Peter Drucker (legendary management consultant) is credited with saying “culture eats strategy for breakfast.” This quote has been widely used to explain that the culture of your company always determines success, regardless of how effective your strategy may be. The same can be said of technology. Think of it as an iceberg: above the water you have technology, products, and strategy, and below the water you have culture.
Contact centers throughout the world are faced with the daily challenge of keeping their consultants engaged and motivated and their customer service levels high. Poor culture can cause deep-rooted issues that have a negative impact on your company’s reputation and ultimately, your bottom line.
It can often be difficult to identify what your company’s culture is. It is not just about behaviors or the environment. It is also not just about how people are rewarded, or how things are governed. It’s about how all of this works together to create an environment where people are motivated and proud to work for your organization.
Culture Comes from the Top Down
In order to affect cultural change, this must be demonstrated by your most senior leaders. Positive behavior, attitudes and ways of working among your leaders are seen by your whole organization and are often mirrored by other employees. Leadership is key and you need to consistently listen and learn – the cultural transformation journey is continuous.
Particularly in contact centers, there are many things that can negatively influence culture, including disparate technology, outdated reporting mechanisms, resource constraints, customer issues − the list is never ending. The more barriers that you can remove for your agents, the more morale will improve, and you’ll have a more productive team. See our infographic for five ways to motivate employees and improve morale.
Winning Hearts & Minds is Key
Your teams live and breathe what they do every day within the workplace. Winning their hearts and minds in terms of understanding why there is a need for change and what part they are going to play in that change is key. With the right culture, organizations can tap into enormous opportunities and identify new ones. The rewards for success are huge – such as improved customer experiences, more efficient processes, and an insight into lucrative new offers or combinations of existing services.
The role of a contact center agent can often be stereotyped as monotonous and requiring little skill. In reality, most of them need to be very adept, simultaneously navigating complicated computer systems and delivering excellent customer service.
Contact centers have one of the highest rates of staff turnover compared with other industries. Traditionally this is due to lower wages, employees feeling undervalued, and the stress of dealing with demanding customers. The constant cost of recruiting and training causes huge financial strain for organizations, on top of the additional costs of retaining existing employees by paying them incentives and commissions.
Companies often use outstanding customer service to differentiate themselves from the competition. This can be difficult to achieve with a constantly changing workforce. Invest in your employees and create a culture change in the contact center environment to achieve longer tenure and greater job satisfaction, which ultimately leads to happier customers.