3 winning strategies for effective employee engagement

What comes first: happy customers or happy employees?

It’s a question many have asked, but positive employee engagement plays a critical role in a company’s success. Why? Because happy people are more loyal and enjoy their jobs, which means employers are rewarded with higher staff retention, higher performance and lower onboarding and training costs. When COVID-19 forced many to work from home, leaving them isolated from colleagues, the spotlight has been fixed on employee engagement, exposing gaps in existing strategies, processes and technology.

When Puzzel, a Norweigan cloud-based contact centre software provider surveyed over 100 contact centre team members, it discovered that ‘a sense of purpose with clear goals’ (91%) and ‘having the right knowledge and tools to do the job’ (87%) were top contributors to agent happiness.

Thomas Rødseth, Chief Technical Officer of Puzzel suggests three ways to keep frontline staff happy:

1. Create a flexible workplace

Workforce Management (WFM) is commonly associated with improving staff schedules for the benefit of customers, enabling contact centres to efficiently manage staff capacity across different teams, departments and geographies to smooth out the peaks and troughs of call volumes. Many contact centres lose staff rather than customers because of inadequate scheduling with 58% of contact centre professionals citing ‘too little to do or too much time spent on mundane, repetitive tasks’ and 56% citing ‘constant stress’ as major challenges.

WFM is a powerful morale-boosting tool for agents that can help introduce flexible schedules to accommodate the practicalities of combining customer-facing duties with domestic responsibilities such as childcare.

2. Introduce a strong and inclusive leadership culture.

Encourage managers to build camaraderie and teamwork and use video conferencing to conduct weekly huddles. Encourage colleagues to talk to each other, share ideas and achievements via online-chat facilities. Continue to involve agents in decision-making and reward good performance, especially team performance for inclusivity.

3. Give team members the right tools to do their job

The Puzzel survey found that ‘IT issues and/or clunky technology’ (71%) are major barriers to effective employee engagement. The right technology makes life easier and brings out the best in employees. One of the many benefits of cloud-based contact centre solutions (CCaaS) is that team members can log in from anywhere at any time. Integration with CRM and other business applications gives teams all the information they need to create better and faster omnichannel customer interactions to boost team agents confidence and satisfaction, ensuring they are intuitive and easy to use. Everything should be made available from one screen application for ease of use and simplicity, allowing agents to concentrate on the customer.

Puzzel introduced Artificial Intelligence (AI) to simplify everyday tasks and interactions. AI-powered tools are a powerful addition to any employee engagement toolkit. Dedicated virtual personal assistants or ‘bot buddies’ can be built to allow agents to communicate with them through speech or text to find answers to customer queries and suggested responses – rather like a whisper in the ear. The best solutions are embedded with ‘sentiment analysis’ technology. These capture and record the mood of the customer based on current and past conversations and then relay this vital intelligence to agents to boost confidence, satisfaction and productivity.

The Puzzel Customer Service Platform combines the proven benefits of the Cloud with integrated Workforce Management (WFM), Ticketing and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to provide end-to-end customer interaction that boosts employee engagement both in contact centres and remotely. To find out more about what makes your team tick, download the Puzzel Agent Wellbeing Survey Results.

Thomas Rødseth is Chief Technical Officer of Puzzel