The customer happiness agent brings bounding rewards to your contact center

Build a Business Case for the Customer Happiness Agent: Contact Center Employees Live at the Core of Customer Experience Strategies in 2020

Two weeks ago, I sat at my desk with my headphones on digging into the 2020 contact center trends headed your way next year. As I poured through resources and spotted trends sure to stick around, one’s permanently seared into my brain. I was so excited about it, I immediately spilled notes onto a fresh page to (attempt) to contain my excitement. 

So, what’s the trend that has me (and soon, you) hyped? 

Now, rather than hiring a few more customer service reps, companies are redefining the role of an agent. And, they’re calling these mission-critical employees the “customer happiness agent.” 

Customer. Happiness. Agent. Can you even wrap your mind around that? 

Your agents have such a massive impact on CX, they’re now given a name that reflects what they do… make (or break) customer happiness. Companies are welcoming the idea that agents put customer experience on their shoulders. 

And, Glassdoor is predicting 2020 will kick off a culture-first decade. One where your employee morale lives at the heart of your business. Pair that mindset with Glassdoor’s findings on the impact of employee satisfaction on a company’s scores on the ACSI index, and we’re launched into a new era entirely. One where employee happiness becomes core to the strategy of customer happiness. (Can I get a resounding woohoo! from all our agent-first backers out there?) 

As you crunch numbers and finalize your customer experience plans for the year, build agent-first initiatives into your strategy. 

To firm up your business case for agent happiness (and get your ops leaders’ stamp of approval), we’re defining the ROI of a contact center filled with happy, engaged, and empowered agents. 

Share these facts with your ops leaders to get buy-in for agent happiness initiatives next year.

Increased productivity (and more money toward your bottom line) 

There’s no knocking that employee engagement and meaningful work directly impact productivity. Gallup found engaged employees produce 17% more than their disengaged co-workers.

And Glassdoor’s recent study on the link between employee satisfaction and CSAT quantifies the impact further. The study found employee satisfaction directly impacts business outcomes like retention, talent attraction, productivity, and stock performance. 

Not only that but, improving productivity generates more revenue. 

Using job satisfaction-to-productivity ratios, Harvard researcher Shawn Achor estimated that highly meaningful work will generate an additional $9,078 per worker, per year.

 

Plus, knowing that disengaged and unproductive employees cost companies between $450-550 billion every year, an investment in employee happiness saves your company tons of money, too.

Better customer outcomes (aka happier customers)

When your agents sprint to see who can get to the door fastest, your customer service experience suffers. It means you have disengaged employees at the helm serving customers. It means you have fewer fully-ramped agents ready to handle interactions. And, it means, your attention as a manager is pulled from coaching and training for deeper knowledge to recruiting and onboarding.

That’s why the correlation between employee satisfaction and customer satisfaction is so significant. Glassdoor’s decade of research found for every one-star improvement in employee satisfaction, there’s a 1.3% rise in CSAT. Not to mention, the impact of employee satisfaction on ACSI scores nearly doubled for companies whose employees interact closely with customers (like your agents!).

“A happier workforce is clearly associated with companies’ ability to deliver better customer satisfaction — particularly in industries with the closest contact between workers and customers, including retail, tourism, restaurants, health care, and financial services” 

Andrew Chamberlain,Chief Economist and Daniel Zhao, Senior Economist and Data Scientist at Glassdoor, for HBR

 

Ready to commit to building a culture fit for the customer happiness agent? Jump to our post on 7 ways to engage employees (free pizza and swag not included).

Reduced wait times

Agent-first contact center platforms can reduce customer wait times up to 90%. Those reduced wait times improve your CX and give your agents a chance to win back the 67% of customers that hang up before ever reaching a live agent. 

Additional key company revenue

Companies that invest in employee training and have highly engaged employees see 24% higher profits and a 20% increase in sales than those that don’t. Furthermore, those engaged, well-trained employees will provide better service to your customers, powering customer loyalty. And, better service experiences that increase customer retention by only 5% can bring 25 to 95% more profits. 

“A decade of research proves that happiness raises nearly every business and educational outcome: raising sales by 37%, productivity by 31%, and accuracy on tasks by 19%, as well as a myriad of health and quality of life improvements.” 

Shawn Achor, author of The Happiness Advantage

 

Higher agent retention

Agent satisfaction is directly linked to turnover. The more satisfied your customer happiness agent, the lower your turnover. It seems obvious, right? Building a positive experience for your agents makes them want to stay with your company. 

And, HBR has findings to fully back the claim. Employees who do meaningful work and are happy in their roles are nearly 70% less likely to quit in the next 6 months. Plus, they have job tenures close to 7-and-a-half months longer than employees who don’t find meaning in their work.

Kick turnover to the curb through employer engagement. Learn how, over here.

Fewer turnover costs

That longer job tenure and predictable workforce we mentioned above have serious benefits to your operational costs. You spend roughly $10,000 – $20,000 to fill a new seat every time an agent leaves. And, that’s just the cost you associate with recruiting a replacement agent. It doesn’t account for new hire training, lost productivity costs, new agent ramp time, and all the other budget busters that come with losing your experienced agents.

Turnover for a 100-seat contact center costs anywhere from $1M to 4.8M. So, when you prevent turnover with happier employees you save that much cash, instead.

Need more proof to build a case for agent happiness? Get nine more reasons why agent happiness matters to your business.