The connection between employee engagement and customer satisfaction has been demonstrated in a number of studies over the years. But new research suggests that the customer service profession is populated by staff that are not just unengaged by their job – they are bored to tears.
It is now two decades since the Harvard Business Review article ‘Putting the Service-Profit Chain to Work’ detailed research proposing happy employees = happy customers = happy shareholders. Since then, numerous studies have highlighted a correlation between staff engagement and service levels (and ultimately company profits), including work by David Ulrich, a professor of business at the Ross School of Business at Michigan, that demonstrates that for every 10% increase in employee engagement levels, a company’s customer service levels go up by 5%, and profits by 2%.
So the findings of a new report into the customer service profession by CV-Library should have alarm bells ringing. The study, which asked 1,200 professionals about boredom at work, found that one in four (19.6%) customer service workers admitted to feeling bored every day, with a further 29.4% claiming that they feel this way about their work on a weekly basis.
Overall, boredom afflicts half (50%) of customer service professionals, with a staggering 57.6% admitting that they have looked for a new job as a result of a dull work life.
When asked why they felt this way, customer service workers said that they do the same thing every day (27.3%), that their daily tasks are tedious (21.2%) and that they dislike their jobs (18.2%).
Earlier this year, a study by employment specialist Emolument revealed that customer support was the third most boring vocation, with 71% of staff bored, behind only legal jobs (81%) and project management (78%).
Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of CV-Library, says: “It is very disappointing to see boredom getting the best of customer service workers. With so much of our adult lives spent in work, ensuring that you get passion and enjoyment from your career is of paramount importance. Prolonged boredom in a job can lead, very quickly, to burnout, low productivity and inevitably a high turnover of staff for businesses, so it’s extremely important that each and every employee in a company feels engaged in their day-to-day work.”
About Neil Davey
Neil Davey is the managing editor of MyCustomer. An experienced business journalist and editor, Neil has worked on a variety of newspapers, magazines and websites over the past 15 years, including Internet Works, CXO magazine and Business Management. He joined Sift Media in 2007.