According to recent research contact centres are replacing every single agent every four years!

Financially, the cost of these levels of staff attrition equate to £2.3 Billion. So could your metrics be part of the problem? Read more

Employee Engagement Solved

The idea of employee engagement is a big deal for leaders striving to create a thriving and productive population.

Everyone eats.

The conversation around food is robust, but very little of it focuses on using food as an organisational development tool.

Eating is an experience that speaks to everyone.  Creating healthy food environments is a way companies can invest in their employees and create an engaged workforce. Food is used to create a connection between people – its part of every aspect of life.

Providing healthy food to employees influences their work life, their home life, their families, their communities in a positive way, and that is a powerful experience.  With 11 million days lost through absenteeism every year at a cost of 1.5bn, the stakes are clearly high.

A recent survey by the Department of Health tells us that one in six meals is eaten outside of the home.

Employers are rising to the challenge of creating a healthier urbane offering across workplaces in staff restaurants and canteens in an effort to boost employee engagement through food.

Another factor in keeping employees healthy and happy is keeping them hydrated.  Right now, 80% of you reading this are dehydrated. The impacts of dehydration on business are huge as employees all in sick more and produce less work.

Here are some easy and inexpensive ideas you can implement at your office.

  1. Water Cooler. Spend the money on a water cooler or water filtration system. It will save you money in the long run. Provide a few options like lemons and limes to add a bit of flavour.
  2. Fresh Fruit. Supply fresh fruit and vegetables for snacks. About 20% of daily intake of water comes from the fruit and vegetables we eat.
  3. Water Drive. Create a charity water drive. Drink water to help a local charity. Pool together with your co-workers to see how much water you can drink in a month. The number of glasses you drink represents the amount of money you donate to your favourite charity.
  4. Water Bottle. Buy your employees an environmentally friendly water bottle they can refill and have at their desk.

Next time you are seeking advice on how to cut costs, boost morale or increase productivity, turn to the office water cooler – not for the gossip but for the water. You might be surprised what it can do for your business and state of mind.

An employer’s most important priority is employee engagement and retention. Companies want to attract and retain the best talent wherever possible.

Our Optymyse wallboard solution will allow you to promote your food and drink offering in a fun and engaging way keep employees up to date with the latest healthy food options in the vending machines and what the chef’s special will be today.

Check out our latest video’s on how Optymyse can improve your employee engagement.

At first glance, this may seem like a shaggy dog story – but the idea that having four-legged friends in the workplace can relieve stress is being taken seriously.

A recent study out of the Central Michigan University, which claims that dogs in the workplace can lead to more trust between co-workers and that, leads to more collaboration among team members.

Millennials will surpass baby boomers as the largest pet-owning generation in about three years, according to Stifel Equity Research, and they’ll make up almost half of the workforce by 2020. Now companies are looking to attract those younger employees by letting pets into the office.

A 2015 Society for Human Resource Management survey found 8 percent of American workplaces allow employees to bring their furry loved ones to work, and up from 5 percent in 2013. The same survey found 9 percent of companies such as Google offered pet health insurance to employees, which also marks an increase in recent years.

“Employers are starting to realize that having a millennial bring a pet to work, you wind up getting a more focused employee, you get someone more comfortable at the office and a person willing to work longer hours,” said Bob Vetere, president and CEO of the American Pet Products Association, a trade group representing about 1,200 manufacturers of pet products.

There is evidence that the act of just stroking a dog can help reduce levels of stress. So taking your pooch to work is not as barking as you thought – so spread the word!

Optymyse contact center visuals will help to create a fun and inclusive environment where pet and agent images / videos can be shared alongside important metrics and messaging.

Gamification is key

Does your call centre have a problem? If you are anything like most of the contact centres that we talk to, you are likely to be dealing with an issue that just won’t go away, and one that is leading to customer dissatisfaction and agent churn.
Read more

Link building is one major aspect of search engine optimization that you should know about and is extremely beneficial for your website.

In the world of search engine optimisation backlinking is one of the most used words. The basic premise of a backlink is when one page links to another page – it’s as simple as that!

Since Google introduced the Penguin algorithm, much has changed concerning backlinks. Before the Penguin roll out even low-quality links helped in ranking a site.

The quality of your backlinks is very important and the links should be contextual. Your goal should be getting links from authoritative and relevant sites.

It’s also important for you to create backlinks to your site as it improves organic ranking, allows faster indexing of your site, and referral traffic.

Quality not quantity is the name of the game.  One important fact that you need to keep in mind about backlinks for search engine optimisation is that it is not the number of backlinks, which matters, but rather the quality of backlinks.

If your site has incoming links from an authority website containing content which enhances your message and is relevant to what you do, you are always rewarded in Google search result. Effective link building doesn’t mean building unlimited links but it means getting genuine links from websites that are reliable and informative.

How to Start Getting Backlinks:

There are a few very simple approaches for producing backlinks to your website.

