There are many factors that businesses focus on to boost productivity of their customer service staff including frequent bonuses, paid leaves, team building events etc. While such monetary and nonmonetary incentives may yield high rewards in terms of performance, they would be inadequate and incomplete if working conditions are not considered and stressed upon. A healthy working environment has been proven time and again to significantly increase productivity of employees.
Relaxed Office Ambiance
The feel, mood, setting, atmosphere etc. of an office space should be welcoming and comfortable rather than daunting or intimidating. The lighting, flooring, roofs and the spaciousness itself of the office can all have their own effects on the ambience of the room. Refraining from using excessively bright lighting on already white/colorless walls, avoiding the use of air fresheners that resemble odors from hospitals, having tall ceilings with intricate artwork and even attractive/artistic flooring can have a huge impact on creating a unique and comfortable atmosphere that every customer service representative would wish to experience. Cramped workstations in corners or small cubicles also prevent workers from reaching their creative potential and problem solving ability while handling difficult or annoyed customers. Make sure that the office temperature is maintained at a comfortable level for your employees. Adding indoor plants is also a great idea to give a refreshing feel to the office environment.
Dealing with customers of different kinds throughout the day is not an easy task. Each call, face to face interaction and even email presents itself with a challenging situation which the customer service rep has to satisfactorily address and solve. Understanding the issues that customer service representatives have to deal with regularly is key and hence giving them space and frequent breaks is a good idea. Encouraging your employees to participate in extracurricular activities like games/sports would be a great idea to reduce stress and let loose for a certain period of time so they can disconnect from their routine and get back to work with a clear and refreshed state of mind.
Encouraging and Friendly Managers
The body language and attitude of managers towards staff should not only be friendly and welcoming but should also contain encouraging and motivating vibes. Frequent use of humor or friendly sarcasm to ease the situation at the workplace can actually provide a much needed momentary lapse from the stressful workload especially if the staff is in the process of meeting deadlines within the day or the next few hours. Supportive workers who can positively encourage, motivate and help out each other in difficult times are an asset to every business as they ensure that the morale is kept high. Teamwork brings out the best in everyone as people work together to achieve one goal.
Making the Workplace a Second Home
Most employees spend 8-10 hours on average at their workplace which means that the office is just like a second home. It is the responsibility of the managers and the company to make their employees feel as much at home as they possibly can. Managers can think of ways to accommodate employees and make them feel at home to improve their productivity and efficiency. Let us take the example of IBM which has 3 daycare facilities for new mothers who wish to work. Allowing customer service staff to design and decorate their personal working space with pictures of their loved ones or favorite quotes/phrases too can have a positive impact on them and would surely boost creativity and productivity in turn.
Setting Health and Safety Standards
As customer service staff is directly responsible for often dealing with customers in person, they must be physically and mentally healthy at all times. Giving health insurance to your employees and by offering leave and/or the option to work from home to sick employees, a healthy, strong and capable workforce can be ensured. Just like quality assurance checks for faulty products, maintain proper sanitation of your office at all times.