We know that happy employees provide superior customer care; and now that the lines between customer care and marketing are becoming blurred, that same superior customer care will translate into positive marketing opportunities for your brand. These experiences translate into profits. As Forbes’ Blake Morgan encouraged her readers to tweet, Happy management techniques = happy agents = happy interactions = happy experiences = happy stock price.
But how to we encourage employee happiness? Consistently, the number one challenge faced by contact centers is agent attrition. Let’s face it: the life of the contact center agent is not easy. The compensation is generally low, dealing with difficult customers is psychologically demanding, and there are few opportunities for advancement. Considering these factors, contact centers must strive wherever possible to foster a healthy, fun, and stimulating work environment. Attrition constitutes a huge cost for organizations, not only due to resources consumed during the recruitment and hiring processes, but also due to the fact that attrition has a direct correlation to customer churn rates.
Do digital channels have a role to play in contact center happiness? One of the top five greatest problems reported by contact centers is poor desktop tools. Poor user experience (UX) creates layers of frustration that can accumulate over the course of the work day, decreasing employee happiness. However, fluid UX can produce the opposite sentiment.
On a very practical level, integrated digital customer service tools designed for superior user experience make an agent’s workflow pleasant and seamless. The technology fades into the background as the agent enters a “flow” state. In psychology, flow states occur when a person becomes immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full engagement, and enjoyment in the process of an activity. Excellent UX can facilitate this flow state which generates high levels of productivity and happiness.
Task rotation is an established HR management practice which contributes to employee satisfaction. Introducing a digital customer service platform to your contact center creates another opportunity for task rotation. Contact center employees can experience variety in their everyday work by devoting a 3-hour shift to providing digital customer care. Many of the companies that work with InTheChat already use the ITC platform in their task rotation plan, as a way of fostering employee engagement by offering a stimulating variety of work experiences.
Do digital channels have a role to play in contact center happiness?
However, there is a greater problem to solve when it comes to employee happiness. People have come to expect more from their careers. For Millennials especially, jobs need to have meaning. These types of employees need to believe that they are participating in something bigger than simple customer service. Organizations that embark on extraordinary and innovative customer experience initiatives foster a culture of positive transformation that can translate into excitement, pride, and engagement on the employee level. An organization’s commitment to innovation can make employees feel like they are participating in something bigger, something which gives meaning to their job as a contact center agent.
In my interactions with the contact center agents who use an integrated digital customer service platform, their excitement was tangible. Hearing comments from frontline agents such as “I love, love, love it” and “Texting is awesome!” made me realize that innovative technologies can make an outstanding contribution to employee happiness.
And remember: happy employees = happy customers = happy finance team.