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.

SJS Solutions Expands Its Reach with New Data Connectors To Provide a Complete Real-Time Visual Communication Solution for Contact Centers.

Aldermaston, UK – 30 November 2015:  SJS Solutions, a global leader in visual communications products for the contact center market, has expanded it’s reach with new data connectors for Zendesk, Kayako, Cisco Unified Contact Center Express (UCCX) and Unified Contact Center Enterprise (UCCE) for the latest version of their Optymyse digital wallboard solution.

Optymyse provides a complete visual communication solution for contact centers and has the power to take any customer information and data and display it on any device in real time.  Customer data it can draw from typically includes customer feedback, ACD, CRM, agent scorecards, support ticket and call back performance and so on.

Stephen Pace, CEO of SJS Solutions Ltd, comments:  “Companies wanting to deliver a greater return on investment from their customer service teams not only need access to the right information at the right time, but, today they need to be able to view it on any device in real time. The latest version of Optymyse enables a seamless solution for companies wanting to draw any amount of customer service data from any source and display it in front of the people that need it most in the contact center.”

SJS Solutions’ Optymyse product offers a new range of data connectors plus an API that allows and unlimited amount of business intelligence, customer sentiment and customer service data to be included as part of branded screen designs capable of enhancing call centers, contact centers, helpdesk and sales environments.

SJS offers affordable pricing via SaaS or Capex pricing models, prices are available on: www.sjssolutions.com/pricing

Millennials demand more! According to Pew Research[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][i], as of Q1 2015, over one-in-three American workers are Millennials. These tech savvy individuals were born between 1980 and 2000 and are more comfortable with new technology and are more likely to embrace Unified Communications and Contact Centre technology, but only if the technology in question offers them the flexibility and collaborative qualities packaged in a visually appealing and easy to navigate manner.

Millennials have been brought up in a very visual world and their expectations are higher than the older generation, however it is often senior managers who make the purchasing decisions so could there be a mismatch between the needs of Millennials and the choices of senior managers?

As visual communications technology improves and the levels of design flexibility and feature sets previously reserved for the largest call and contact centres become available for as little as £99 per month, there are still a large percentage of IT Directors and Contact Centre Managers who only want to see simple digital screen designs containing basic call handling metrics.

Using complex, flexible software primarily for the display of the same Call Handling Metrics that were pushed to dot matrix wallboards and reader boards before some of the agents forced to use them were even born, is a missed opportunity to tap into the visual nature of Millennials.

Any visual communications solution worth investing in should be able to do more than gather data from an ACD or PBX and display call handling metrics onto a TV screen. To really engage with agents and create an environment that will attract talented individuals, TV screens should be awash with exciting information; agent anniversaries, new employee introductions, new office openings, corporate announcements and so on. They should allow customer sentiment, social media analytics or live customer feedback to be featured on screen designs which include strong branding and company values. HR and Marketing departments should be consulted to ensure brand engagement and messaging is consistent and the messages passed to agents at induction and training time is continued on a day to day basis. Good visual communication software will put the customer in control of screen designing and branding, without the need to constantly ask the manufacturer to adjust fixed templates and connect into back office systems; CRM, Helpdesk, Workforce Management and other systems should be possible with the use of simple API techniques.

According to Deloitte’s 2015 Millennial Survey[ii] The younger generation is aligned with its current leaders’ priority of “ensuring the long-term future of the organization.” Beyond this, though, Millennials would place a far greater emphasis on employee wellbeing and employee growth and development.

Giving contact centre agents a transparent view of customer sentiment, a balance of performance metrics from multiple sources and key information, will allow them to deliver great customer care, reduce stress, improve wellbeing and promote employee growth.

“When looking at their career goals, today’s Millennials are just as interested in how a business develops its people and its contribution to society as they are in its products and profits,” said Barry Salzberg, CEO of Deloitte Global.

[i] http://www.pewresearch.org/

[ii] http://www2.deloitte.com/global/en/pages/about-deloitte/articles/millennialsurvey.html[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

Many of today’s contact centre problems can be solved without large investments. It’s not always the big things that deliver the greatest returns, if executed incorrectly and left unsupported by many smaller ongoing activities, return on investment (ROI) on large projects is lengthy and can be disappointing.

So what are some of the common problems which exist in almost every call or contact centre today and how can low cost actions deliver high yield results?

High staff attrition – Let’s face it any attrition is going to cause disruption and cost money and with contact centre’s experiencing some of the highest attrition rates of any work environment everyone is being affected.

Disengaged employees – Your agents might not be planning to leave but unless you are able to motivate them to contribute towards the success of your organisation their contribution will fall short, and in cases where strong feelings of employee dissatisfaction exist, the few unhappy employees you have are more likely to sabotage the efforts of your committed agents.

Lack of focus – Having a common goal which your employees can believe in sounds like something every employee should have, but it takes clear communication, constant reminders, a mix of the right performance management metrics and customer feedback to keep your teams pulling in the right direction.

How many contact centre wallboards have you seen lately showing live Social Media Monitoring Analytics, Social Feedback or Real-Time Customer Sentiment data?

Lack of knowledge – Nothing stresses us out more than not knowing the answer to a question, especially when customers are showing signs of dissatisfaction. Anything that can be done to furnish agents with the information they need to answer customer questions has a positive impact on agent confidence and employee satisfaction. After all contact centre agents simply want customers to be happy.

There’s no one solution to any of these problems, and with the landscape changing all of the time it’s not always easy to see through the fog, thankfully the one thing which remains the same is human nature. Research has proven many times that customers want answers fast and from the first person they speak to. Ironically, this is exactly what agents want and the one thing that is guaranteed to make them feel motivated and satisfied. Both sides of the customer – agent relationship want the same thing and this simplifies things considerably. Think about it, every time a contact centre agent has a positive experience while working with a customer he or she feel fulfilled, valued and motivated to feel this way again and again, equally customer needs are met and the a mutual feeling of satisfaction and positivity occurs.

