Skip to main content

From Bare Minimum to Enthusiastic – Ways to Engage Your Workforce

Our Channeling Happiness: State of Consumer Experience Report found human response remains consumers’ preferred interaction type by a 2:1 margin, even though self-service is improving.

But it’s difficult to provide the human-to-human connections and create stellar consumer experiences (CX) in a high-attrition customer service environment. And now, industries of all types are experiencing quiet quitting, a term for employees reducing the amount of effort they put into their jobs and doing the bare minimum just to get by. In fact, a recent Gallup poll found 50% of the U.S. workforce is quiet quitting.

Such disenchanted employees cannot create the desired experiences that customers crave. But how can the industry address the disengaged problem and improve long-standing retention challenges to deliver exceptional CX? Here are some ideas on building stronger, more resilient, and productive teams.

Provide more effective training and development

Most employees want to learn, grow, and stretch themselves so they can add to their professional skillset and move up the ladder. So, help your employees create a defined path that will enable them to move laterally to another position or ahead within your organization.

It's also critical to understand that the quantity of training doesn’t matter – the quality does. Employees grow and evolve at different rates, and some are more proficient in skills than others. Understanding and tracking your success metrics, including KPIs, and deploying the right technology can provide deeper insights into the effectiveness of your training program and knowledgebase tools.

Viewing customer satisfaction through this lens enables organizations to create personalized development programs targeting employees’ individual needs. Doing so will allow them to excel at their pace, play into their strengths, and deliver that immersive experience.

Promote agent empowerment

Part of focusing on human interaction is allowing your agents to be human. Once they understand the basics - business strategy, objectives, campaign mission and how their work fits in the overall business goal - they should be encouraged to bring their personal touch to their customer interactions.

This may mean empowering agents to deviate from the script and move outside the boundaries of what they are supposed to say to solve the customer’s issue. Teaching agents to react to and mirror the customer’s preferences is key: some prefer a more casual conversation while others simply want a quick resolution.

Empowering agent creativity and personalization is a best practice across all contact channels, voice and digital. Encouraging free-flow interactions enable employees to be themselves while delivering customer happiness. This, in turn, improves the agent experience as they create rewarding, individualized experiences, tailored to your coaching methodology.

Embrace employee listening

Your employees are humans – with thoughts, ideas, and frustrations – and want to feel they are being heard. So, consider engagement surveys, virtual suggestion boxes, and escalation channels to better understand their workplace feelings and needs. When you commit to following through, these responses can help foster process improvements and encourage employee growth.

Additionally, don’t overlook the importance of employee accolades. Provide praise for how they’ve “wowed”– perhaps how they handled a tough situation or how they turned a critic into a brand champion because of their great service.

Employee listening is also critical in giving managers cues or warning signs that an employee may be disengaged, allowing them to intervene more quickly and effectively.

Give agents reasons to stay

Many industries are hurting for talent and can’t afford unhappy, unproductive employees. Engaged, fulfilled employees are going to naturally give customers the pleasurable experiences they crave.

Frontline workers often rely heavily on two groups of people to keep them inspired: their customers (who are not always within their control) and their managers. The most successful managers create a safe space for team interactions and open dialog based on the company’s purpose, values, and goals. Think creatively with your engagement strategy.

Offer quality, individualized training and development programs that enable agents to veer from the script during customer interactions and embrace employee listening to help them improve. Encourage your management team to talk about other topics outside of work to create a bond that is deeper than just KPIs and measurements.

Good managers aren’t task maskers. They listen more than they speak. And the best ones relate human to human with their team, coach their staff members in meaningful ways, and encourage them to develop their skills so they can succeed. They help create content agents. 

And happier agents are more apt to deliver customers what our latest survey shows they want during brand interactions: happiness.

About the Author

Ryan Collins is General Manager, Customer Experience Management at Conduent with nearly two decades delivering operational excellence in the areas of innovation, leadership and employee engagement. Supporting numerous Fortune 100 companies, Ryan works strategically with our clients to break the traditional industry trends in customer service operations creating brand ambassadors focused on delivering optimal interactions and critical outcomes. As a Customer Experience leader, Ryan is a strong believer in the power of workplace culture and regularly develops internal campaigns to change the conversation from KPIs to people, employee experience and work life balance. Ryan enjoys a good Netflix binge and can also be found on a golf course near you.

Profile Photo of Ryan Collins