Measuring contact centre employee satisfaction
First Contact Resolution (FCR), customer satisfaction, Average Handling Time (AHT), service levels… the average contact centre largely revolves around KPIs. Because to measure is to know, right?
Many of these KPIs are directly related to the customer experience. But let’s take a look at your employees. What do we actually measure or know about their experiences? About their sense of involvement and satisfaction levels? Although we measure staff turnover and absenteeism, do we really know what influences these figures and percentages?
In this blog, we'll give you tips on how to measure employee satisfaction and commitment, so you can turn your contact centre into an engaging workplace that allows your team to excel at their job.
The impact of satisfaction and commitment
The fact that the employee experience (EX) has a major influence on the customer experience (CX) is nothing new. It all evolves around 'emotional contagion', which we wrote a blog about a while ago.
In addition, every contact centre manager knows that its impact on turnover and absenteeism is enormous, and that the cost of hiring and training new employees can be huge. Not to mention the loss of knowledge, skills and experience when yet another agent leaves.
But while the importance of measuring satisfaction and engagement among customer contact agents has been talked about for years, it appears that still only about 30% of contact centres actually do this. And yet by mapping employee satisfaction and tracking patterns, you can make a structural contribution to improving the customer experience and other KPIs.
There are many ways to measure employee satisfaction and engagement. But whichever method you choose, remember that this is only the beginning. If you really want to make a change, a survey in itself is not enough. It's about what you do with the results.
Most companies conduct an annual or semi-annual survey, which addresses questions about different aspects of the job, the level of support, and, for example, the growth opportunities. Such a survey is known as an employee satisfaction (ESAT) survey. It’s like a CSAT (customer satisfaction) survey, but for employees. In a survey like this, it is important to ask questions in such a way that they produce measurable answers.
Another way to measure satisfaction is the eNPS, or the employee net promoter score, referring to how likely it is for employees to recommend their place of work to others. Usually such an investigation consists of only one question. The advantage of this is that you can collect feedback very quickly, but it does not provide the background of the 'why'.
Performance review or exit interview
You can also choose to use coaching sessions or the annual performance review to discuss the subject. The question then is whether the employee feels comfortable enough to be open and honest. Unfortunately, practice shows that this is not always the case.
In this respect, employees who have resigned will be more inclined to give honest feedback about possible areas for improvement, for example during an exit interview. While it may be too late for the departing employee to benefit from it at that point, it can be extremely valuable for employers to hear this type of criticism and take action on it.
The pyramid of employee needs
Lastly, we would like to mention Gallup’s Q12 study1), which is based on a pyramid that reflects employee needs. Fulfilling needs higher up in the pyramid makes no sense until the needs lower down are met.
The purpose of this survey is to initiate a conversation between managers and each of their employees. The twelve questions in the survey each fit within one of the layers of the pyramid and thus provide the framework to effectively measure employee satisfaction and engagement and to be able to take targeted action.
1) Gallup's Employee Engagement Survey: Ask the Right Questions With the Q12 Survey
Measuring without a questionnaire
It is also possible to collect data without a questionnaire, for example by applying contact centre tools that normally tend to be used for the analysis of customer behaviour. For example, you can apply speech analytics to monitor the performance of customer contact employees. In addition, voice analytics can identify an employee’s need for more support or coaching, allowing you to take steps to improve the employee experience before it's too late.
This kind of direct feedback that is based on interactions between employees and customers often provides very valuable information, sometimes even better than a standard satisfaction survey.
What’s the best frequency?
So how often should you do satisfaction and engagement research? Is an annual survey too little? Is a monthly one too much? Should you keep asking the same questions so you can measure changes and trends, or will this be counterproductive?
It is especially important to measure employee engagement at different stages of employment. After all, just as the customer goes through a customer journey, employees go through an employee journey.
You can start during the job application phase, to find out what makes the company appealing and what can be improved, for example with regard to working from home. The next step of the survey takes place during the training phase, to measure how long it takes a new employee to be ready to start working independently. The base layer of the Q12 pyramid is about setting clear expectations and making the right tools available to be able to meet them. The integration of the contact centre platform with back-end systems as well as the deployment of tools to make the job easier, such as a knowledge management solution, help with this.
Once employees are in the ‘steady’ phase, it is advisable to measure satisfaction and engagement once a quarter. As part of this survey, you can also find out what percentage of employees scores above average in terms of customer ratings and other quality scores.
Employee vs. customer
But beware! Measuring employee satisfaction as a stand-alone survey is dangerous. For example, imagine a contact centre where employees have complete freedom to have personal telephone conversations, use Netflix or TikTok, take endless breaks, or exercise during work hours. Those employees are probably super satisfied, but what does the customer make of this?
Ultimately, of course, it is about striking the right balance between satisfied employees and satisfied customers.
The next step
As mentioned, doing research is only the start of the process. That in itself is not what will drive more engagement, at least not in the long run. While most employees like to be asked for their opinion, there are few things more demotivating than when the results of such research do not lead to action.
So make sure you do something with the feedback, in order to increase employee engagement. For example, you can take all kinds of measures and deploy clever tools as part of a Workforce Engagement Management (WEM) initiative. A good start is to use bots to take over simple, repetitive tasks, so that employees can focus on the more challenging tasks. This produces measurable positive effects in the form of higher retention, faster service times and more satisfied customers.
Do you wonder how you can increase the level of engagement within your team? Which tools you can use to make the job easier and more fun? We’ll be happy to help you on your way!
Whitepaper 'From cost centre to centre stage'
In our whitepaper "From cost centre to centre stage: the effect of employee satisfaction on the customer experience" we focus on the employee. We look at factors that have a positive effect on their well-being, and what their impact is on the customer experience and the business results. Twenty pages of useful information that you can apply immediately.
How do you make your contact centre a success for employee, customer and management? In other words, how do you change it from a cost centre to the centre stage of the organisation?
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