Published: October 14, 2019 | Comments
Improving your customer experience (CX) and employee experience (EX): at times, does it feel like you’re on a seesaw? Investing time, energy, and ingenuity to satisfy one set of stakeholders – your employees – can momentarily leave the other side of the equation – your customers – hanging.
What if you could take one action that would elevate the experiences of both your CX and EX, positioning your call center to forge both a purposeful, positive, productive culture and enduring brand evangelism, simultaneously?
Link CX and EX to your brand values in real time.
Put a foundation under your CX and EX initiatives by linking both to your brand values in real time. Values are the most powerful drivers of human behavior, and they’re already shaping every aspect of every experience with and within your company, on both side of the phone line/inbox/chatbox. The question is, whose values?
Team leaders can put your brand’s values in the driver seat of every interaction that occurs between your agents and customers. They can do this through implementing a proactive strategy, embedding your values into the way conversations unfold in your call center.
Wise words have been written about the power of transformative training to improve CX and creating a sense of belonging to improve EX. Yet, these strategies are somewhat static; heavy lifting is undertaken then completed, leaving a wealth of real-time insight, training, and value-add on the table. The alternative? Fostering a more intuitive, incremental, and organic process of real-time, rolling culture refinement. Here’s how:
- Tap into feelings and physical symptoms triggered when brand values are broken. Too often, training and conversations around brand values only reach employees cognitively. You need to tap into your agents’ emotions. To do this, you have to give agents (people!) permission to acknowledge their emotions. How do your agents feel when they aren’t able to live your brand’s values with customers? What physical symptoms do they experience when conversations with customers veer off track and fail to be productive? Do they feel pain, tension, and other forms of dis-ease? On the other hand, how do agents’ bodies respond when they are able to show up and deliver exceptional customer service? Your agents’ emotional responses and wellbeing are rich veins of insight for real-time performance-regulation. Yet, few (very few) team leaders are implementing forward-thinking strategies to tap into this wealth of information and learning.
- Leverage your agents’ biophysical feedback. Once every shift, leverage pulse surveys to daylight the emotional wellbeing of your agents as linked to how well/poorly they were able to live each of your brands values that day. Support your employees to become mindful about how they’re engaging with customers, and how that engagement is impacting them at the deepest levels. Once very shift, leverage pulse surveys to daylight the emotional wellbeing of your agents as linked to how well/poorly they were able to live each of your brands values that day. Critical note: These surveys are not intended to be a productivity measure – or even a performance measure. Instead of asking, “Did you live our values today” ask “Were you able to live our values today?” Give people space to show up as human, encounter impossible customers, and respond in less-than ideal ways on any given day. The idea here is to raise each agent’s awareness of how solidly their own values-affirming or values-misaligned behavior is linked to their emotional well being. Leveraging mindfulness in corporate environments – and in call centers specifically – is not a new concept! You can foster the big takeaway you’ll foster that people are happier when they show up in ways that are purposeful, positive, and productive, even when facing big interpersonal challenges.
- Expand KPIs to include brand value pulse dashboard. Help employees to see a clear link between living your brand’s values, their own personal happiness, and customers’ satisfaction. Expand your KPIs to include a real-time, rolling data visualization of each employees’ daily pulse surveys and, as it rolls in, linked customer feedback. Again, you won’t be out in left field, here. The value of pulse surveys to improve employee engagement is well documented. Send a signal that you prioritize brand values not out of lip service, but because you are committed to elevating the wellbeing and happiness of everyone who engages with your company – both internally and externally.
- Lead with values-based messaging in your recruiting, training, and leadership development initiatives. Putting a values-based foundation underneath your CX and EX can’t be a one-off. You’ve got to integrate the values-centric message into every component of your talent development program. Values drive human element of human behavior organically and comprehensively. You want to ensure they’re your values.
Not convinced? Here’s another article with data about the clear business benefits of creating a values-based culture.
Spotlight on CX: Join your peers at ICMI Contact Center Connections from October 28-30 in Chicago. Take a deep dive into case studies and expert guidance for driving the customer experience!