Author: Scott Yates, General Manager, HGS
We’ve all heard about the customer service revolution. In my nearly 15 years on the front lines of CX delivery, I've witnessed a dramatic change in customer expectations firsthand. As HGS General Manager, I’m leading the care delivery that is measured only by whether we exceed customer expectations. And I can't emphasize enough the power that engaged and inspired employees can have in reaching this goal of excellent customer service.
It has been shown that a 5% increase in employee engagement can lead to a 3% jump in revenue. And, companies with happy employees can see 81% higher customer satisfaction. I keep in mind one study in particular, related to how movie genres impact work attitudes. In this experiment, one group of 50 people watched a horror movie, while another 50 tuned in to a comedy. Immediately following, both groups were assigned the task to assemble puzzles – and the difference was clear. Those who watched the comedy were more adept at problem solving and more relaxed and creative.
Research also shows how music works to create synergies in the brain to improve performance. For example, students taught with the Kodaly method—a way of developing musical skills and teaching musical concepts—outperform their peers in reading and math skills later in life. Every day we work toward that symphony of creative thinking: keeping our team members connected to both customers and outcomes, so that they can solve problems in an empathetic way.
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To this point, I’ve established three essential ways to bring out the best in customer service team members to enable them to deliver brilliant outcomes for clients and customers alike:
1. Schedule a positive start to the day
The principle of making your bed in the morning starts the day right seems to hold true in business. One small win leads to a desire to keep performing throughout the day. By that same token, team leads should coach employees to start the day with "a-ha moments" of inspiration. Instead of turning on the computer as soon as you arrive, spend the first 30 minutes of the day walking around and talking to each team member. By sharing stories about excellent performance from the previous day or what they have planned for the weekend the team generates compassion, genuine relationships and long-lasting support, helping to set a positive tone for the day.
2. Prioritize positive-feedback-only days
This is the "compliment sandwich" of yesterday, without the negative feedback – even if it is constructive. Every month, schedule a day when team leads dedicate an entire day to mentoring employees, coaching in a positive way the entire day. Team leads do not instruct on anything agents did wrong, instead they give positive feedback. For example: "I really liked how you opened that call," or "Your empathetic tone was really important there." This works because people truly crave validation – and it’s easy to deliver.
By spending one day each month practicing positivity you go a long way in fostering a warm and supportive work environment. It relaxes the minds of team members and serves as a foundation for growth. There is a time and a place for behavioral coaching, but those moments are much easier when a relationship of trust is built between a leader and a valued employee. Energy is contagious and you can bring out the best in team members with this tactic.
3. Implement a democratic model
I truly believe in a flat organization, where everyone participates in decision-making. With empowered, trusted employees, you have more positive outcomes and team members feel they are a bigger part of the organization. The democratic model is less likely to oppress creativity and good ideas and drives better employee retention. With a foothold outside their job scope, team members can climb to more responsibility. You don’t want a team of "yes people." You want engaged team members who are not afraid to challenge the status quo.
Ultimately, do not underestimate how good employee engagement practices can lead to impactful business outcomes. With these three areas of focus, a team can work in harmony to drive real customer experience outcomes that make a difference for brands.
About Hinduja Global Solutions Ltd.:
A global provider in business process management (BPM) and optimising the customer experience lifecycle, HGS is helping to make its clients more competitive every day. HGS combines technology-powered services in automation, analytics and digital with domain expertise focusing on back office processing, contact centres and HRO solutions to deliver transformational impact to clients. Part of the conglomerate Hinduja Group, HGS takes a “globally local” approach, with over 42,371 employees across 72 delivery centres (as on 30th June 2019) in seven countries making a difference to some of the world’s brands across nine key verticals.
Published: Tuesday, July 9, 2019
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