When it comes to CX, there’s some simple math at play:
Engaged employees + the right tools = improved customer service
How does this equation work? What’s the connection between these three concepts? How do you know when your contact center employees are engaged or when you’re using the right tools?
Read on to learn more about employee engagement, what the right tools are for your contact center, and how the combination leads to better customer service.
What’s employee engagement?
“Employee engagement” refers to how passionate employees feel about their job and how committed they are to their organization. When you have engaged employees, they put in discretionary effort (meaning they go above the minimum that’s required).
What does employee engagement look like in a contact center setting? Engaged contact center agents care deeply about their jobs, and they want to offer the best customer service solutions to customers.
Employee engagement isn’t employee satisfaction
It’s important to note that employee engagement isn’t the same thing as employee satisfaction. Employee satisfaction just means that an employee is happy with his or her job.
On the other hand, employee engagement is about motivation, involvement, emotional commitment, and buy-in to company values and culture. An engaged employee is satisfied, while a satisfied employee might not be engaged.
Employee engagement and better customer service solutions
What’s the connection between employee engagement and customer service? The Temkin Group, a customer experience consultancy firm, carried out research that shows that employee engagement is one of four customer experience (CX) core competencies. If your employees aren’t engaged, your CX suffers.
Why is that the case? When your employees are engaged, they deliver better customer service solutions. Engaged contact center agents are committed to helping customers. As a result, customers will have a better experience.
What are the right tools?
The second part of the equation is the right tools. To run a contact center that delivers an excellent customer experience, the contact center should be powered by customer service software that:
- Provides omnichannel flexibility.
- Allows you to set up intelligent routing based on AI, agent skills, and actionable analytics.
- Empowers customers with self-service options.
- Gives supervisors the ability to course-correct agents through whisper coaching, to perform silent monitoring, and to enter a call if necessary.
- Connects agents with the corporate directory, so they can talk to internal experts to deliver better customer service solutions.
- Integrates with your favorite business applications so you can customize agents’ workflows.
- Optimizes agent schedules to minimize downtime and long waits for customers.
- Offers real-time reports, agent monitoring, and in-depth customer surveys.
Customer service software and better customer service solutions
Choosing the right contact center tools leads to better CX because:
- Omnichannel flexibility allows customers to connect with your brand whichever way they want.
- Intelligent routing sends customers to the right agent, so there’s a higher chance of first call resolution.
- Self-service options let customers get the help they need, faster.
- Supervisors can provide valuable feedback to agents on how to improve their customer service skills.
- Agents are empowered to find the help they need within the company, so they can solve customer issues faster.
- Customizing workflows means your workflows fit your contact center, and your agents don’t have to adapt to new methods or processes.
- Optimizing agent schedules means that the right number of agents are available to answer customer queries, leading to better customer experiences.
- Real-time analytics and measuring customer sentiment spurs improvement within your contact center, which creates a better customer experience.
What’s the connection between employee engagement and the right customer service software?
The connection between engaged agents and better CX is clear, and the connection between the right customer service software and CX is clear. Now, is there a connection between employee engagement and the right customer service software?
The answer is yes; the tools employees use on their job are directly related to their engagement with their jobs. It’s much more difficult to get your work done when you’re not using the right software for the job. For contact center agents, it’s frustrating when systems don’t allow:
- Customers to use their desired channel to reach the contact center.
- Customers to reach an experienced agent who can best answer the customer’s question.
- Self-service options for customers, to save everyone time.
- Supervisors to give timely feedback, or to recognize a job well done.
- Agents to connect with internal resources so they can answer questions quickly and correctly.
As a result, agents can’t deliver the best possible CX, because they can’t access the right answers. Their hands are essentially tied with the lack of information they have access to and the service and support they’re able to offer. Moreover, customers will already be frustrated when they reach the contact center because they can’t necessarily connect through their desired channel, and they can’t use self-service options to get the help they need.
Dealing with their own frustration with software unsuited to their needs or dealing with customer frustration for the same reason can cause agent disengagement that, in turn, translates into poor customer experience over time.
On the other hand, the opposite is also true. Agents using the right tools are more apt to be positively engaged and able to deliver the best customer experiences possible.
Putting all the pieces together: Engaged employees + the right tools = better CX
Let’s put all the pieces together to see how the combination of engaged employees and the right tools leads to better CX. We’ll illustrate with an example.
Jane just bought a new fitness tracker, but she’s having problems synching it with her smartphone. She opens the manufacturer’s site on her computer and clicks on a button to begin a chat. The chatbot displays several self-service options, although they don’t quite fit Jane’s needs. She asks the chatbot to connect her to a contact center agent.
The contact center agent reads what Jane has previously typed. He uses the company directory to connect with someone in the engineering department, who tells him what Jane should do. The contact center agent shares the engineer’s answer with Jane, which turns out to be just the fix she needs.
This interaction leaves the agent feeling good about the interaction and about the job he’s doing because he had the right tools to answer a customer’s question. Jane had a great customer experience because she was able to find the answer she needed quickly.
Originally published Sep 29, 2020, updated Nov 18, 2021