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PHOTO: Andrei Popov

According to a Calabrio report released in October, call center agents are under tremendous stress due to the challenges of the modern workforce, including rising customer expectations, increasing call volume and work balance. – precarious life. Not to mention threats from angry customers. The point is, call center agents face customer frustration. They need special care and attention. An effective call center culture helps support this.

“A good call center culture starts at the top, with each functional or business manager being held accountable for those aspects of their business that impact both the customer and agent experience,” said Michael Lawder, director of the experience at ASAPP.

Hire the right person, organize in-depth training

Inside the call center, Lawder said it starts with hiring people who are passionate advocates for your brand. “Hire people who have a connection or passion for the products or services you are selling, and / or people who derive deep satisfaction and gratitude from helping others,” Lawder said. “And make the training fun and inspiring. Connect work to the core values ​​of the company.

With these hires, organize training that makes it easier to learn and improve on the job, implement procedures that allow agents to take care of customers and deploy tools / technologies that reduce cognitive load and enable them to function. focus on solving customer inquiries. In a recent survey of call center agents conducted by ASAPP, 77% of agents surveyed indicated that hands-on training and shadowing are the most effective in achieving this.

Related Article: 6 Essential Skills And Characteristics Of Call Center Agents

Foster a culture of caring

Create a culture of caring for customers across your business, at every level, according to Lawder. Make executives listen to calls alongside agents and turn your company’s executives into advocates for your brand voice – they would be your agents.

And in getting them to care about customers, it goes a long way if you recognize and reward the hard and sometimes thankless efforts these frontline workers put in every day, Lawder said. “In the customer and business ecosystem, agents are sometimes forgotten,” he added. “Enlighten them and make them feel valued. “

Establish a base of empathy

Merijn te Booij, executive vice president and general manager of workforce engagement management at Genesys, said a strong and effective culture begins with establishing a base of empathy where employees feel seen, heard, understood and valued.

“Listening to your agents and understanding their values ​​and motivations, then putting into practice what you have learned, helps them feel connected to the company and cultivate a strong sense of belonging,” said Te Booij. “When you improve the employee experience in this way, you not only improve retention of your employees, but you also enable them to deliver exceptional experiences to your customers. “

Related article: Call center technology trends for 2022

Know what your call center agents want

Genesys recently conducted a study on the Values ​​and Likes of High Performing Contact Center Agents, identifying personal responsibility, growth and achievement as key attributes.

Providing opportunities such as learning new skills, training in new technologies, fun experiences and more, will improve employee engagement based on their values ​​and help them feel heard and understood, according to te Booij. .

“Understanding that in a changing economy, as everyone works from home and old management styles like ‘management on the go’ have lost their validity, is a key idea with which many companies are still struggling, “Te Booij said.” It’s no secret that successful businesses are those that are able to disrupt and change. The key common element between them is the focus on their people: retention first, education, experimentation.

Technology should reduce friction, not create it

Another important part of the call center culture experience is making sure agents are equipped with technology that helps them thrive. Technology should reduce friction and barriers to help employees be more efficient.

“Human-centered design and deployment is key to understanding the role of employees and tools,” te Booij said. “Examples of ways in which technology can help improve the employee experience are: simplified access to training opportunities; in or just after the moment coaching; connect agents with customers who need a human agent skill set; simplified operations; and increased efficiency.

Make collaboration easier

Today’s customer service professionals are more skilled and motivated than ever to increase customer satisfaction – one of the main drivers of a company’s profitability, according to Christian Wettre, SVP and CEO of the Sugar platform at SugarCRM. Anything that makes it easier for colleagues to collaborate across teams and departments (i.e. sales, marketing, services and operations) will benefit a call center culture, especially in these home working time.

“Cross-functional collaboration is especially important,” said Wettre, “for long-term, more complex, high-value customer relationships and in today’s remote contact center environment. “