How to Improve Employee Engagement
There is a strong correlation between delivering an exceptional customer experience and agent engagement. When agents are satisfied and engaged, they provide better service to customers. In fact there are many positive business outcomes that are correlated to employee engagement. Gallup conducted a study on this very topic and found that by comparing bottom-quartile companies with top-quartile companies, the top companies have:
- 37% lower absenteeism
- 45% average lower turnover
- 21% higher productivity
- 22% higher profitability
Given these proof points, why are only 32% of employees engaged in their jobs? Disengaged employees create a poor working environment which negatively impacts an entire contact center and customers. Team sports, such as baseball, offer an excellent analogy: when one team member is not performing at his or her best, the team as a cohesive unit suffers.
Several factors contribute to reasons why a high percentage of call center agents today are characterized as disengaged. For example, the growth in self-service channels on one hand helps resolve some issues with automation, but on the other hand has caused the contact center agents’ focus to shift toward consistently dealing with more complex issues. The additional degree of difficulty to resolve is frequently compounded by requests to handle multiple channels of communication. You can see where lack of training, knowledge resources and even supervisory support can quickly lead to frustration in these increasingly challenging environments.
Agents tend to be the channel of last resort for customers when they fail to self-serve so they are likely to already be frustrated when they call. 58% of callers have visited the web prior to reaching out to an agent according to a survey conducted by the Customer Experience Board. Agents need a higher level of training to handle frustrated customers that are calling with more complex issues. Continuing with the baseball analogy, agents need “to be able to handle a curve ball.”
Agents also disengage when they perceive they are in a dead-end job. Many contact center operations cannot accommodate the work-life balance that many agents would like to achieve, especially millennials. They are limited in their ability to incorporate agents’ preferences into contact center processes such as a work schedule or career aspirations.
Contact centers must adapt their processes to the individual agent in order to deliver the support agents need to improve their batting average when it comes to performance and engagement. They need to take advantage of automation when it comes to onboarding, evaluations, training, coaching, incentives and scheduling. All agents aren’t the same; they have different goals, strengths and weaknesses, and preferences. For this reason they shouldn’t be treated the same. NICE Adaptive WFO is a game-changing technology that uses an analytics-based agent persona to dynamically personalize contact center processes. The agent persona made up of metrics, attributes (including behavior) and personal preferences is used to predict the best approach for success for each individual agent. According to Aberdeen Group, when the contact center process is adaptive to agents, there is 75% greater customer retention and a 3.5% decrease in customer care costs annually compared to an increase of 4.9% by organizations that are not adaptive.
Learn how to empower your agents to become the MVP of your contact center team by watching an Adaptive WFO demo at the NICE booth at Call Center Week, June 28-30 in Las Vegas. Also, visit our website for more details.