Last week, Brian Flagg talked about a game he like to play when he makes a customer service call into contact centers. He tries to guess whether or not the agent he’s talking to is satisfied with their job and happy and engaged with the organization, or if he’s talking to the surly agent who is annoyed with your call and can’t wait to get you off the line.
Obviously this game is pretty easy to play because you can normally hear a smile through someone’s voice and it’s fairly easy to decide if someone on the other end of the line is genuinely trying to help you or just get rid of you. But let’s take this game one step further – after you figure out what type of employee you’re talking to, what do you imagine their working environment is like.
Personally, if I hear a happy employee who wants to help me out I’m imagining that they’re in a bright space that is warm and inviting. More importantly, I picture the company’s contact center environment as positive and upbeat.
But if I’m talking to an angry employee who doesn’t care about my issue? I imagine that it’s a dark office with no windows and no natural light. The person has a dark cloud hanging above them and everyone else is walking around like drones who are only there for a pay check.
That dark cloud isn’t just above that one agent I spoke with, though. These employees are not engaged with their organization, they don’t care about the company’s bottom line and they don’t see their value within the corporate structure.
Disengaged employees can cost a company enormously – more than $300,000,000,000 in lost productivity per year! That’s a pretty substantial “dark cloud.”
Disengaged employees are toxic – they have more negative interactions with customers, their productivity is lower and they send out their dark feelers to lower the productivity of everyone around them. They’re distracting, they’re disrupting and they show bad behaviors. They also lower the productivity of supervisors in the contact center because they have to consistently engage with the unengaged employee to scold and try to modify their behavior.
They want bring others into their culture of disengagement.
It results in a higher cost, lower revenue and lower customer evangelization.
So that dark cloud is spreading and eventually it will reach your top performers. Will they be able to fight it off or will they succumb and let their sunshine fade, or worse, leave your organization?
And what sort of contact center do you think your customers want to imagine calling in to?
I know I want the warm, inviting customer service representative.