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A Call to Commit to Improved Contact Center Employee Experience

CX innovation discussions over the last several years has been dominated by the impact of automation, artificial intelligence (AI), and bots. But now we’re seeing greater emphasis placed on the people side of the business - specifically how the employee experience (EX) contributes to the customer experience.

What is EX? Put simply, it encapsulates what people feel, encounter, and observe while employed at an organization. But a truly positive EX isn’t about HR brand promises and pizza parties. It’s about how companies lead and nurture talent and how management takes responsibility for creating a safe space for employees, one that gives them control of their careers, supports them in achieving goals, and facilitates cooperation with their colleagues.

In a competitive job market, employees want a workplace culture that makes them feel valued and part of something bigger than themselves. Employees who feel nurtured and valued stick around; they are happy in their jobs, and it shows. According to CX expert Shep Hyken, the list of top 100 companies for customer service has a lot of overlap with the top 100 best places to work.

Unfortunately, most enterprises are facing a crisis in regard to talent management. This worrying trend was quantified in the recent Ryan Strategic Advisory 2019 Front Office BPO Omnibus Survey, which indicated that while only 5% of captive contact centers have seen a drop in annual agent attrition. In fact, the survey found that a whopping 30% have faced increases in team churn over the past year.

This is a shocking failure at people management, and with labor accounting for roughly three quarters of a contact center’s budget, it is a costly one, too. It is no surprise that managing people has emerged as one of the most important strategic challenges for captive contact centers in the US, but also worldwide.

There are many ways to reverse the trend of attrition of contact center workshops, but such change takes holistic organizational commitment to ensuring that members of a workforce feel valued. As leadership guru Simon Sinek said, “Innovation comes when we give people a purpose or a cause and make them feel valued as a member of the team. Then they will give their blood, sweat, and tears to make that vision a reality. They will give all their best ideas, not because they are holding them back, but because they are naturally having more of them as the result of the supportive environment.”

This piece, originally entitled “CX and EX - A Match Made in Heaven,” was excerpted and modified from VXI’s 2020 CX Trend eBook that was published in December 2019.