Agent Engagement: Are Employees Fulfilled, Appreciated and Understood?

Forget once-a-year employee surveys. How about once-a-week? That is if you even do employee surveys.

Many companies will survey their customers. The surveys range from simple questions, as in the Net Promoter Score type surveys to elaborate multiple question surveys. Some of the best companies also survey their employees, typically once a year. The leadership and management in these companies want to make sure that the employee sentiment is in line with the culture, vision, mission and philosophy of the company as a whole. That’s all well and good, but they should also validate how committed they are, and especially in terms of your frontline workforce, that the level of customer service agent engagement is driving productivity and customer experience.

I recently had a chance to chat with David Niu, the founder of TINYpulse. His company created a simple software program that helps companies keep an ongoing pulse, as David calls it, on how happy, frustrated or burnt out their employees are before employee retention and agent attrition become a problem. The tool measures employee / agent engagement by asking one question each week.

By getting the pulse of the employees, the leadership of the company can confirm they are in sync with employees or if they have issues to improve on, such as morale and communication. And in the process of getting this information, there is a very important by-product, which is that employees will feel more fulfilled, appreciated and understood. When your frontline agents are engaged in this manner, they’re more in sync with your customer service goals.

[Read how The General was able to increase agent engagement and improve operational efficiencies by finding more time to deliver agent training via intraday automation.]

David shared what some of the simple, yet powerful questions he suggests companies ask employees.

  • One a scale of 1-10, with ten being great, how happy are you at work?
  • Do you have all of the tools you need to be successful in your job?
  • Do you feel you’re progressing in your personal and professional development in our company?
  • If you were to leave our company, what would your primary reason be?
  • What is your favorite memory of working here so far, and how did it make you feel?

The types of questions you might want to ask employees are limited only by your imagination. You can ask for ideas and suggestions, such as:

  • What’s the best idea you have for saving money?
  • Do you have a suggestion about how we might improve… just about anything?

I think you get the idea. You can ask just about anything. But, what I liked about David’s process is that he didn’t suggest an annual employee survey. He suggested an ongoing weekly “pulse check” on his employees.

Whether it is once a week or once a month, consistently keeping in touch with your employees’ feelings, concerns, thoughts and ideas are crucial to maintaining your company’s culture — and keeping your customer service agents engaged and committed. This brings me back to one of my favorite expressions: What’s happening on the inside of the company is felt on the outside by the customer.

So while employee surveys are valuable, finding the time to pull off more-frequent surveys may seem a daunting task. But it shouldn’t be. Tools like intraday automation can uncover otherwise idle time when you can push quick surveys and assessments to your frontline staff. This makes your “pulse check” more of a preventative measure rather than addressing symptoms that could lead to employee dissatisfaction and turnover.

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About the author

Shep Hyken is a customer service expert, professional speaker and bestselling author who works with companies and organizations who want to build loyal relationships with their customers and employees. His articles have been read in hundreds of publications, and he is the author of Moments of Magic, The Loyal Customer, Amaze Every Customer Every Time and the Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestsellers, The Cult of the Customer and The Amazement Revolution, which was also recognized as a New York Times bestseller. He is also the creator of The Customer Focus program which helps clients develop a customer service culture and loyalty mindset.

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