidly access and provide help in a timely manner.
Listen to what your customer wants, empower your agents with the right tools, and you’ll not only improve overall CX, but also create more efficient workflows and process more client requests with one winning move.
Change comes from within. And in the Contact Center World, that means putting the spotlight on the agent first and the customer second. Or, maybe, just recognize that they are 1 and 1A…they are both your customers! It may not be what you want to hear, but I’m trying to tell you what you need to hear.
Steve Bederman is the President and CEO at NobelBiz™. His motto in both life and business is “Make a Promise, Keep a Promise!” About 40 years ago, during his first day as a manager, he lost half his sales team. Now, after helping several companies from the Computer and Network Security industries grow, he has gained the reputation of a renaissance business leader.
For more articles from Shep Hyken and his guest contributors go to customerserviceblog.com.
Read Shep’s latest Forbes article: This Is What Frustrates Customers