Demotivated and exhausted contact center agents
One of the many challenges faced by a contact center agent is the lack of coordination on the customer’s behalf. A good percentage of customers are unwilling to coordinate or are unequipped to coordinate at every step of the process. This makes the job of a contact center agent exasperating and can eventually lead to him/her feeling pessimistic and demotivated at work. The constant pressure of handling clients efficiently can affect the agent’s physical health and mental health to a significant extent, leaving agents yearning for change which can ultimately affect an organization.
There are ways to stave off the challenging aspects of a contact center agent’s role. Organizations can implement 10 actionable tips to keep contact center agents motivated and happy including:
- Acknowledge the existence of a problem: While a contact center agent is busy walking the extra mile for a company’s clients, managers must recognize behavioral patterns that appear out of the ordinary. A person can simultaneously be ok on the outside and be unsatisfied on the inside. Prolonged dissatisfaction about something on the work front will hamper the individual’s productivity and lead to disruption in the business flow.
- Engage frequently with your team: Communication is the key to achieving a clear understanding of an individual’s requirements. Talk to agents often and don’t restrict the conversation to work-related questions. Be involved and invested in an agent’s overall wellbeing. For instance, if an agent has been buried in work for weeks and hasn’t got time for his/her personal endeavors, convince them to take a few days off to focus on those tasks without the added worry of work. Feedback surveys are an excellent means to gain clarity on issues that need attention.
- Be mindful of feedback: On singular occasions, detailed feedback can come in handy to motivate agents and show them the areas that need improvement. Strive to make the work environment a feedback friendly workspace for all agents. If it is a case of positive feedback, acknowledge and celebrate the feedback aimed at the agent amidst other team members. Public recognition of a resourceful employee helps to create a pleasant and cheerful ambiance within the team. When you must convey negative feedback, do it in-private. Don’t forget to be gentle and constructive.
- Reward for extra effort: Contact center agents have task-oriented jobs. A great deal of what they do depends upon their ability to carry out interpersonal and intrapersonal communication. As a manager, you must understand that solving a unique problem requires the best of both. An agent who approaches a problem with a balanced execution of both the skills and ensures an ‘above and beyond’ outlook for the same, should be rewarded generously.
- Aid with state-of-the-art tools and technologies: A Day in the life of a contact center agent is hectic and demanding. Switching from one window to another, from one application to other, and scouring for information from multiple sources is time-consuming and mentally exhausting. Provide your contact center agents with advanced tools and software for optimum results. The market is full of cutting-edge contact center software that can lessen the workload of a contact center agent. These tools/platforms help to organize the workflow by keeping aspects such as customer requests, new cases, old cases, and operational complaints under one umbrella.
- Emphasize knowledge transfer: Customer support is a vast area and highly depends on the smooth exchange of knowledge between two parties. As a manager, you must take initiatives that will ensure the agents are competent in solving all kinds of customer complaints. The initiatives can involve holding in-depth product demonstrations, frequent soft-skills training, learning knowledge management tools, and more.
- Create a flexible work environment: Work towards building a healthy work-life balance for each agent by giving them the liberty to choose the time and place of work they would be most comfortable in. Create flexible policies and work ethics without compromising the company’s integrity. Try stimulating psychological safety so your agents would look forward to each day with enthusiasm and vigor.
- Encourage healthy friendships within agents: Strive to create an amiable work culture that instills motivation and a sense of belonging between your contact center agents. A great way to achieve this is by fostering healthy relationships. Organize team-building activities, fun luncheons, virtual games, and video calls to catch up on each other’s lives. Arrange for a small yet noteworthy celebration each time an agent delivers an exemplary performance.
- Prioritize agents before customers: ‘Customer satisfaction is very important to us’; this claim will stand true only if your employees do their work diligently. It is important to care for your employees and treat them with respect at every step of the way. Give them the opportunity to air any grievances with patience and do a fact check before making any decisions. Try to be empathetic towards their situations and problems and let them know that you are there for support.
- Help contact center agents with career goals: Lack of clear goals is the reason of displeasure and irritation for many contact center agents. Issuing well-defined and quantifiable KRA’s will help to solve this problem on a primary level. When hiring a contact center agent, inquire about goals and expectations for the near future. Organize one-on-one calls and meetings to know how far they have come and simultaneously think of ways that will lead to remaining goals. Encourage your employees to take ownership of new projects or challenges in the pipeline. Entrust experienced agents with the task of training new hires and setting appropriate metrics for them.
Excellent customer service is vital for any business. If customers receive unsatisfactory responses from contact center agents, they might switch to a different service provider. Therefore, it is important to cater to the needs of your contact center agents and implement some measures that will help to keep them happy and motivated at work.
An optimistic and motivated agent will not only put their best foot forward at work but also inspire others around them to achieve their goals. A driven workforce can ensure linear growth and an excellent workplace environment for future employees.
Ready to empower your agents with state-of-the-art contact center technology? Contact us today!