In his article “Growing Your Contact Center Culture”, Patrick Russell tells us that your company culture is like a farmer’s soil because it lays the foundation for the success or failure of your company. In other words, if you have a terrible company culture and your employees hate working there, your production will be terrible as well. If your company has a positive culture and your employees love working there, your production will reflect that and ultimately lead to a great customer experience. While there are examples of contact centers with great company culture, there are many that have terrible cultures.
If you have a great company culture and your contact center is thriving, that’s awesome! But if you have a terrible culture or you’re unsure about it completely, you’re probably wondering where you even begin turning things into a positive direction. A company’s culture is created over time and can’t be overhauled in one day, but Russell has some advice for how to get your contact center headed on the right path.
The first piece of advice Russell offers is to make sure your contact center office environment is a comfortable place to work. Having an office that is well lit, clean, pleasantly decorated, and with functioning appliances plays a vital role in your agents’ overall morale at work. If your work environment is a pleasant atmosphere, your agents will have a better attitude about being there for their shifts.
Next, Russell discusses a factor that may seem obvious, but it isn’t always taken seriously. This factor is agent feedback. Plain and simple, your contact center agents are the ones on the phone with your customers every day, so they’re the BEST source of information when it comes to how your customers feel about their experience and your company. Listen to your agents and you’ll see a positive change in both your agent morale and your customer service.
How do you manage your contact center agents? Do you greet each of them daily and take an interest in their lives? Do you offer support when they’re in need of advice or help when they have a challenging call? These, and numerous other efforts, are extremely crucial for establishing a great professional relationship with your agents and ultimately letting them know you’re there for them and they can trust you.
Finally, if you’ve ever worked as a contact center agent, you know that it can be a very stressful and hard job for a variety of reasons, including unrealistic expectations from management. There are things you can implement to make the environment more enjoyable. Some examples of methods to enlighten call center environments include gamification and general positive reinforcement like praising great customer service and obtaining goals. This may seem like a no brainer, but it happens far too often that contact centers will only write-up agents when they make mistakes while never truly showing appreciation when they do things well.
Russell’s main point is this: if you have bad agent morale, you’re eventually going to have bad customer service. You can’t change things in an instant, but you can certainly make an effort to start working towards a better company culture. This will ultimately lead to higher agent morale and, in turn, a better customer experience.
This blog post is based on an article by Patrick Russell. To read the original article, please click here.
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