Contact centres are increasingly reliant on younger employees - but new research reveals that this is the least engaged demographic.
While younger employees are expected to represent the largest proportion of customer service agents in the coming years, research suggests that they are the least happy and most likely to leave their jobs.
New statistics from the 2nd annual Aspect Agent Experience Index survey reveal that contact centres are failing to engage and retain young Millennial and Generation Z service agents.
The report found that workers from these demographics – representing those aged between 18 to 24 – are the only group whose job satisfaction declined from 2017.
And as a result, a huge 45% of Generation Z and Young Millennials reported they would be leaving their current jobs.
This compares to 33% of older Millennials looking for a new job, and 24% of Generation Z and Baby Boomers.
Driving this restlessness, according to the survey, are a number of gaps which exist between the factors all agents say are vital to their engagement, and the availability of those factors in agents’ contact centres:
- 83% of agents believe having the ability to move up in the organisation is important to their engagement, however only 58% say it is provided by their current employer.
- 91% say feeling like a valued part of a team is important but only 58% say they work in a customer service environment where this is present.
- 80% say having up-to-date customer service software is critical to their engagement but only 35% of agents say this is currently available to them.
- 93% of agents say it’s important to be working in an environment where they feel respected, the highest ranked of the 14 factors.
Closing the gaps between agents’ workplace expectations and the contact centre’s ability to deliver on those fronts obviously therefore represents an important way to foster greater job satisfaction and reduce agent attrition.
But the survey also indicates other ways that customer service organisations can improve agent satisfaction and engagement, including:
- Challenging them: 81% of agents say their skills will improve when they are tasked with handling more complex questions and tasks. 70% of agents say it will improve their chances of moving up in the company, plus 73% of Young Millennial and Generation Z agents say it will make them feel more satisfied/committed in their jobs -higher than any other demographic.
- Improving the work environment: Making work/life management easy and, where possible, self-serviceable, can provide more schedule flexibility, create greater work/life balance and make agents feel respected. More than half of Young Millennial and Generation Z agents (5%) say using self-service to manage their schedules, pick up and change shifts is more important than a good salary.