“Get employees excited about working for you. An enthusiastic and positive work environment is felt by the customer.” - Shep Hyken
Contact centers exist to create a point of interaction between the company and its customers. This interaction is extremely important and can have a drastic impact on the customer’s perception of the brand. Ensuring that clients receive excellent service is therefore vital for the company’s existence.
How do you offer good customer service? It all starts with the agent. It’s been proven that happy and motivated agents are eager to provide their customers with the best assistance. This means that investing in your agents is a key step to take when creating a strategy for customer success.
However, most contact centers do not take their agents into consideration. Managers often forget that their agents are human and that they have needs that are outside the scope of their main tasks. Studies have even shown that a large number of contact center employees report that they are suffering physically from musculoskeletal disorders, auditory or visual fatigue but more so from psychological distress (Charbotel et al., 2008).
The physical environment in the contact center constitutes the facilities, equipment, workstations, and technologies used. Oftentimes, agents complain about back problems, hearing issues and fatigue because their offices lack ergonomic furniture as well as proper ear pieces and screens.
The floor plan of the office also needs to be taken into account. Just like upgrading new software, contact centers should be testing and changing their physical workspace in order to find the optimal solution for their agents.
Researchers have reported that agents most often complain about emotional distress at their contact centers. In fact, over-controlling managers are the main reason for agent psychological pain along with, “insufficient means available to do the job, tension with interlocutors at work, difficulty in performing the job and lack of help, negative comments and lack of recognition, [as well as] verbal aggression” (Charbotel et al., 2008).
Therefore, a positive work environment is a must for agents at contact centers. This includes a sense of collaboration, appreciation, and motivation from co-workers and managers alike. According to Forbes, “employees who enjoy and like the environments they are a part of will be more engaged, productive, happy, and healthy.
Consequently, having satisfied agents is positively correlated to having happy customers; the two come hand-in-hand. As Shep Hyken says, customers can tell a lot about a company based on their interactions with the employees. For these reasons, managers need to start investing in the workplace environment of their contact centers in order to ensure that their agents are motivated at their job and that customers are happy with the service that they receive.