Most companies know that investing in employees leads to improved customer experience (CX), but they don't always realize that the way they treat their team ties directly to CX. In a customer-facing business, front-line employees can make or break CX, so it's essential to show them the highest levels of respect for their hard work and commitment to your brand.
Here are five principles for respecting contact center employees and the CX benefits that companies will experience as a result.
1 - Provide Complete Transparency
Transparency builds trust with agents and helps them feel valued as partners who can contribute meaningfully to the business’s success. So, start by giving employees clear insight into the company's goals, CX ambitions, and long-term expectations for their careers.
When agents know precisely what you expect from them and why it ties to the company's objectives, they'll better understand how their roles contribute to business goals like revenue generation, cost reduction, and customer loyalty. And they'll be more likely to take ownership of their performance when they can see the big picture.
If you're outsourcing your contact center operations to a third-party provider, make sure your CX partner understands these concepts and why transparent communication with customer-facing employees is so important.
2 - Communicate with Employees Regularly
Companies need to ensure that everyone is working together toward common goals for optimal CX results, which requires regular, two-way communication between executives, managers, and front-line employees.
Businesses should communicate with outsourced contact center agents the way they do with their internal teams, updating them about CX initiatives and encouraging them to ask questions. And if customer-facing employees have ideas for improving CX, make sure they know exactly where to go to share those suggestions.
The customer’s experience is also influenced by how employees communicate with each other internally, so it's essential to provide them with the tools to do so effectively, such as Slack, email, and customer relationship management (CRM) software.
3 - Offer Continuous Training and Development
By providing employees with ongoing training, coaching, and mentorship, you're actively respecting their intelligence and potential. Then, as your customer-facing employees gain skills or learn about new technologies that can boost efficiency, that respect will start to go both ways, and they’ll be able to provide better CX.
Plus, career development is vital for retention, so be sure to offer your employees development opportunities and help them choose paths that fit their interests, skillsets, and goals. When customer-facing employees feel they have the chance to advance their careers, they become more engaged with their jobs, enhancing customer retention and increasing revenue per customer.
When outsourcing CX delivery to a third-party provider, ensure that they give customer service employees the training and support they need to deliver a high level of customer experience.
4 - Show True Appreciation for their Work
Contact center agents appreciate being recognized for their contributions and understand the importance of feeling valued. So, instead of just patting them on the back as they arrive and saying goodbye as they leave for the day, try to find new ways to acknowledge their hard work and daily efforts.
You might consider creating an awards scheme, monetary benefits structure, or incentive program that lets your customer-facing employees know just how much their contributions mean to the company. You could also share testimonials from customers who've received excellent CX due to your contact center agents' efforts or send a personalized video from the CEO whenever an employee does something impressive.
When employees feel underappreciated, they may be more inclined to make customers feel the same way, so it’s in everyone’s best interests to recognize people for their achievements, however small or significant.
5 - Support and Encourage Your Teams
It's not easy dealing with customers all day, so companies must show respect for their customer service reps by providing continuous support and encouragement.
Instead of pointing blame at employees when an interaction goes bad, show empathy for their situation and make an effort to understand their perspective. It's essential to use these opportunities to build trust in your workforce and develop their skills even further, as poor handling of the situation could drive employees away.
Additionally, customers are more likely to recommend a business when customer service agents treat them with respect, compassion, and empathy. If companies can demonstrate these principles to their agents first, their chances of providing exceptional CX will skyrocket.
By sticking to these principles, CX agents will feel like valuable members of the team and more motivated to provide a positive customer experience. Respect leads to happiness and positivity in the workforce, which ultimately radiates through every customer interaction, resulting in memorable, enjoyable customer experiences.