Happier agents mean happier customers—and since that's the goal of your contact center, making it a more fun place to work can only benefit everyone involved. Utilizing the right strategies to improve the convenience and comfort of working at your facility will create happier agents who are more likely to stay with your business long-term, provide better customer service for your customers, and create a cheerful working environment. If you've been struggling with employee happiness at your call center or you simply want to create a better environment for everyone, these strategies will allow you to improve what you're offering your employees.
1. Give Back Together
What causes matter most to your company, either as individuals or based on your mission statement and goals? Is there a particular charity that you support on a regular basis? If you want to improve workplace satisfaction, look for chances to give back together. This could include everything from hosting charity drives to taking work hours to go volunteer for a specific charity or organization.
Salesforce, for example, offers as many as 7 paid days for volunteering each year--and employees who take those hours are also offered a $1,000 grant that they can donate to the charity of their choice. This strategy helped earn Salesforce its #1 ranking on Fortune's 100 Best Companies to Work For--and with good reason. Employees who feel as though they are contributing to a greater goal are more likely to stick with a company longer, which in turn reduces churn and makes it less expensive to retain employees.
2. Show Appreciation
Everyone likes to be appreciated--especially contact center employees, who may feel that a large portion of their work is entirely unappreciated by the customers they work with every day. Help them earn the recognition they want by showing appreciation on a regular basis. Consider utilizing some of these tactics:
- Personal notes of recognition for employees who have gone above and beyond in the effort to make a customer happy
- Broadcasting notes of appreciation for the entire office to see, whether that's in your online system or on the office bulletin board
- Including notes of appreciation in the company newsletter
The more appreciated your employees feel, the happier they will be—and the higher the likelihood that they'll share that happiness with the customers they're helping. Happy employees are also less likely to be stressed out, which helps reduce churn and keeps them at your call center longer. Not only that, they're 12% more productive at work, which increases the value you'll receive from each employee.
3. Incorporate Feedback
Feedback is one of the best ways to gauge how your contact center is doing—and it shouldn’t just come from your customers, but also from your team. What do they like most about the processes, systems, and work environment? What isn’t working so well? Keep the door open for their participation.
Similarly, it’s important to take the time to provide constructive feedback or to offer information about where agents can make improvements while simultaneously recognizing the things that they've done well. Providing feedback also helps employees meet their goals more efficiently.
4. Provide Incentives
Chances are, you're tracking a number of key performance metrics that let you know how your contact center is performing. What incentives do your employees have for helping you to reach those metrics? Do you offer incentives to employees with the best call averages or who have the best responses on customer satisfaction surveys? Consider what metrics are most important for your business, then provide incentives to get your employees on board. This can be everything from competitions with a gift card or big-ticket item as a prize to bonuses for employees who reach their goals. Consider what incentives will work best for your employees, then offer them on an ongoing basis to watch your statistics soar.
5. Feed Your Employees
There's nothing like free food to put a smile on people's faces! A recent survey by ZeroCater found that employees ranked food in the top 5 work perks that are most meaningful to them, along with flexible work environments and medical benefits.
There are several easy ways to offer food to your employees that won’t break the bank. Consider which ones work best for your existing company culture or to encourage participation from everyone on the team, including:
- Providing lunch (or dinner, depending on the shift) for all of your employees once or twice a month
- Keeping snacks on the floor (try healthy snacks like yogurt and fruit as well as less-healthy treats like muffins, cookies, and brownies)
- Passing out special treats on special occasions
Eating together is also a great way to build a sense of camaraderie between the members of your team, which can have significant benefits for your company as a whole.
6. Celebrate Together
Celebrating together is one of the fastest ways to encourage your employees to bond—not to mention increasing their enjoyment of their workplace. Consider adding some great traditions to your regular seasonal rotation, like:
- Hosting company holiday parties
- Celebrating employee birthdays and work anniversaries
- Getting together to celebrate company milestones, from reaching your goals to recognizing the day the company was founded
7. Get Moving Together
Healthy employees are happier employees—and a great company wellness program is an excellent incentive for employees to get moving. Have competitions to encourage weight loss, offer healthy treats throughout the building, or have a step contest based on popular fitness trackers. Offer incentives for employees who are able to reach their goals. You'll quickly discover that making fitness fun is an excellent way to improve company culture and encourage team spirit. At Google, for example, employees often get out and get moving together whether it’s by going to one of their onsite gyms, joining a pick-up roller hockey game, or signing up for one of their over 200 fitness classes.
8. Use Intuitive Tools and Systems
If your goal is to make your contact center a best place to work, you’re going to need the right solutions in place. If you choose clunky or outdated systems, it won't take long before your employees are struggling every day. Your contact center solutions should empower your agents to provide great support, not detract from it. Some qualities of intuitive contact center solutions include:
- A simple interface that is easy for new agents to figure out and simple for experienced agents to continue using
- A unified voice and chat solution that fully integrates into existing business tools like your support CRM
- The ability to request photos, videos, and screenshots in real-time to make it easier to help customers
- Having all customer contact points neatly organized in one place
Your call center has the potential to be an excellent place to work—one where your employees stick around and your customers are pleased when they call in to talk with you. By utilizing these 8 strategies throughout your contact center, you can create a better working environment that will allow you to experience all the advantages of happy employees: reduced churn, including lower expense for hiring and training; happier customers who keep coming back; and reduced stress in the workplace.