Talkdesk Inc., a global customer experience provider for customer-obsessed companies, released its newest research report, "The future of workforce engagement in the contact center," finding 90% of customer experience (CX) professionals consider contact center agent engagement a catalyst for building customer loyalty. The report explores the future of a hybrid work environment and the opportunities for improving employee engagement in the contact center.
"Every organization is facing difficult decisions around how and where their employees will work going forward. For contact center staff, there is the added pressure and unique considerations given the agent’s roles in serving as a company’s frontline workers," said David Gardner, vice president of research and insights, Talkdesk. "Our research highlights the pros and cons for a variety of workplace models, but one thing is consistent – engaged and satisfied CX employees are the key to customer loyalty, and can drive bottom-line results for the organization."
The Future of the Contact Center Work Model Is Hybrid
Following the swift pivot to remote working models required of companies all around the world in 2020, organizations are now assessing what their "return to normal" will look like. According to the Talkdesk report, hybrid work arrangements are likely the new standard for working post-pandemic, as 61% of organizations plan to use this model for contact centers once returning to the office is deemed safe. In fact, only 4% expect to employ a fully remote workforce. Additionally, most expect flexible work shifts to become the preferred approach for contact centers, further indicating that employee demand for flexibility and work-life balance is being taken seriously by business leaders.
While organizations expect to see many benefits from hybrid working, the model does come with its own set of challenges. The top challenges expected with hybrid workplaces include:
- Technological concerns (40%)
- Strains in communication and collaboration (32%)
- Difficulty managing or training and onboarding new employees (30%)
The New Measurement of Employee Engagement and Satisfaction
Today, more than half (53%) of contact centers use employee productivity metrics (which may include calls taken per shift and call resolution rate) as the primary indicators of employee engagement and satisfaction. While productivity is key to growth, the prevailing use of productivity metrics signals that leaders may be underestimating the role of employee-centric metrics in driving important business KPIs. In fact, only 42% of organizations are using employee satisfaction (ESAT) scores to measure engagement in the contact center today. Moving forward, companies should look beyond performance metrics in the contact center, as these may have a negative impact on employee engagement and retention over time.
Maintaining an engaged workforce has never been as important – or as challenging – as it is today. Although CX professionals are optimistic about current rates of engagement in the contact center, more than half (54%) anticipate attrition rates to be 20% or higher between now and 2025. With this, 78% of CX professionals report that investing in workforce engagement management (WEM) tools is a priority for their organization.
While there are still many unknowns as to what shape workforce engagement will take in the contact center between now and 2025, it is safe to expect that those organizations prioritizing employee experience have much to gain, both in bottom-line results and an enhanced customer experience.
Talkdesk’s quantitative online survey research was conducted in July 2021 among qualified customer experience professionals and target audiences across 10 different global markets including: U.S. and Canada (North America); Australia and Singapore (Asia-Pacific); France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the U.K. (Europe); and Brazil (Latin America). It included 650 global interviews among CX professionals employed by organizations with more than 200 full-time employees, spanning all major industries such as healthcare, financial services and insurance, retail, and e-commerce.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
Talkdesk Enterprise Contact Center Platform empowers companies to make customer experience a competitive advantage. With enterprise-class performance and consumer-like ease of use, Talkdesk easily adapts to the evolving needs of sales and support teams and their end-customers, resulting in increased customer satisfaction, productivity and cost savings. Over 1,400 innovative enterprises around the world with thousands of seats, including IBM, Acxiom, and Zumiez rely on Talkdesk to power their customer interactions.
Published: Friday, November 5, 2021
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