Retaining employees and ensuring that they are satisfied has always been a struggle for many businesses, especially when it comes to customer service employees given the repetitive nature of their jobs. In order to deliver premium customer service experience, it is important to develop a sense of stability, which entails low staff turnover and job satisfaction. A recent survey conducted by Accenture revealed that “31% of employees don’t like their boss, 32% were actively looking for a new job, and 43% felt that they received no recognition for their work.”
Constant recruitment to replace customer service representatives is not only an added, unnecessary expense in terms of training, but also adversely impacts the quality of customer service, since the process of incubation and settling-in has to start all over again until employees find themselves comfortable in the new position to deliver high quality customer experience. Companies can considerably reduce employee turnover and boost satisfaction levels by taking into account the following considerations:
Customer Service jobs are demanding, require patience and people’s skills to ensure customer satisfaction. The salary structure for customer service jobs should be comparable to other executive level jobs, hence, a fair compensation for the effort and time put in by the workers. In the same way, companies need to develop a leave policy that is in line with industry standards, which can be achieved by hiring extra staff to cover for those on leaves. Additionally, employers could provide life and health insurance in an attempt to motivate employees to stay with the companies. Fringe benefits including fuel, home rent, air tickets and bonuses can further add to the incentive of sticking with the company and maintaining good performance.
Apart from monetary incentives, recognition is also an important motivator for customer service employees. Outstanding performances can be recognized through awards and giving credit where it is due.
Employees often change jobs because they feel that they are not growing in terms of learning new skills. In order to address this concern, companies need to develop and promote a culture of learning in the organization. If employees are provided opportunities to share their experiences, it would encourage collective learning for the workforce that will not only satisfy their need of personal growth, but will also ensure enhanced performance at work.
Moreover, it is also important to avoid assigning blame when mistakes are made and things go wrong. Managers and supervisors should ensure that mistakes and shortcomings are seen as an opportunity to learn and avoid them in the future. The feedback should be constructive, as opposed to a means to reprimand employees for their mistakes.
Customer service jobs are often seen as a means to an end, with no real career prospects, which makes employees jump to other jobs as soon as the possibility presents itself. In order to reduce employee turnover, this perception needs to change and employees must be ensured that they have a chance to grow at their current jobs. Ideally, companies should develop a career path for customer service employees, with clearly outlined career progression with time or performance. The human resource department should actively engage and interact with employees in order to communicate clearly the growth prospects with the company, along with collecting feedback and gauge satisfaction levels.
Companies should encourage and sponsor trainings in order to enhance and upgrade the skillset of its employees. Companies are likely to benefit from the skill enhancement, as it would directly impact job performance. Additionally, promoting these activities will motivate customer service employees and boost satisfaction levels, which will reduce turnover in the long-run.
In addition to formal form of education and training, companies could develop a mentorship program, where employees are attached to mentors for personal and professional growth. Mentorship can help employees recognize their strengths and capitalize on them.
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