If there’s one clear change that’s come out of the pandemic, it’s that remote work is here to stay — more employees are working outside the office than ever before.
Remote work can mean increased flexibility and productivity improvements, but it can also make it difficult to create a strong, consistent employee experience. In order to adapt to this new environment and keep your employees fulfilled, happy, and energized by their work, you need to establish ways to better understand and enable them — no matter where they’re working.
This is especially true of contact center employees. According to a recent McKinsey study, contact center agents who feel satisfied by and engaged with their work are 8.5 times more likely to stay past their first year of employment and 16 times more likely to refer friends for personnel openings at their organization.
A great contact center employee experience can have a notable effect on the level of customer experience you can deliver, and therefore on your business’s bottom line. So now that you understand why your call center agent experience matters, here’s my advice on how to improve it.
1. Create a Customer Experience Roadmap
Customer experience and call center employee experience are inextricably linked — to deliver a better employee experience, you need to take an outside-in approach, starting from a customer experience focus and working inward. Once you have your roadmap laid out, hiring, tooling, and platform decisions will be that much easier.
2. Invest in Agent Enablement Solutions
The right tools and resources can immediately reduce work-related stress and enhance the overall employee experience by putting the necessary customer, product, and company information at their fingertips. Enabling your representatives to perform their jobs more easily and efficiently makes their employee experience and your customer experience better.
Employees are the lifeblood of any contact center.
3. Consolidate Your Technology
Consider your agents’ time and energy as finite resources and try to spend them wisely. If a contact center representative has to log into 17 different systems to get an answer for a client, is that an effective use of their energy? Could you slim it down to two or three integrated systems? It’s worth conducting regular workflow and technology reviews to ensure you’re not bogging your agents down with busy work.
4. Make the Move to the Cloud
Moving your contact center to the cloud offers a number of financial and logistical benefits, chief among them, the ability for contact center employees to access shared customer data from anywhere simply by logging in. With remote work quickly becoming the new normal for contact centers, cloud computing is even more essential.
5. Empower Agents with Customer Data
For many organizations, data and analytics are at the top of the investment list — even more so in a remote work environment. Enabling your agents to develop a deeper understanding of how, where, and why customers engage with your business is critical to improving both your customer and employee experience.
6. Offer Consistent Access to Knowledge and Training
Your contact center representatives are the main point of interaction with your customers and prospects, so they should exude warmth and competence across all touchpoints in order to be perceived as authentic and helpful. Avtex helps organizations build comprehensive plans to empower agents with access to the knowledge and training they need to deliver compassionate customer experiences.
The Pinnacle of Contact Centers: Ruby.com
So, what does all this look like, put into practice? You can’t get much better than Ruby.com, a live virtual receptionist and chat solution trusted by more than 13,000 businesses across the United States. The offices housing their receptionists and chat specialists are some of the most impressive I’ve ever toured, and I’ve toured a lot of contact centers.
The attitude and the excitement of the entire Ruby team is palpable from the moment you walk in. Nothing about Ruby’s space feels like a stereotypical contact center. Their receptionists and chat specialists go beyond by encouraging their peers and engaging compassionately with customers — they even have a budget and a little storeroom to offer small gifts and pick-me-ups to customers.
This friendly and approachable attitude is core to the company’s ethos and employees embody it in every interaction, even with partners like Avtex. During a late night working session with one of our account managers, one of their IT staff started joking around and referring to each other as the Wonder Twins. You know, the old comics: "Wonder Twin Powers Unite." Together, they could solve anything!
On a call with this IT person, our client account manager joked that they had been working so closely, that they had developed their own language, and if somebody else were listening in on the call, they would need a secret decoder ring to translate. Two days later, our account manager received a package from Ruby—it was a secret decoder ring.
It is clear to me Ruby has not only empowered their team (also known as “Rubys”) to do their job well, but they’ve given them the freedom—and the budget—to go above and beyond and make human connections. This kind of engagement isn’t just great for the customer — it also makes the agent’s job more fun.
Happy employees have a positive impact on your bottom line, not least because the employee experience significantly impacts the customer experience. Happy people who like their job are going to put in more effort and do a better job serving their customers than people who are constantly exhausted.
And if you can find a way to help employees take joy in their work, the way Ruby does, you’re on track to deliver a truly stellar experience to both customers and employees.
Whether you’re looking to empower your remote workforce or find ways to build a better employee experience for in-person or hybrid remote contact centers, Avtex can help.