  • Write fantastic articles
  • Leaving comments
  • Submit to web directories

Write fantastic Articles

A good and simple method of getting backlinks for your blog is to write good articles.  Tutorials and top-ten list articles are a couple of good examples of the type of posts, which have great possibility of getting backlinks from other websites as references.

Start Leaving Comments

Comments are a great, simple and easy, free method of getting backlinks. Start leaving comments on blogs.

Leaving comments allows you to get solid one-way backlinks in addition to increased traffic and internet search engine visibility.

Submit to Web Directories

Posting your site to web directories is yet another from the easy methods for getting backlinks. Nevertheless, this process is not so popular nowadays, because locating a legal web directory is difficult. You have to especially avoid those web directories that ask you to create a back-link to their website to get their site into a directory.

Working together with your partners, clients and suppliers on creating backlinks for your website to improve your organic search position is beneficial to everybody.

The ten C’s of employee engagement can engage employees heads, hearts, and hands.

  1. Connect: Line managers must show that they value employees. Initiatives that are employee-focused such as work–life balance and profit sharing are important but if an employees’ relationship with their manager is defective, then no amount of benefits will persuade employees to perform at top levels. Employee engagement is a direct reflection of how employees feel about their relationship with the boss.
  2. Career: Employees respond to challenging and important work with career advancement opportunities. Most people want to do new things in their jobs and good leaders challenge employees; but at the same time, they must instil the confidence so that challenges can be achieved. Not giving people the knowledge and tools to be successful is unethical and de-motivating; it is also likely to lead to stress, frustration, and, ultimately, lack of engagement.
  3. Clarity: The organisations goals, vision and ambitions must be clearly communicated to its employees. Having a clear vision gives employees the confidence to understand the vision that senior leadership has for the organisation. Success is largely determined by how clear individuals are about their goals and what they really want to achieve.
  4. Convey: Leaders should clarify their expectations and provide feedback on how employees fit into the strategy of the organisation. Good leaders establish processes and procedures that help people master the tasks required to achieve their goals. Achieving goals drives employee satisfaction.
  5. Congratulate: Surveys show that, over and over, employees feel that they receive immediate feedback when their performance is poor, or below expectations. These same employees also report that praise and recognition for strong performance is much less common. In the case of call and contact centres, properly configured visuals can provide recognition in real time.
  6. Contribute: People want to know that their input matters and that they are contributing to the organisation’s success in a meaningful way. How well an employee understands the connection between theirs and the strategic objectives of the company has a positive impact on job performance. Compared to all other factors combined an employee’s attitude towards the job and the company has the greatest impact on loyalty and customer service.
  7. Control: Visual communication technology supports supervisors by allowing them to quickly communicate with all agents. Employees value control over the flow and pace of their jobs and leaders can create opportunities for employees to exercise this control. A feeling of “being in on things,” and of being given opportunities to participate in decision making often reduces stress; it also creates trust and a culture where people want to take ownership of problems and their solutions.
  8. Collaborate: Studies show that, when employees work in teams and have the trust and cooperation of their team members, they outperform individuals and teams, which lack good relationships. Great leaders should also be team builders and create an environment that fosters trust and collaboration.
  9. Credibility: Leaders should strive to maintain a company’s reputation and demonstrate high ethical standards and invest in technology that supports employees. People want to be proud of their jobs, their performance, and their organisation.
  10. Confidence: Good leaders help create confidence in a company by being exemplars of high ethical and performance standards. Employees then trust leaders and the organisation, which leads to feelings of belonging to the organisation they work in.

Competitive advantage can be gained by creating an engaged workforce. Leaders should actively try to identify the level of engagement in their organisation, find the reasons behind the lack of full engagement and implement behavioural strategies that will facilitate full engagement. Once you have identified your employee engagement strategy, SJS Solutions Optymyse visuals can help you with automatic recognition, improved performance, removing communication bottlenecks and building fun engaging environments.

Research, academic studies and indeed our own personal experience prove that colour influences our moods in or outside the workplace.

The generally accepted basic principles of colour therapy are:

  • Colour has an automatic influence
  • The meaning of colour is either biological or learned
  • People automatically evaluate a colour
  • The evaluation of a colour causes behaviour induced by that colour
  • Colour has a specific meaning to each individual
  • The context a colour is perceived in has an effect

Colour and mood

Every individual’s moods can be triggered by colour.  However, the moods that are triggered vary from one person to another and can be influenced by a person’s ancestral habitat and cultural background. All colours fit into one of two categories; warm or cool.

  • Warm colours – Yellow, red and orange are considered “warm” colours. They are said to cause feelings of warmth and comfort.
  • Cool colours – Blue, purple and green are said to induce feelings of calm and serenity.

Colours at work

Studies conducted by institutions like the University of Hawaii at Hilo have identified the way these colours affect a work environment.

