This week on our Friends on Friday guest blog post my colleague, Jaime Scott, writes about how engagement is crucial to delivering an excellent customer service experience. Remember that engaged employees work harder, care more about the company, the people they work with and ultimately care more about the customer. – Shep Hyken
Plagued by rising costs, employee churn, absenteeism and declining standards, contact centers across the world are facing a combination of challenges unprecedented in the 50-year history of the industry.
Many have turned to digital channels in an attempt to find a solution, but have discovered to their cost that automation alone doesn’t hold the answers.
The reason for this is that as technology makes contact centers more efficient, (by taking over the simplistic tasks), it will lead to a requirement for more capable agents; who will be needed both when technology is unable to solve complex challenges, and when it simply fails altogether.
What this serves to demonstrate is that ultimately organizations will depend more on human creativity, not less.
So, while the rise of automation is inevitable, there is a rock-solid case for investing in people and employee engagement, as it’s humans who have the intuition, people skills, creativity, and complex problem-solving abilities that are essential to deliver a first-class CX.
And for those who are hell bent on going digital, it’s worth pointing out that even if a digital CX program is successfully implemented, it will only serve to deliver standardization across the sector. How can you possibly offer a competitive advantage based on superior CX when it looks and responds just like everyone else?
Workforce Engagement Management is absolutely crucial to the success of CX.
We have already witnessed the rise of technology with performance metrics and targets in the name of Workforce Optimization. This obsession with monitoring software has resulted in a tendency to focus on the data, and then drill these numbers into an agent’s psyche, day after day after day.
Ironically the technology currently employed is treating agents like robots, which is why you get a robot-like mentality in return. Under pressure, unmotivated, maligned by the general public; and people wonder why agent disengagement is now at epidemic levels.
It is now an inescapable requirement that contact centers introduce management and motivational tools that can nurture a new generation of super-agent; engaged, informed, enthused and capable of delivering a superior CX.
Engagement isn’t just about keeping people focused on their day-to-day workload. 21st-century engagement is a sense of organizational connection and relevance, it’s an understanding of purpose, of contribution and the opportunity to learn and progress.
Workforce Engagement Management (WEM) is fast becoming an imperative for the future health, prosperity and even the very survival of many contact centers.
Without it, you might as well employ a bunch of robots.
Jaime Scott is CEO of EvaluAgent and leads the team in delivering people-focused software and services to its growing client list. After almost twenty years directing customer experience and workforce engagement programs for some of the UK’s biggest brands, including EE, Barclays and M&S, Jaime’s mission is to empower contact centers to deliver a superior CX.
For more articles from Shep Hyken and his guest contributors go to customerserviceblog.com.
Read Shep’s latest Forbes Article: How To Create A ‘We’ve Been Expecting You’ Service Experience