People are motivated by love (things that we want), or by fear (things that we want to avoid). It’s too easy for contact centers to be driven by fear and the things we try to avoid. Therefore, one of the most important things that you can focus on is fostering an environment of love for your contact center agents. Showing them love enables lasting relationships with agents and the impact is ultimately felt by customers. Sure, connecting with contact center agents can be difficult when most of their time at work is spent interacting with customers, but doing so has been a very profitable path used by leading companies. Through their devotion to the relationship, these companies are able to decrease turnover, increase morale and increase customer loyalty. They get love from customers because they love their agents.
The Best Detect what Agents Love
It’s important to note that the highest performing of these companies don’t stop at the “enamored love” stage. In fact, the leaders of the high performing companies are constantly looking for ways to improve the experience of their employees because they know that this will deepen the love and thus will generate gushing success for their business. There are many things that can be done to improve the way you love and engage your employees in your contact center. Here are five ways you can show the love!
1. Hire for Love
The agents that you hire make for a loving environment. Spend time, resources, and talent on the hiring process and be very selective. It’s more than bodies in seats that is needed but rather a desire to fill the staffing needs of your contact center with agents who have the most love potential and who are themselves lovable. Look for recruits who have excelled in helping others and who openly share their feelings about helping others succeed. When employees support and care for each other, the more your customers will become more connected to you through the contact center experience.
2. Build the “Passion” of your Agents
After you hire loving agents, you need to feed the love. Be very guarded about overloading them with metrics that have no heart. Scorecards that are loaded with performance KPIs eventually suck the love out of people. The opposite of love is fear, so you must avoid allowing performance goals be ones that create a desire to avoid failing to meet certain levels. Be mindful that KPIs too often contain business logic and not enough of the logic of love. Make sure you embed a direct connection to see and hear how their work is directly connected to their love of customers and fellow employees. When you feed the love, passion abounds and burnout is blown away.
3. Focus on Loving the Work
Working in contact centers can be stressful. Making sure that your agents know how their work helps as many folks as possible, both outside and inside your organization, is the most powerful path for helping them to lower the stress of the job and to love their work. Protect your agents from customers that unjustly abuse your agents. Support them so they feel loved by you. When agents feel the love, they will more easily rebound after a bad call and be more resilient when a customer tries to rip out their heart.
4. Have Managers that can turn up the Love
We all know that the most important factor that causes agents to lose the love is the relationship they have with their direct supervisor. Too many managers think their job is to get the job done. Getting it down at whatever the cost turns the love into fear. It is crucial to develop managers into love builders so that they become the kind of manager who loves and is loved by agents. One of the main benefits of a manager that creates the love is that the employees will be encouraged to help others, be more creative, and stay longer. Love is what gets the job done better.
5. Give them Tough Love
Many agents have greater potential then they display. Do not coddle your agents that have potential with too much love that prevents them from growing and developing. Help them to take smart risks and to take ownership of their own development. You must be willing to show grace for those who give it a great try but may fall somewhat short of your original expectation. Compassion and composure followed up with constructive feedback fosters love and not fear. By focusing on helping them to develop, managers and leaders are able multiply the love.
Love is Forever
Engaging with your agents is one of the most important ways to show the love. It is what brings more joy and passion to life and generates lovely business returns. When you are looking for ways to improve your contact center, be sure to consider these five tips to help you build deeper relationships that last a lifetime.
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