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Employee Engagement and Customer ExperienceMost guides designed to help contact centers improve their customer experience are focused on how new features and tools can assist with client interactions across multiple channels. However, this approach leaves out a crucial part of the experience: the actual agents that customers interact with. Often, it is the agent and their attitude rather than the technology that determines whether a customer comes away with a positive impression of a business or a negative one.Despite being essential to building good relationships with customers, contact center agents are too frequently neglected. Because agents always need to be on hand to respond to calls as they come in, they may not get to participate in company parties and town hall meetings or take the same paid holidays that other staff members take for granted. While agents are aware of the demands of their position, a lack of employee engagement can lead to them having low morale, which is far from ideal considering they are often the face of the company to customers.
Employee engagement is a way to improve the customer experience by ensuring that agents are committed to delivering quality service and support. The cost of failing to do so can be severe. We are all familiar with an example of poor customer service that has gone viral and hurt a company’s brand. Fortunately, there are several strategies that can be implemented to better engage agents.
Flexible Scheduling
Unlike many other positions in a company, contact center agents must adhere to a strict schedule to ensure there is always enough support to respond to customer calls. While it can be challenging, finding ways to give agents more freedom and choice will go a long way toward better engaging them. For example, allowing agents to choose their break and lunch times, which days and hours to work, or to work part time.
Company Culture
Agents are more productive when working in an environment where they feel involved. Contact centers can help agents become more engaged by allowing them to have their opinions heard, becoming involved as a team in social and charitable events in the local community, and providing rewards and recognition for good work.
Management Applications
Just as new technology can benefit customers, new applications can help improve the experience for agents in the contact center as well. For instance, forecasting and scheduling software makes sure the right number of agents is available to respond to service inquiries so that agents aren’t overworked or sitting around with nothing to do. Gamification applications can be used to provide instant rewards and encourage agents to work toward training and service goals.
Many companies are realizing that they need to adopt new practices in their contact centers to motivate and engage employees. The use of employee engagement strategies can help improve agent satisfaction and retention, while also leading to a better customer experience as motivated agents make that extra effort to resolve issues and keep clients happy.