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.

Its the first step to a long and fruitful relationship

Getting new agents up to speed on the culture, processes, and knowledge base of your company is an expensive undertaking, but there are some cost effective approaches you can use to which will also create a more social, fun environment for your agents.

When a new starter walks through the door on day one, you have two main objectives – make them feel like part of the team, and get them to a high level of efficiency as quickly as possible.

The companies who are able to consistently improve and maintain high levels of employee engagement and satisfaction are the same companies who nurture internal communication, flexible working hours and the human element. This is especially important where the people you rely on are the voice of your company with the closest relationship with your customers.

To get the most out of any onboarding process it needs to be engaging and fun. Here are some tips that will help:

  • The human brain is far more likely to retain information when it is visual and the environment is engaging
  • Create an informal area where new starters can walk around and look at press cuttings on the wall, watch TV ads or company videos.
  • Choose creative inspirational people to welcome new starters to your organisation.
  • Take the time to create engaging material
  • Use your visual communications technology, such as wallboards, to ensure there are continuous reminders of what your company and brand is all about.

In the case of call and contact centre environments there are a few things you can do to ensure your agents feel part of the team:

  • During the onboarding process ask all new starters to make a short video to introduce themselves to the rest of the company, set up a simple area with a web-cam and ask the new starter to introduce themselves, where they are from and any other information they are comfortable sharing such as pets or hobbies. Use your visual communications software to include this video as part of your contact center wallboard.
  • Try to introduce the new starter to their immediate team when these people are on a break, this will help create social bonds and hopefully start friendships.
  • Keep them informed of coming social events, so they can sign up and join in.

Efficient, well thought out onboarding, supports your recruitment processes and helps your new starters quickly become effective members of your organization. Researchers have found that a well-executed  employee induction process leads to positive outcomes such as higher job satisfaction, better job performance, and greater organizational commitment.

 

 

 

Increasing employee engagement and perceptions and allowing them to buy in to your company can be creative, fun and surprising.

Celebrate People

When employees feel valued, they’re motivated to do their jobs better and more likely to be engaged. Knowing how important it is to recognize employees for a job well done is key. However recognizing the person instead of the job is vital – acknowledging who your people are and embracing important aspects outside of work, such as birthdays, can play a pivotal role in engagement.

Jumpstart engagement

Work place perceptions start from day 1 — it’s important to start employee engagement as soon as possible.  Using a buddy system where a colleague from another department helps them settle in gives them the chance to get to know colleagues from across the business and can act as a confidant for questions a new employee may be afraid to ask.

Love Your People

Posting employee photos might seem like a small gesture, but it’s a gesture that makes employees feel included, appreciated, and valued.  Have some fun with it and schedule individual, team, or all-company photo shoots. Post the happenings on your social media and Visual Communications Software.

Be Social

Another surprising, yet effective method to increase employee engagement is socializing outside of work.  Spending time together in a relaxed setting can lead to more effective communication, better teamwork, and increased job satisfaction.

Create a Unique Office Environment

Each company is unique and each working environment depends on the nature of and culture of your company. Employees spend a long time each day in work so make the workspace as engaging as possible so they enjoy spending time at work.

Ask Employees what they think

Collecting employee feedback is an effective way to target any employee or organisational issues.  Smaller, low-key decisions, which allow employees to voice their opinions such as how to decorate the office or what information to display on your wallboards, show your employees that you respect them.

 

 

Employee Health  – win, win

Surely the health of your call center and contact centre agents is down to them? To some degree, it is, but what if you could help your employees to be happier and more satisfied in their roles? What if by taking a look at what causes high levels of employee stress you could reduce absenteeism by a few percent and improve morale?

Awkward!

Generally the best customer care agents are individuals who will often find high stress environments tough to work in. These caring, sensitive individuals perform much better when they have a little more time and answers to customer questions are easy to access.

H-A-P-P-Y

Happiness is a potent performance enhancer.  We all perform at our best when we are happy. Any organisation not investing in the improvement of employee health quickly becomes a victim of inconsistent performance, escalating recruitment costs and unhappy customers.

Take a deep breath

Most humans can survive weeks without food and days without water but just a few minutes without air. U.S. scientists have found that high levels of carbon dioxide in offices and classrooms could be affecting our concentration and decision-making abilities. Click here to read more. In addition levels of carbon dioxide created from the occupants of the room can be several times higher than a busy town.

Depending on the location of your office, encourage employees to take a 10 minute walk at least once a day.  This allows them to expose themselves to natural light and breathe cleaner air. How you breath is also important.  Studies show that when you breathe normally it is too shallow and you aren’t taking in enough oxygen.  As a result, you’re likely to have lower levels of oxygen and higher levels of carbon monoxide in your blood.  This can make you tired, in fact when you don’t get much oxygen in your blood, your heart rate and blood pressure go up.

In an industry filled with WFO and WFM software, intelligent scheduling and the constant need for employees to spend as much time working as they can, it’s the companies which promote taking a break and educate employees as to the best way to use this free time who have the lowest number of sick days and employee stress.

Hang loose

Dress down Friday may be a great way to reduce stress and let employees express who they are but the real trick is to make work fun everyday.  How you do that is up to you but here are some great tips here that should make your agents smile.

Stay hydrated

Just 1% dehydration has been found to decrease worker productivity by 12%. When it comes to our brains they really need water. Make sure agents have access to good quality drinking water.

