5 ways to improve EX in the hybrid contact centre
The post-pandemic world has created a new hybrid working environment, with employees splitting their working hours between their homes and the office. While this allows for people to connect once again more easily with colleagues and receive more hands-on support from managers, in this new way of working it’s more important than ever that the employee experience (EX) is one where engagement, performance and job satisfaction can thrive.
Organisations that look to improve EX in the contact centre for their agents will not only see an improvement in employee morale and engagement, but will subsequently also see an improved customer experience (CX). Below are our recommendations of how to adapt to this new normal:
- Move to a cloud contact centre to streamline hybrid working
The pandemic has dramatically changed customer needs and expectations, and in a hybrid or remote working environment, delivering a consistent, omnichannel customer experience can be tricky without the right tools in place. With cloud solutions, contact centres not only gain greater flexibility and less complexity than with on-premise, legacy technology, but agents will be equipped with the tools they need to deliver the experience customers deserve and expect – from wherever they’re working. A cloud-based contact centre will also unify communication channels, increasing operational efficiency and further improving CX, while also providing employees with cloud-based tools to interact with customers across multiple channels, leading to a more engaged and productive team.
- Adopt gamification strategies to improve employee motivation
Since it’s coinage in 2003, gamification has shown itself to be a cross-sector juggernaut for motivating employees. Gamification, in simple terms, is the application of game principals to work activities. This commonly includes point scoring, rules and competition against other colleagues to win a material prize. Numerous surveys have consistently found that agents who are given rewards for their work are not only more enthusiastic for work but they are more likely to over-achieve on their targets. After all, who doesn’t like recognition for their hard work?
- Implement automated technologies to ease the burden of mundane tasks
Mundane and repetitive tasks are unavoidable in contact centres, but some of the burden of resolving simple and regularly occurring customer issues can be removed from agents through the implementation of automated solutions. Indeed, integrating automated technologies, like chatbots, automated ID&V applications and RPA tools, can significantly reduce the strain on agents and allow them to put their training to the test and focus on more complex customer queries – increasing their job satisfaction and engagement.
- Apply WFM to ensure flexibility for employees
Workforce Management (WFM) systems are a powerful but simple tool. With remote and hybrid working, agents are working with new routines that involve juggling work and home life – leading to a greater need for flexibility in working hours. Installing an accessible WFM platform that takes into consideration workload, goals and an employee’s own preference for working hours and holidays will grant agents the flexibility they want and need while also maintaining their engagement with work. WFM allows contact centres to identify quieter periods where value-add activities can take place. Whether implementing more regular manager check-in sessions or offering extra training sessions for agents to be able to handle the new challenges of hybrid working, there are plenty of ways to keep agents engaged and connected.
- Provide great CX for great EX:
This one is simple. The happier the customer, the happier the agents are who interact with them. Equally, happy employees create happy customers, so the sooner contact centres step into this circle the sooner their employee and customer satisfaction rates will soar.
The above four suggestions will go a long way to improving EX but also stop and ask yourself, what makes your company great? Why do employees want to go to work each day? What is unique about your workforce and what can you do to keep them engaged and happy? Capitalising on the answers to these questions may bring you closer to discovering what you can do to improve EX in a more personal way for your agents, whether they’re working from home, in the office or a combination of both.
While we get to grips with hybrid contact centre operations, now is the time to trial new strategies for improving EX and ensure that employees are engaged, productive and love their job, no matter where they do it from. With the sophistication of today’s cloud-based and automated technologies, there has never been a better time to support the changing face of contact centres and the people that work at the heart of them.
With over 20 years’ experience in contact centres, I spent the first half of my career in operational roles across the contact centre industry, with a particular focus on technology, workforce engagement and leadership. Since then, I’ve worked with leading brands across the globe, helping them utilise the latest technology and optimising their...