We’ve likely all had jobs where we weren’t recognised for the work we put in. Remember how that felt?
Did it inspire you to work harder for the organisation that employed you? Or did your performance stagnate, knowing that whatever you did would make no difference to your esteem or position in the company?
Recognition is a Powerful Tool For Contact Centres
‘Lack of recognition’ is constantly cited as one of the main reasons people leave their jobs. In a survey conducted by HubSpot, 69% of employees said they would work harder at their jobs if they were better appreciated.
On the other hand, organisations which recognise employee effort and build a culture of recognition experience higher employee engagement, better-performing employees and stronger financial performance as a result.
In contact centres in particular, this has huge ramifications.
Your agents provide frontline customer service. They are often the first human representative of your brand that your customers will speak to. If they feel underappreciated or demotivated, the quality of service your customers receive will suffer as a result.
Given that one in three customers will leave a brand after a single bad experience (and 92% would leave after two or three negative interactions), a lack of recognition on the contact centre floor can have a significant negative effect on your bottom line.
Bearing this in mind, creating a culture of recognition in your contact centre is essential. You can’t afford not to.
How to Build a Culture of Recognition in Your Contact Centre
Creating an established culture of recognition in your contact centre takes time. But whilst there are no shortcuts, you can implement some practices that offer immediate benefits to your workforce.
Provide recognition to those who deserve it
Praise shouldn’t be a once-in-a-quarter process. Nor should it be solely reserved for those who top the leaderboards each month. Look for hard workers, biggest improvers and strong all-round performers, regardless of who’s done the best statistically that month.
Praise hard work constantly and publicly (your intranet, Slack or MS Teams channels are ideal places to do this!). Be specific – both so that agents feel appreciated for their own work and so others have tangible examples to emulate.
Use Your QA Process to Deliver Useful, Actionable Feedback
You probably have a Quality Assurance team at your contact centre that evaluates the quality of agent interactions. If you can turn this into easily accessible feedback for agents, they can take action to improve their own performance. Recognition of success provides the motivation for agents to work hard; feedback provides them the means to get there.
Every feedback conversation is an opportunity to start disengaged agents back on an upward trajectory – as long as they see the feedback as intelligent, constructive, fair and actionable. Look for ways to provide agents with honest, useful insights that they can act on immediately and access for reference at any time.
Take the Smart Quality Approach to QA
Whilst automated monitoring tools are useful for evaluating a large number of customer contacts, relying on them exclusively will likely damage employee engagement even more.
Whilst automated tools have their place, keeping a human element to the process is essential. When you need to guide and coach your agents, outline what they’re doing well, and frame any performance issues as opportunities for improvement. Provide them with clear steps and instructions on what they need to do to turn things around.
QA strategies which combine cutting-edge automation technology with a host of agent-led coaching and feedback features increase efficiency whilst building employee engagement.
Deliver Feedback That Empowers Employee Development
You probably have a Quality Assurance team at your contact centre that monitors and evaluates agent call quality and provides suggested areas of feedback.
If you and the team leaders that work across your business leverage this well, it can be one of your top tools for turning disengaged agents around.
Every feedback conversation is an opportunity to start disengaged agents back on an upward trajectory – as long as they see the feedback as intelligent, constructive, fair and actionable. In fact, a survey published by Harvard Business Review found that 92% of respondents agreed with the assertion, “Negative feedback, if delivered appropriately, is effective at improving performance.
Take the Smart Approach to QA
Keep it human. Whilst automated tools have their place, interpret the data they provide empathetically, tempered with input from your QA team’s human analysis of individual customer contacts.
When you need to guide and coach your agents, outline what they’re doing well, and frame any performance issues as opportunities for improvement. Provide them with clear steps and instructions on what they need to do to turn things around.
Read more about recognising agent talent with our guide to motivating contact centre teams