Take Care of your Contact Center Agents, and They Will Take Care of your Customers

“Happy agents = happy customers” is a formula espoused by many in the contact center profession, and not just agents looking for a raise. Studies have been done in this area and the results are enlightening. The SQM Group found that every 1% increase in employment satisfaction resulted in a 2% increase in customer satisfaction.

So the question becomes, how can a contact center induce happiness, while meeting the other productivity and budget obligations of the business? When it comes to employee satisfaction, respect and inclusion can mean as much as money. Here are 5 ways to get started.

1. Listen to Them

Agents will feel more motivated if their ideas are taken seriously, and they feel like part of a team. This practice benefits management as well, since agents are on the front line of call center customer service.

2. Training and Coaching

Make sure training sessions are not just about errors, but also provide encouragement and support. Some agents may view training as a necessary evil, but if these sessions are used to teach new skills, it provides motivation for the agent by adding variety to their daily obligations.

3. Make Agents Part of the Process

Include agents in the planning stages for new customer service endeavors and call center practices. Ask for their feedback and suggestions. Then, when the reports come in on these activities, share them with the team.

4. Act on Complaints/Suggestions

Listening to agents is great, but it won’t mean as much if it’s done only as a formality, and the suggestions received are never seriously considered.

5. Schedule Flexibility

Schedule flexibility, achieved through shift bidding/swapping and a clear process for changes, can make it easier for agents to achieve their desired work/life balance.