  • Green and Blue – Walls painted with these colours can create feelings of calm and relaxation in employees. Green gives eyes some rest and helps reduce anxiety. This is especially helpful where lighting is not at an optimal level, or employees spend the day staring at computer screens. Blue helps reduce stress by lowering the blood pressure and heart rates.
  • Yellow and Orange – These colours, associated with the sun, make a person feel warm and happy. However, yellow, the colour of caution, in a workplace can cause eyestrain by over-stimulating the eyes. This can annoy and irritate employees.
  • Red – This colour can stimulate and excite employees. It can increase respiration, heart rate and brain activity. However, it can get a person really worked up and is best used as an accent and not as a main colour. Red can stimulate feelings of love, passion and danger, and has very strong attention-getting characteristics.
  • Pink – A very feminine colour, pink can have a relaxing effect on employees. For a professional workplace, however, the casual, cosy feelings that pink evokes are not suitable.
  • White – Another highly reflective colour, white can be a cause of eyestrain. However, it conveys feelings of sterility and cleanliness although it is not a very stimulating colour.

So colours do affect the workplace with cool colours being the best choice, as people need to be calm and relaxed. SJS solutions can help create that environment with their employee engagement and visual communications software Optymyse.  With template driven designs, this colourful wallboard solution can contribute towards organisational success.

We are not suggesting you cover your customers with honey but equally what we are suggesting is sweet!

You’re a contact center specialist right? You want more of your customers to buy from you more often. You want them to rely on your expertise and to come to you for multiple products and services so you can enjoy a long, high value relationship.

Finding ways to cement existing relationships is key to business growth and longevity.  When customers make multiple purchases your margin increases massively and customers are less likely to walk away.

However, if you’re honest, how many of your complex, high value contact center customers know everything you can do to improve their contact center environment?

Founder and CEO of Abraham Group, Inc. Jay Abraham, described by Steven Covey as Americas #1 Marketing Wizard wrote; “When clients turn to you and make a purchase, it’s because they trust and respect you. In their eyes you are a leader, a knowledgeable authority.”  Click here to read more about Jay Abraham.

As a contact center specialist helping customers create an engaging place for their agents to work should always be on your radar, done well it’s something you will be remembered for every time agents, supervisors and managers look up and see the professional, branded and emotive visuals you have provided to them. Conversely without a good visual communications solution to enhance your call or contact centre offering you are more likely to be remembered for the wrong reasons.

View our simple datasheet and 5 minute YouTube video which introduces Optymyse perfectly.

Optymyse improves employee engagement, reduces agent attrition, boosts morale, reduces sick days and has improved performance across five continents.

Sign up to our reseller area today.

 

Premium Choice have upgraded Optymyse, their Visual Communications Software, provided by SJS Solutions.

Premium Choice are insurance specialists who provide car, van and bike enthusiasts with a genuine choice of quality and affordable motor insurance, backed up by first-class customer service at all times.

SJS Solutions are market leaders in providing digital communication wallboards with powerful designs that create an enhanced environment for agents.

Since 2001, SJS solutions have helped build highly effective call and contact centres, designed to ensure employees are committed to an organisation’s goals and values by providing engaging and inspiring visual solutions.

Premium Choice and SJS solutions have worked together for a number of years and after seeing the positive impact their initial offering made on agent performance and morale, upgrading to the new version was an easy decision to make.

Rupert Gladstone, Head of IT, Premium Choice, comments:

Optymyse 5 has given us the flexibility and speed to tailor our wallboards and displays to meet the needs of each team individually.  The ability to blend in information from across the business and display it in real time is proving very popular with both staff and managers.  Our next step is to give them the same information that they have in the office on their mobile devices when they are out on the road.

Adrian Vickers, Head of Technology, SJS Solutions, comments:

We have worked with Premium choice now for a number of years and indeed they started with Optymyse 3, which was our first wallboard solution. They have recently upgraded to Optymyse 5 Pro and the transition was extremely smooth due to the great working relationship between the two companies.

If you already use visual communications to help your agents confidently deliver customer excellence, you will know how influential your contact centre environment can be and how the information you display on your contact centre wallboards can motivate your agents.

According to one recent study conducted by Oxford Economics and SAP, only 42% of employees currently know how to extract meaningful insights from the data available to them, while only 47% of respondents say their company has an established culture of continuous learning.

If you haven’t reviewed the visual communications tools you use in your contact centre in the last 2 years you may want to read on.

Common Mistakes

Wallboards which are simply a larger format of management reports which contain graphs and other tables are hard to read uninspiring and guaranteed to demotivate your agents.

Focussing solely on call handling metrics is a sure way to create a negative culture within your contact centre.

Old technology such as LED reader boards and blocky screen designs tell agents you don’t care.

Quick fixes

Create screens which offer a mix of company news, brand re-enforcement, social activity plus operational information and key metrics which will help agents to make customers happy.

Pull data from everywhere that’s relevant, not just your unified communications or PBX, examples include social media, CRM, WFM and CSAT. Giving agents instant access to CSAT and customer satisfaction and feedback will bring customer and agent perceptions of customer care closer.

HAVE SOME FUN!

Everyone likes to share successes, be recognised and to know what is happening with the company and its employees. Agent photo’s, social events, new starter introductory videos, recent office openings, achievements and positive thresholds all create a positive environment which will lift agents mood and improve customer experience.