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The secret to a successful contact centre in 2016 - agent engagement.

As 2015 draws to a close, those in the contact centre industry are looking to 2016 for opportunities to get an edge in the market and transform their businesses. Many are keen to invest in new solutions and technology in order to get ahead of the curve, but in order to really improve performance and deliver truly great customer services - the culture in the contact centre will need to be transformed first.

There is already a huge shift across all industries in the way companies are treating their workforce - no longer are they being viewed as tools to be optimised but rather individuals who need to be empowered, motivated and engaged in order to deliver their best.

The contact centre industry is no different, and it’s pretty intuitive - if you’re a happy agent, you will enjoy the work you do and will do it well. Engagement is a key component of productivity, if everyone is engaged, everyone is productive.

Be it team leader, operations manager, or even contact centre manager - every single person has a huge impact on shaping the culture that makes or breaks the company. It’s the job of contact centre leaders to ensure they instil and support a culture where agent engagement is king. So what exactly should Team Leaders and managers be doing to achieve this?

The first golden rule in creating a contact centre full of engaged agents is recognition. Everyone needs to be given recognition when they’ve done well, and agents are no different. Being praised for a job well done leaves agents with a sense of pride that will last the whole day, and they won’t stop there - they’ll keep up the good work in return for that feel-good factor.

As a team leader or manager, it’s important to be mindful of what praise means to your teams. This means giving agents frequent recognition and praise where appropriate. The trick here is to be very specific with any praise you give - try not to just pat people on the back and say, ‘great job today’. This isn’t what agents will respond well to, they you to identify exactly what it is about their performance that warranted praise.

A positive word from someone staff respect is incredibly valuable when it comes to creating engagement. Agents that receive regular recognition and praise are far more likely to increase their productivity, stay with the company, and deliver a better customer experience.

Recognition is just the first piece of the puzzle when ensuring engagement is rife in your contact centre. To find out exactly what the other steps are, read our guide; The Six Golden Rules of Agent Engagement and begin empowering your agents today.