Using Call Center Scheduling to Boost Morale
A happy workforce is an efficient workforce. This is true for all industries, but especially in the contact center. Unfortunately, keeping agents happy can prove to be much more difficult than it sounds. Every day, agents go to work without knowing what to expect. Who’s going to call? Is today going to consist of angry caller after angry caller? How busy will lunchtime be? Agents walk into the unknown every morning when they go to work, and after a while that pressure starts to take a toll on performance and happiness.
Stressed agents aren’t the most reliable when it comes to providing quality customer experiences. How can someone who’s burned out be expected to provide thoughtful, patient replies when a customer is yelling at them? The odds aren’t in the agent’s favor here, and the customer will leave angrier than when they called in. There is a direct correlation between customer satisfaction and employee happiness—someone who enjoys work is more likely to provide a great consumer experience. So, how can managers boost employee morale using strategic call center scheduling? Here are a few tips.
Schedule events for the team. Contact center work may not be the most exciting, but there’s no reason managers can’t add a little fun to the routine. Scheduling regular team building events is one way to boost employee morale. Managers could put on productivity competitions within the workplace, or have off-site team bonding events like ropes courses or escape rooms. This helps agents become closer to their coworkers and will make them feel like they’re part of a team, rather than just a number in the contact center.
Schedule training. Even veteran agents need a refresher every now and then. New agents often take priority when it comes to training, but older agents need to be taught about new software or techniques as well. If managers don’t provider refresher training, veteran agents may feel forgotten and ultimately become unhappy at work. Not to mention the fact that they won’t be up to date on all the latest trends, meaning that they’ll be incapable of providing a great customer experience anyway.
Flexible scheduling. If a “morning person” is stuck working the late night shift, chances are good that they’re going to be unhappy. There are people in this world who are happy working odd hours, and there are those who would much prefer working a standard 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. job. Trying to force those people out of their comfort zones is not going to work well for anyone—agents will be angry, customers will leave unsatisfied because of a poor customer experience with an agent that very obviously didn’t want to talk to them, and companies will suffer blows to their reputations. Instead of scheduling agents at inconvenient hours, managers should consider talking to agents about preferences and hiring strategically to make sure everyone is working when they want.