It’s a fact – the primary focus for contact centers has always been on how the customer experience (CX) can be improved. After all, better customer service means more revenue. However, while improving CX should always be a top priority, employee experience (EX) should not be overlooked as it’s just as important in the success of a company and is directly correlated.
Today’s Employee Experience (EX)
The role of an agent is already incredibly difficult, and as technology continues to advance, the job is becoming even more demanding. In contact centers, employee turnover rate is the highest in the U.S. at 30-45%, and this is very costly for employers. In fact, the training of new agents has become more intensive in recent years and that equals more dollars spent. There are also continuing education costs that must be considered for current employees as new technology is released and needs to be adopted.
The Cost of Hiring Agents
Training an agent can take two to ten weeks for basic training in order for them to successfully get started in their new role. After that introductory period, it can be an additional six months of on-the-job training before they are no longer considered “new”. This is much longer than some industries, making the investment of a new hire a lot more valuable. Due to this fact, it’s even more vital to create a positive employee experience (EX) and entice them to stay on board long-term.
EX and What It Means for Your Contact Center
Employee experience is defined as an agent’s entire relationship with a contact center from the beginning to the end of their employment. Many contact center leaders try to improve the employee experience by:
- Offering perks and parties
- Implementing HR practices
- Treating employees like customers
- Annual agent surveys
While these attempts may help temporarily, they are not the solution to the problem. Establishing employee engagement is done through a holistic approach with EX as the means to a much larger end.
Keep in mind, most agents in contact centers didn’t necessarily plan on this career path. Because of that, contact centers do not usually make the list of best places to work, which means morale can start low for an agent at the beginning of their career. That makes the employee experience (EX) even more important than in other industries.
How to Improve the EX in Your Contact Center
According to a recent study, two main factors affect EX:
1. Perceptions – The feeling about the work you do, which breaks down to:
- Connection: feeling a part of something (a work community).
- Meaning: establishing a purpose for the work you do.
- Impact: knowing you can make a difference.
- Appreciation: feeling acknowledged and appreciated.
2. Expectations- The support you want and expect from your job, including:
- Technology: the tools that streamline communication and processes.
- Culture: a safe place to voice opinions and not be afraid of negative consequences (i.e. an open-door policy).
- Passion: employee interactions that matter; those that show empathy and are genuine.
- Empowerment: supervisors that can take action and have a clear direction for positive change.
It is the responsibility of contact center management to consider these factors and implement best practices into their day-to-day. Here’s the perfect example of this in action.
A leader in the technology industry has a customer experience framework (CXF) strategy for how their team comes together to execute their work. In this framework, the customer is at the center of everything they do, and everyone in the company recognizes that they have a role to play for success. This common goal has aligned the company and clarified the focus so the company can reach their goals quickly.
The framework the technology leader has adopted is made up of three customer experiences that are written from the customer’s point of view.
- Empower me to help solve and prevent issues from happening. Customers want their issues to be prevented, but if they need help with their technologies, they want an easy way to resolve them.
- Help me quickly when I need your expertise. Customers want help quickly when they need it.
- Advise me on how I can achieve more. Customers want to maximize their use of their products. By making it a goal to know their customers on a more personal level they can help them learn more about what their technologies can do for them.
This framework is helping to foster a culture where every person understands and feels a great sense of responsibility for delivering great customer experiences. It connects the entire organization to one common goal. It also brings employees clarification for the work they do and how to be successful.
In contact centers, when there is success, it’s important to reward agents to create a positive employee experience (EX). Some recognition ideas include:
- Monthly newsletters that highlight top employees
- Sharing customer feedback with your team
- Implementing a Contact Center Week that focuses on recognizing employees
Keep in mind, it’s okay to start small when trying to improve the employee experience through recognition. In order to be most effective, do your research on how your employees would like to be recognized.
EX & CX Go Hand in Hand
When you want to better the customer experience in your contact center, it cannot be at the expense of EX. There is no magic solution to solving all of your EX and CX problems. But, through establishing common goals regarding the customer experience and rewarding agents for a job well done, your contact center can find success.
Having the right data reporting tools can also improve the employee experience as it helps agents be more efficient in their day-to-day roles. Interested in learning about Aceyus’ data reporting capabilities? Contact us for more information.