Contact center agents dedicate significant time and energy to helping others, making customers happy and ensuring your company looks good. Even the most upbeat agent can find this constant pressure to be a bit tough at times. That is why it is important to provide continuous, positive feedback and create a culture of giving. It’s also important to recognize the agents, particularly during a time set-aside for them, such as Customer Service week, to be celebrated this year October 7 – 11th.
In 1992, Customer Service Week became a nationally recognized event celebrated annually during the first full week in October. CSW recognizes the importance of customer service and to honoring the people who serve and support customers with the highest degree of care and professionalism (www.csweek.com). At Working Solutions, we appreciate our agents and look forward to celebrating them and the outstanding service they provide. This means a fun-filled week of games, contests and more!
Whether your team is virtual or on-premise, there are many ways you can make the most of Customer Service week, including:
- Contests – match agents with their pets, submit then and now pictures and make guesses, match agents with their hobbies – there are a number of contests you can run. The primary objective is to get agents to interact with each other and their team leaders, etc.
- Tips – have agents share their best tips for staying focused, reducing tension, maintaining work-life balance, staying positive and upbeat during high transaction volumes, dealing with difficult customers…the list goes on and on. The objective is to have agents engage in dialog that supports a positive work environment while improving peer-to-peer communication.
- Recognition – this is a great time to recognize agents for all their hard work and contributions. If you are an outsourcer, it’s also a great time to get your clients involved in the celebration. Don’t forget peer-to-peer recognition such as Best Advice or Friendliest Supervisor. It’s important that the recognition go beyond program performance.
Boost Morale Year Round
While Customer Service week provides an ideal time to recognize agents, it’s critical to boost agent morale year-round. Doing so will build more cohesive teams while keeping burnout at bay. Happy agents provide better customer service. Plus, your attrition will decrease if your agents feel they matter. Some of the tactics you can use to ensure year-around positive morale include:
- Create Buddy Systems – pair groups of new agents with more seasoned agents and give them a place to share ideas. Whether in person or online, this communication and interaction will generate great ideas, make sure new agents are in the mix more quickly and ensure that more seasoned agents are valued.
- Team and Company Incentives – individual incentives are great, but rallying the troops to perform is even better. When considering incentive programs, ensure that you have several levels for different teams, programs and the company overall.
- Peer-to-Peer Recognition – nothing is nicer that having your peer recognize your efforts. Often peers will see agents go above and beyond more quickly. Empowering this type of recognition ensures those extra efforts are noticed.
- Keep It Fun – even in online environments it’s easy to plan social events. For remote teams, put together a fun night out. For virtual agents, find those clustered in particular areas and help them coordinate lunch or dinner. Put up a social board and allow agents to create their own events.
Cohesive, happy teams are built. Keep agent morale top of mind year round, and make the most of Customer Service week. The amount of energy your leadership puts into ensuring a positive work environment will result in happier agents, higher levels of customer service, and overall better customer experiences!