Two years of sporadic lockdowns have opened up the hiring landscape to more diverse workers, so it’s crucial to ensure you focus on inclusive agent engagement in your contact center.
Though there is no doubt that the shift to remote work took a period of adjustment for some individuals, it quickly became clear that many folks benefited from these changes. With remote work technology and shifts to e-commerce, many people who couldn’t access call center jobs could now participate.
That also opened more opportunities for people who couldn’t perform call center work before the pandemic. Hiring various people with various backgrounds, life experiences, and skillsets is beneficial to business and benefits everyone.
When companies start to bring diversity, equity, inclusivity, and accessibility to the forefront, it creates a work environment where all customers see themselves represented and agent engagement levels remain consistently high.3 Ways to Drive Inclusive Agent Engagement Click To Tweet
Why is Inclusive Agent Engagement Important?
It’s the simplest equation we know—happy agents = happy customers.
If your contact center agents enjoy their work, feel up to the task, and are properly equipped for success, their customer interactions will be superior. Your customer satisfaction (CSat) scores will also get a boost.
When you create a diverse and inclusive, welcoming environment, people tend to be happier, show up more often, and work harder when they are there.
Now more than ever, people have higher expectations for the customer service they receive. When a customer calls your contact center, they want to speak with empathetic representatives and have their query resolved quickly and efficiently without transfers.
Ensuring agents aren’t overwhelmed by call volumes is a great way to improve agent satisfaction. Fonolo’s Voice Call-Backs help smooth out call spikes and keep call volumes manageable—agents get some breathing room while the customer experience is improved.
Agents who can build a rapport with their customers automatically have more successful interactions. If agents are burnt out or have difficulty performing their tasks, they’re less likely to be engaged, which quickly impacts their interactions with customers.
How Does Accessibility Impact Employee Engagement?
Every agent has different needs, whether during training or performing their daily duties. If those needs are not met, in all likelihood, their numbers will be down, work will be frustrating for them, and overall agent performance will drop.
Making your call center accessible for all call center agents can require some investment. But it will save you more in the long run, making agents more productive, lowering turnover rates, and ultimately providing the best customer experience possible.
How to Improve Agent Engagement with Accessibility in Mind
1. Ask every agent what they need to succeed at their job.
Empower agents by asking them exactly what they need to succeed. Every agent’s experience is different—but the best way to get agents what they need is simply by asking. Ask when they first join the team. Consider either a one-on-one meeting with management on their first day or provide an Accessibility Needs form for each agent.
Simply delivering necessary accessibility equipment isn’t enough. Regular check-ins are equally as important as asking in the first place. Always be sure to schedule follow-ups every few months. Our needs are constantly changing, and ensuring management is on top of it for their team will make agents feel cared for and, therefore, more loyal to the company.
2. Ensure every agent receives ongoing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) training.
Many people are unaware of their biases towards others, which can impact how they interact with their fellow employees and how engaged they feel at work. Making basic DEI training a core part of your call center training strategy will also help them empathize more and improve their interactions with customers.
Managers need to have a thorough understanding of DEI and should be provided separate learning opportunities specifically for DEI regarding management.
3. Employ technology that agents need to do the best work possible.
When we design for disability, we all benefit. Bringing in technology that makes your workplace more inclusive and equitable will help everyone else.
After getting a sense of what each employee needs to perform their job best, make sure you provide them with those tools. The longer an agent has to wait for equipment, the longer they’re unable to perform their duties correctly and the faster they’ll become less engaged and empowered. It’s also important that this equipment is quickly repaired if it fails for those same reasons.
Examples of accessibility technology might include:
- Assistive devices for people with hearing or speech impairments
- Ergonomic desk furniture and accessories
- Large desktop monitors
- Wheelchair ramps for in-office work