You’ve probably heard of the phrase “take care of your employees and they’ll take care of your business”. It’s a catchy phrase that gets thrown around in the business world a lot, but how many businesses actually live by this? A lot of businesses think they’re doing this, even when they’re not. It’s important to take a technical approach to tackle this goal. What makes your employees happier? How can you support them in their role? Do they feel listened to? It’s only by dissecting the current situation of your employees and customers and assessing where you want them to be in the future that you can take steps to excel in this area. That’s what we’re looking at today. Let’s take a look.
It’s impossible to uncouple your customer-facing employees from your customers. Your agents are on the frontline. They are talking to your customers all day, every day. This means that your agents are affected by your customers, and your customers are also affected by your employees. Of course, you can train your employees to be resilient to the negative interactions they have with customers, and sometimes to great success. However, it’s much harder to train employees in how they inadvertently influence customers. Your agents might be saying all the right things. They might be following their script and heeding your workshop advice, but if they don’t feel supported in their role, it will show. Let’s take a look at the reasons why taking care of your employees is so important.
According to Gallup, it’s estimated that over 70% of US employees don’t feel engaged in their workplace and this is costing businesses up to $550 billion in lost productivity every year. Disengaged employees are much more likely to do the bare minimum than engaged employees.
Employees who feel underappreciated, overstressed, and poorly compensated don’t want to stay in their jobs. They will leave to look for a more supportive company. When they leave, you lose an agent, but you also lose the time you spent training that agent and the money you sank into their training. In contrast, employees who stay with the business have a wealth of knowledge about your company and your industry and they can use this to great effect in their customer communications.
Agents often have no time whatsoever to decompress between calls and when they do have a short break between calls, they’re told to spend every minute of it answering emails. This can lead to agents adopting unhealthy habits just to keep up. It’s not uncommon to see an agent’s desk full of energy drinks or for them to constantly have a hot cup of coffee. Similarly, if they are hungry, they’re going to eat something quick and high calorie because it’s the most efficient way to sustain themselves in such a high-pressure environment.
This isn’t a health blog and we’re not going to pretend to understand the physiological effects of a junk food diet, or even pretend that this applies to all agents. The truth is, diet is just one part of the equation but it represents a much bigger issue. When you overwork employees and put them under immense pressure, they will sacrifice healthy habits to meet these demands. This can affect their physical, emotional, and mental health.
According to one study, 60% of customers don’t return to a business after a bad customer service experience. This puts a lot of pressure on agents to get everything right. This is then made harder when the employee experiences additional pressures from the business. Depression and anxiety are estimated to cost the global economy $1 trillion a year in lost productivity.
We all experience stress, anxiety, and exhaustion, no matter what job we’re in. You can try to eliminate as many stress-causing factors as possible, but it’s also critically important to listen to your employees. No one likes to feel ignored or like their wellbeing doesn’t matter. When it comes to showing your employees, you take their concerns seriously, you need to show it with your actions.
So many businesses write up well-meaning documents and use these documents as evidence of caring about their employees. The document might say that employees are entitled to a sick day if they are sick, but do your employees feel they can do this? Do you offer adequate sick leave? Does your company make employees feel bad about missing work? Do your managers tell employees that they’re letting the team down? All of these are factors in whether the employee will actually feel comfortable taking sick leave when they are sick. No business wants to have sick employees, but if you encourage one sick employee to come into work, then you might have to deal with 5 more sick employees in the following days.
Agent’s jobs are made harder by antiquated technology. If you’re still forcing your agents to use outdated systems that are clunky and slow to respond, then it’s time to change. Your business can see huge jumps in efficiency, productivity, and employee satisfaction by giving agents the tools they need to perform their job well.
By creating an excellent working environment, you can reduce employee turnover and position your company as an attractive place to work for job seekers. The better your company is perceived; the more high-quality talent will want to work at your company.
So, we know why happy employees are important, and how to make employees happy, but what are the consequences of not doing this? How do unhappy employees shape customer interactions?
We’re extremely excited to announce that we have changed our company name to CommBox. It’s still the same company with the same awesome people! just a new name, a fresh look, and a brighter future.Read full story