During this season of thanks, now is the ideal time for business leaders and managers to start thinking about how they express gratitude to contact center agents for all their hard work and the stress and complaints they handle every day.
Expressing gratitude to agents is crucial to enhancing employee happiness and boosting productivity levels across an organization. Businesses with happy employees often enjoy improved customer experiences and retention rates. In fact, research by O.C. Tanner found that 37% of people believe recognition of their efforts is the most significant contributor to doing good work, which is nearly three times greater than any other motivator.
While recognizing and rewarding employees is typically related to good performance, appreciating exemplary customer service levels is crucial to helping agents achieve their goals, hit new milestones and exceed expectations.
How to Show Gratitude to Contact Center Agents
Expressing gratitude to contact center agents in the right way not only helps boost performance levels; it’s also a great way to retain the best talent and enhance engagement levels.
But giving thanks goes beyond simply giving agents a bonus or a promotion. To truly make an impact, it’s vital to thank customer service agents in a way that individual employees welcome and appreciate. Here are seven ways to show gratitude to contact center agents this season and beyond:
One of the biggest motivators for people is when their manager goes out of their way to express gratitude and thank them for their hard work. Writing a personal or individual email to an employee to express your appreciation for their efforts can help motivate people and make them even more committed to the business. Consider calling out highlights or specific customer feedback in the email to demonstrate that you appreciate their hard work.
Other people may gain motivation from being praised publicly and having their achievements acknowledged in front of their colleagues and peers. It could be advantageous to recognize employees that have gone above and beyond in their customer service efforts in an internal meeting. Recognizing team wins in a public forum can also help to boost morale levels across multiple employees.
That said, public praise isn’t appreciated by all employees. While it may motivate some, other customer service agents may be embarrassed to receive credit in front of their peers. It’s therefore vital to understand your customer service teams and their personalities before expressing gratitude. Understanding contact center agents’ interests and knowing what they do in their spare time can help you show the appropriate level of appreciation for every employee. For instance, you can show an interest in what employees have planned for the season in your message.
Many customer service agents are motivated by appreciating how their work positively impacts their organization. Consider sharing information that demonstrates how contact center agents’ efforts have affected the organization, positive customer feedback or data from customer satisfaction surveys. This information can show employees how their hard effort positively impacts the company and their customers.
For many people, the opportunity to progress, gain a promotion or earn a wage increase far outweighs any efforts you may make to praise and recognize their efforts. Employees may feel underappreciated and suffer a dip in morale if they work tirelessly without any direct advancement or career progression.
So, when expressing your thanks, it can be advantageous to spell out employees’ career paths and how you envision their future at the organization. This tactic can foster a sense of belonging and be even more powerful than a verbal pat on the back.
Contact center agents spend their time working in busy call centers or, increasingly, working from home, which limits their ability to socialize with their peers. Providing an opportunity for your contact center agents to socialize—whether it’s a morning breakfast event, a team lunch or drinks after work on a Friday evening—is a great way to foster employees’ sense of belonging and build morale. Understanding your employees and their motivators is critical to understanding what kind of social event would appeal to them most.
Other employees may respond more positively to a little time away from work. Contact center agents have busy schedules in high-pressure situations, so a little time out this season could be just the solution for energizing and motivating your employees. Consider showing your gratitude by allowing them to leave work a few hours early, offering them a day off for hitting their targets or adjusting their work schedules to spend more time with their friends and family. All employees appreciate a little time to themselves, so this could be an excellent tactic for expressing your gratitude.
Showing Appreciation for Your Agents Goes a Long Way
Expressing appreciation and gratitude for contact center agents’ efforts is vital to boosting their morale and keeping them motivated through December and into the New Year. By taking positive, proactive actions, you may even see a boost in customer satisfaction, sales and resolution times.
But it is crucial to get to know your customer service teams—and understand their motivators—to make your appreciation efforts count. Some agents will delight in a personally written email, others may prefer public praise and others will appreciate a reward like a pay increase or time in lieu for their excellent work performance. The time you take now to consider how you express your gratitude will go a long way in keeping your team engaged and energized during the busy season ahead.