Finally employee health is one of the key factors in making your business run effectively and efficiently – ignore it at your peril!

Introduction

Companies spend over $720 million each year on employee engagement1, and that’s projected to rise to over $1.5 billion. So why is employee engagement at a record low?

In August this year, Ofcom2 published their 2015 communications report, ‘The Communications Market 2015’ which included in its findings that the UK is now a ‘smartphone society’: record levels in the use of ‘smart devices’ has transformed the way we communicate. It is often said today that organizations need to be ‘where their customers are’ in relation to channels and devices, but what about employees in the contact center? They are your best sales team.

Today’s fast-paced society demands ever more immediate and flexible responses from their services, across a multitude of channels. To meet these needs it is essential to equip employees with the right information and resources to do their job well, whatever their preferred device – wherever they are. Communication needs to be relevant, consistent and engaging but, most of all, accessible.

This paper provides some quick tips for contact center managers on developing a multi-layered approach to internal communication with their teams and demonstrates how technology can help achieve this…..

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Enhancing Your Employee Engagement Strategy In The Contact Center. Copyright © SJS Solutions 2015, www.sjssolutions.com 

1. Deploy technology that works

Choosing technology which supports the customer experience helps create positive outcomes for both agents and customers. The easier it is for customer service agents to do a good job the more likely they are to be satisfied to stay with your organisation and the lower your training and recruitment costs will be. High quality visual communication tools are a great way to brighten up your call center environment and when used properly reduce agent stress. Agents want instant access to the information they need to answer questions the first time (FCR), after all agents want the same thing customers want; positive experiences.
Reducing agent stress has to be a priority for 2016, another great way to do this is to manage spikes in agent demand. Call-back technology such as Fonolo smooths out call volumes and soothes agent nerves thus promoting better experiences for everyone.

2. It’s OK to tell us what you think

Customer feedback has to be the single most important barometer for the success of a contact center, letting your customers know you “want” them to express themselves will already increase trust and give you more valuable feedback, but the real trick is to invest in real-time customer feedback technology. With this technology you are able to close the gap between agent and customers perceptions. For more help closing the perception gap sign up for our newsletter at the bottom of this page or contact us.
Good agents want to know how customers feel, being able to take customer feedback and feed it directly to your agents via real-time wallboards or other visual communications tools is a perfect way to empower your agents and drive loyalty.

3. Decrease call center hold-times

Call center hold-times almost always make the top 3 of most annoying things a call centre can subject customers to. The Customer Rage Study found that, “Although posting on the web about consumer problems has increased substantially, complainants still consider the telephone their primary channel for complaining by a margin of 11 to one over the internet (66% to 6%)”. Call back solutions, better communication and access to real time metrics all help reduce call hold times.

4. Reward customers for their feedback

When customers are emotional they tell us what we really need to know, how you reward customers for their feedback is really up to you but people’s time has a value and feedback from customers is worth a great deal to your organisation.

5. Empower your staff (happy agent image)

Employees are your biggest asset and they are the face of your organisation, agents moving job is all too common and as the amount of information agents need to perform their roles increases the costs associated with staff attrition is increasing. According to CCNG’s 2014 “US Contact Center Decision-Makers’ Guide (2014 – 7th edition)”, the mean average agent attrition rate remains at 27% in 2014, although the median has dropped very slightly to 19%. This masks a very wide spread of attrition rates: while 13% of respondents have attrition rates in excess of 50% per annum, and this year’s mean absence rate is a rather worrying 10.4%. With Optymyse it costs less than £100 / $150 a month to make your contact centre more engaging and dynamic.
Maintaining consistent service delivery while managing a constant flux of agents is an expensive and challenging prospect and in many cases all that’s needed is empowerment, better tools, better communication and a reason to come into work every day. White boards, flip charts and busy dashboards portray the wrong image.

6. Improve internal communications

Communication and transparency is key to employee satisfaction and performance, keeping customer feedback and other information for the eyes of supervisors and managers only is one sure way to make agents feel excluded and disempowered. Giving contact centre personnel access to the same level of information can often empower them to self-manage and in turn make them feel like they are making a real difference. Being part of your organisations long term plans is a sure way to gain agent trust and loyalty.

What is the ROI?

Three out of four (74%) consumers say they have spent more with a company because of a history of positive customer service experiences, similar to the past two years (75% in 2012; 73% in 2011)

In the past year, six-in-ten (60%) consumers intended to conduct a business transaction or make a purchase, but decided not to due to a poor service experience – a significant increase from
2012 (55%).

Source: 2014 American Express Global Customer Service Barometer

SJS Solutions are looking for a part-time Digital Marketing Assistant to work at our offices in Liscard, Merseyside.

The successful candidate must have a desire to help organisations to use SJS products to improve employee engagement, environments and internal communication through the use of dynamic visual communications solutions developed by SJS Solutions.

As well as generating an increase in interest in our Employee Engagement and Visual Communications products, the successful candidate will need experience in the following:

SEO Search Engine Optimisation

Content creation

Digital Marketing

AdWords

Google Analytics

Databases

MS Excel

MailChimp

CRM (MS Dynamics preferable)

Websites (Word Press)

Social Media

To apply send your CV plus your thoughts on how digital marketing should be used to drive increased interest in SJS products to: [email protected]

Flexible working hours.