How to Establish a Customer Service Culture that Millenials Will Love
February 4 2014
What are the challenges?
Creating a unique company culture that will attract and stimulate employees is an issue many companies face. And it’s especially true for the contact center industry, known for its high levels of agent attrition and a workforce made up predominantly of Millennials (also called Gen Yers).
Millenials as Customer Service Agents
In general, Millennials tend to be excellent multi-taskers who are highly engaged and collaborative. They are very patient and team-oriented, which fits well into a customer service organization. However, Gen Yers have grown accustomed to rapid shifts in their attention, which means they may also appear less focused. So how do we keep people in entry-level positions enthused and engaged?
Companies must adapt to their workers, rather than expecting their workers to adapt to the existing ways.
Here are 4 practices we’ve learned to do effectively in order to engage our Gen Y customer service agents.
1. Encourage collaboration
The contact center industry is typically associated with stringent, numbers-based procedures and individual performance metrics. This doesn’t sound like fun. As a company, your goal should be to move from being process-based to people-based. By encouraging your employees to work as a family, trusting them to work together and providing the tools to do so, Millennials will feel empowered. Instead of focusing solely on productivity, focus on how they live inside and outside of the workplace. Inspire opportunities for collaboration. This will create a more harmonious work-worker relationship with teams feeling connected to each other and to their employer.
The result: greater productivity delivering a better customer experience.
2. Engage the body and refresh the mind
One Millennial trait that gets a lot attention is their inability to focus on one task for an extended period of time. With shorter attention spans comes the need for stimulation and creative work environments. From collaborative work spaces, fitness facilities, games rooms, in house cafeterias, cinemas, and even libraries, more companies are creating stimulating environments for their staff. Employees will inevitably compare workplaces when seeking out jobs, and companies with innovative perks, will attract more talent. It is important for Millennials to feel like they are working somewhere special – that they are part of a company instead of simply working for one.
3. Create opportunities for ongoing learning
Another Millennial trait is the ongoing desire to learn. They want to expand their knowledge, enabling them to apply new skills to their jobs and progress in their careers. Many organizations offer personal and professional development courses to employees providing a choice for further education in areas that best suit their personal goals. By acknowledging that your employees’ aspirations go beyond their current position and that your company is invested in their career growth, they will feel appreciated and engaged. The more knowledgeable your staff, the better equipped they are to provide exceptional customer service.
4. Work with purpose
Prospective employees and customers are drawn to companies who believe in supporting meaningful causes. In addition to investing in people’s education and welfare, it’s also important to invest in the communities in which your company operates. Giving back to the community allows Millennials to feel good about where they work. It fosters a sense of commitment, loyalty and pride. Agents want to be emotionally invested in the places they work and corporate social responsibility (CSR) can play an important role.
By investing in your employees’ desire to improve not only their communities but their ability to take care of their families, you are ultimately investing in a satisfied workforce. And this satisfied workforce helps create satisfied customers on the other end of the line every day.
A strong company culture is based on actions more than words. While it’s important to communicate and reinforce your corporate values every day, it’s more important to live your values and make them central to everything that you do.
Note: This blog article is based on an article by Carolyn Crews, Vice-President of Sales and Marketing at TELUS International, Four Ways to Boost Your Customer Service Culture and a blog article by Gah Bird, Vice-President at TELUS International, How to Engage Millennials With Technology, Interviewing and Training.
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