Tom Goodmanson, President and CEO of Calabrio, talks about optimising your company by focussing on its greatest strength; the employees.
Today’s workforce is transient—the days of a job for life are long gone. That isn’t a bad thing; we learn new skills and different approaches from every place we work. Similarly, bringing in fresh talent to a business keeps us all on our toes and makes us look at things a little differently.
However, it does create new challenges for businesses, particularly around creating consistent experiences for customers.
Nowhere is this more apparent than when a customer is interacting with your brand’s support teams. It’s easy to tell when an employee is thinking about moving on or has no loyalty to his or her current employer. As a customer, there’s no worse feeling than when the person on the other end of the line just doesn’t care about your problem. Have that experience, and your brand loyalty will quickly go elsewhere.
This is particularly important when you consider younger employees. The average worker now changes jobs four times before turning 32. It’s easy to throw gimmicks at this audience—pool tables, comfy beanbags and beer fridges. However, that’s not what they’re looking for.
Instead, you need to devote time to outlining how your business can help them grow in their chosen career. The perks are nice, but people stay because they enjoy their work and can see where their path is going. Focus on this, and your younger employees are far more likely to both stay, and present a positive front to the consumer.
Don’t rely on instinct
It’s vital to offer contact centre employees clear guidance on where they are performing well and where they can improve. Feedback from call centre managers has traditionally been focused on instinct or the customer’s escalating issues, But this coaching is just the beginning in helping employees grow.
Savvy brands employ speech, text and desktop analytics to monitor customer service activities, and use the insights gathered to better train and coach employees. Giving employees access to the right tools and training will help create a more engaged, positive and ultimately successful workforce. Why successful? Research from Dale Carnegie shows brands with engaged employees outperform brands with unhappy employees by as much as 202 percent.
Not just a call centre anymore
The phone call is no longer the primary touchpoint for the consumer. We have social channels, email, blogs, videos and website comments to articulate our frustration at poor service or disappointing products. Call centres are forced to adapt in response and nowhere is this more important than helping employees deal with mobile-first issues.
The nature of business leadership means we’re often bound in one place, but the people we’re dealing with aren’t. If our employees don’t feel they have the tools to effectively service customers, they’ll go elsewhere—no one enjoys being shouted at for something that isn’t their fault. Providing your staff with the ability to follow up with customers via text, email or even a private message on their preferred social channel will go a long way in improving the customer support experience—for the employee and customer alike.
Your call centre will continue to be a vital touchpoint for customers. By focusing efforts on employee engagement and retention—both by giving them the tools they need and creating a desirable workplace, we can create an even better experience for the customer. It’s service with a smile for the 21st century.