people working in a contact center

Employee Engagement Innovation During Troubling Times

Author:
June 16, 2021
June 16, 2021

Dear COVID,

I never thought I’d be working from my kitchen table, but here we are! 

To think that nearly every person had to change their direction, their work and their home-life during the year 2020 is insane! The customer care arena was no exception. As a matter of fact, almost every department had to make remote decisions. The pandemic has also brought to light a number of issues from getting better internet connections, securing calls, email etiquette and agent chat protocols, that some of us had to handle individually. 

It’s no coincidence that addressing these issues successfully has 74% of companies planning to keep their employees permanently remote. (Gartner, 2020) We have learned, 

“Providing a great customer experience is paramount to customer satisfaction and more importantly, customer retention.”

We’ve also realized that the diminishing workforce is crucial to providing an excellent customer experience. The emphasis on employee experience and employee engagement is more critical today than ever. (Regardless of your employees working at a physical location or from the comfort of their own homes.)

Here are some ideas on how your company can continue to provide innovation to your contact center staff during these turbulent times:

  1. Focus innovation on AGENTS
    Anticipate the needs of agents technically and personally wherever they may be working. Provide technology and resources to help meet the needs of their work. 
  1. Increase connections with agents
    Dedicate time to talk with your employees one-on-one. Allow employees to voice their opinions, concerns, and challenges they’re facing on both a professional and personal level.

  2. Provide tools for collaboration and communication
    The old-school way of discouraging “water cooler chit chat” seems a bit pre-pandemic. Consider how isolated some employees are working remotely. Providing the proper tools will allow them to ask questions and escalate any customer issues to management when necessary. 

    Deploy a knowledge base that connects different departments or workgroups to handle multiple interactions. We want to ensure that the agents on the phones are able to have the same information as the agents manning email, social media and text interactions. 

  3. Be mobile-friendly
    Gen Z and Millennials are reshaping the future of the workforce. Their reliance on smartphones has become essential. If your contact center is not focused on providing training and/or solutions for your agents to interact with Gen Z and Millennials, trouble is around the corner. 

To build and maintain an engaged and productive workforce, we need to provide tools for our staff that are flexible based on their lifestyles, yet still allow agents to adhere to schedules and remain compliant with their work requirements. Check out Mike Bira’s presentation on Employee Engagement here: https://edci.com/employee-engagement-innovation/

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