You’re listening to your customers on social media—and taking steps to improve their experience—but what about your customer service employees? Online, they’re screaming. From toxic interactions to unrealistic expectations, unhappy agents have made a glass house out of call center life.
And the realities they’re exposing are too ugly to ignore.
For contact center and customer experience leaders, the stakes have never been higher. Faced with the growing challenges of training and retaining high-performing employees, customer operations leaders are often stuck between a rock and a hard place.
Resolving the problem requires a deeper understanding of the situation, the challenges and the opportunities available. By listening closely to employees and rethinking existing systems and processes, call center leaders can easily and cost-effectively improve every aspect of call center life.
more likely to recommend a brand whose employees can answer their questions*
of call center agents are likely to quit their jobs in 2021†
cite stress and burnout as their reason to leave†
From Empathizers To Human Punching Bags—Perceptions Run Wild
Customers, customer service employees and their managers often view each other in vastly disconnected ways. By uncovering the truth behind these perceptions, we can find ways to improve the experience and outcomes for everyone. After all, delivering a great customer experience starts with a good employee experience.
Meet customers halfway, often placating them with discounts or refunds
Focus on winning and/or outperforming their peers
Enjoy problem solving; work to understand customer behavior and offer sympathy
Closely follow rules, procedures and deadlines
Rethink processes and seek new ways to improve productivity
Remain upbeat and optimistic even under pressure
Enjoy demonstrating expertise and leading customer interactions
Have nothing better to do than waste customers’ time
Struggle with customer concerns; are often difficult to understand
Enjoy inconveniencing and/or arguing with customers
Human Punching Bags
Exist solely to absorb verbal abuse from upset customers
Are expected to wait hand and foot on customers who demand a curated experience
Act as sounding boards for deeper problems beyond the initial interaction
Call in with easy/general inquiries; are usually friendly and considerate
Seek resolution for forgotten or unauthorized account activity
Start out friendly but turn ugly when things don’t go smoothly
Are determined to go “up the chain” until they get the answer they want
Use account disputes to “game the system” for provisional credit
Can usually resolve their own concerns with minor assistance
Listen well and offer empathy and understanding
Step 1: Don’t Look Away. Lean In.
You listen to your customers on social media, but what about your customer service employees? Online, they’re screaming for help. Want to know how you can be part of the solution?
Step 2: Think Outside the Box
The majority of call center leaders believe they don’t have the budget for the increasingly rich and diverse set of systems and processes needed to run their dream contact center. However, you don’t need to wait for a bigger budget or easier-to-integrate system to elevate your employee and customer experiences. Through automation and AI, you can harmonize your existing platforms and processes to operate more efficiently and improve satisfaction scores.
Step 3: Keep Listening
We’re often trained to tune out employee rants and to take caricatures with a grain of salt. However, beneath this surface is a wellspring of actionable insights. By listening closely to agent pain points, frustrations and challenges, we can identify opportunities for improvement and make the call center and customer service world a better place.
* Source: forester
† Enghouse Interactive Agent Wellbeing Survey