Today, more than ever, the quality of the experience for both customers and employees is vital to businesses. At the heart of transactions and development are the call centers that weave the bonds between consumers and the brand and enhance the strength and values of the company. Merijn te Booij, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Workforce Engagement Management Solutions at Genesys, gives us his analysis.
Improving overall employee engagement to improve customer experience has become a matter of survival. Since then, the corporate call center has been transformed into a strategic hub that allows them to develop and adjust each of their activities by integrating the dimension of the omnichannel and its internal social policy.
The major resignation, the new corporate Achilles heel
The pandemic has led to a shift in mentality in how individuals evaluate what they want from an employer, prompting them to seek companies whose culture aligns with their values. In the United States, this revaluation of labor has led to “big resignations”, the phenomenon of mass resignations that occurs in France. To deal with it and not lack skills, companies must consider the values, desires, and strengths that drive their employees.
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Now, the competition for talent is intense. Organizations that adopt an unchanging approach rather than adapting to the new needs of their employees (agility, affirmative values, working on a mission, balance between personal and professional life, etc.) run a high risk of job abandonment as a result of the costly task of replacing and training new employees and losing Organizational knowledge. Ultimately, this affects the quality of service that customers receive.
In fact, call centers play a likely role as they are the frontrunner and key brand ambassadors. If the reception reserved for the customer is effective and enjoys sympathy, the reputation of the company will increase as well as the loyalty of consumers. Otherwise, it will distort its image. Customers and their employees will go to the competition.
Also, to have happy customers, you need happy employees!
Corporate culture, the main source of efficiency
Empathy, independence at work, and ability to learn… By focusing on these core values, companies can create the right culture to foster a strong sense of belonging and connection with the company. This improves the quality of working life and improves the organization’s ability to attract, retain and engage high-performing talent.
Moreover, since the health crisis, the boundaries between private and professional life have increasingly been narrowed and there is now a certain form of porosity breaking the traditional silos between the two. Since then, employees have naturally seen their expectations from their employer evolve.
The most attractive structures now are those that integrate the values of their employees into the company’s culture and work environment. Being considerate of employees and considering their needs are levers of motivation and commitment. Prioritizing employee experience along with customer experience will not only make companies more attractive, but will also empower employees to deliver exceptional customer experiences. No one goes without the other. In short, it is the principle of vessel conduction.
Today, it is appropriate to invoke the economy of experience to define a new business model that combines empathy and performance. Consumers are more informed, have access to qualified information, have a very accurate idea of what they need and expect a flawless, comprehensive service. This is why it is important to return the call center to its former glory. This requires, in particular, recognition of the critical role played by employees, who are the main point of interaction between the customer and the company.
The epidemic has changed the situation. Interactions have increased dramatically with peak periods at certain times through new consumer uses and increasingly multi-channel connections: mandatory remote work, highlights of the year (Christmas, specials, sales, Black Friday, etc.), physical store closures, and increase online sales, etc. Providing employees with a working environment and tools that align with their values and needs has become a strategic challenge to better meet their expectations.
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Values as an engine of growth
It is critical to identify the personal values that are most important to employees who work in call centers and to understand the differences that separate the most qualified employees from others. Indeed, companies can maximize motivation and retention of their talent by valuing empathy, empowerment, and commitment.
In Europe, for example, top performers in call centers prioritize work relationships, personal responsibilities, individual growth, health and well-being. It is also important that they feel belonging to a group that shares the same values. These employees need independence and development opportunities that allow them to grow within their organization and advance their personal development. In fact, the most successful employees especially value their ability to acquire new skills in their work and be recognized daily by their superiors and colleagues.
Other elements fuel employee motivation and should be considered when creating and managing a high-performing team. In fact, being part of a team and working together collaboratively are essential components of a well-balanced and effective team. It is normal for a poorly implemented organizational change to have a significant impact that can negatively affect employees and the regional characteristics of each country must be taken into account, especially for international call centres. If the company operates on a global scale, it will undoubtedly have to adapt the management of its employees to the regional level or even to the country level to improve the results of its call centers.
The “Great Resignation” is a fundamental trend. The pandemic is surely going to change a lot of things, making going backwards impossible. Mindsets and priorities have been disturbed by the health crisis, which continues to experience twists and turns. With no vision of the future and daring more easily to change company, sector of activity or even business, personal values become the main pillar in managing career, making union and service experience the new leitmotif of tomorrow’s employees.
Empathy is a universal human value shared by all countries. This is the common denominator of sustainable growth. There is no doubt that a structure led by empathy will have greater added value and will see higher performance than its peers.