It’s up to customer care managers, IT directors and technology vendors to find the best tools to ensure each customer interaction has the very best chance of success, and to my mind this means ensuring agents know what is expected of them, what the brand they represent is all about and have access to the information they need to meet the needs of their customers, expensive? It doesn’t have to be.

Stephen Pace CEO

Stephen Pace (CEO)

Signup for our free trial: https://www.sjssolutions.com/free-trial/

Are you a contact centre customer experience specialist? If you or the organisation you work for promote the skills to deliver contact center solutions as opposed to communication solutions and you are involved with tenders where the contact centre environment, agents and customer experience are a high priority then you probably need to understand the role visual communications plays in creating a positive, engaging environment for agents and supervisors.

Selling telephony is one thing, providing the knowledge and advice companies need to create a successful, optimised call centre or contact centre environment is something completely different, and in many cases many organisation who promote these services fall short of customer expectations.

Are you missing a piece of the puzzle?

Knowledge of your core products is not always enough to win tenders. Tools which allow you to engage with customer care departments give you the edge and allow you to position yourselves as contact center experts.

If you would like to help your customers build highly effective contact centers and leave a lasting, visual impression of your expertise and professionalism consider introducing the subject of employee engagement, agent awareness and knowledge transfer to your tenders.

https://www.sjssolutions.com/reseller-signup/ (Become a reseller)
https://www.sjssolutions.com/tour/ (Find out more)

SJS Solutions Launch New Reseller Area to Make Creating Engaging Contact Center Environments Easier For Resellers

Aldermaston, UK – 6 October 2015: SJS Solutions Ltd have enhanced their Reseller Program by launching a new reseller area on their website. The new reseller area is a private area on the SJS Solutions website containing research, marketing material, technical documentation, user guides and an easy-­‐to-­‐use quotation tool. It will allow members of the SJS Reseller Program to create long lasting, visual changes enhancements to their clients contact center environments while helping them extract the best ROI from investment in contact center technology. The reseller knowledge base will give members access to the tools and research required to proactively speak to their customers and prospects about the vast array of communication, brand awareness, employee engagement and performance monitoring objectives which can be met using the SJS product range, while the automated quote tool means members can quickly respond to RFPs.

Membership to the SJS Reseller Program is free to contact center specialists once they are accepted as members. Discounts are available together with regular webinars covering how to position the Optymyse range of products, deployment, screen template ideas, new feature updates and more.

Stephen Pace, CEO of SJS Solutions Ltd, comments: “Time and again we are approached by contact center solution companies who have been asked about wallboards and need assistance with meeting tight tender deadlines. This reactive approach to what is fast becoming ‘must have’ technology can be extremely damaging to the organizations which are positioning themselves as experts in all things call and contact center.

Contact center specialists today need to have a good grasp of all aspects – internal and external – that impact the success of the contact centers they deploy or maintain. In today’s highly competitive markets, knowing your core products is not always enough to win tenders and build long term relationships with customers.”

Founded in 2001, SJS Solutions has now become a global leader in creating the most flexible, innovative and affordable digital display solutions for organizations of all sizes. Its mission is to ensure clients are quickly and easily able to deploy professional digital displays that will increase brand awareness, customer satisfaction, employee performance and engagement.
The Optymyse range provided by SJS Solutions is compatible with 90% of all PBX technology including Avaya, Cisco, ShoreTel and Unify. Our free Application Programing Interface (API) allows organizations to capture data from any source – such as CRM, ERP, Salesforce, customer feedback, issue tracking – and display the information on any device.

Joe Rittenhouse, President of Business Development, Converged Tech Professionals, comments: “SJS add significant enhancements to the vast array of new technologies available for the Contact Center market. Integrating SJS’s platform on top of most contact center solutions enhances every aspect of the environment.”

More information about becoming a member of the SJS Reseller Program can be found by following this link: https://www.sjssolutions.com/reseller-­‐signup/

Editor’s Notes:

Contacts: Julia Gibbs -­‐ [email protected]

About SJS Solutions
Founded in 2001, SJS Solutions develop innovative, affordable, easy to deploy employee engagement and communications solutions suitable for call & contact centers, help & support desks, sales teams, operational areas, driver depots and logistic offices to name a few. The SJS range of solutions are the result of over 10 years working with and listening to customers ranging from multi-­‐billion dollar health care enterprises to insurance & automotive companies with small teams of people striving to deliver the best service and customer care possible. In the last 5 years, SJS has become a global leader in creating the most flexible, easy to deploy visual communications products for companies of different sizes with varying needs. The SJS API now ensures customers can display anything, anywhere. www.sjssolutions.com

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SJS Launch Reseller Area. Copyright © SJS Solutions 2015, www.sjssolutions.com [/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

With more companies using contact centres for front-end customer engagement than ever before (it is estimated that there are between 3 and 4 million call centre workers in North America alone 1), the relationship between clients and their customers is increasingly dependent on the capacity of the call centre to respond to customer needs efficiently, informatively and professionally.

With an increasing focus today on personalised customer service, there is much scope, then, to not only take and deliver information efficiently, but also to build a brand’s relationship with its customers on an individual basis. Friendly, efficient and informative customer service will ensure long-term brand loyalty and encourage word-of-mouth recommendation. So how can contact centres improve their reputation and increase customer loyalty by building meaningful rapport with customers?

Have attitudes to customer service changed?

The most important factor is a committed, well-informed and…

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Building Trust in the Workplace. Copyright © SJS Solutions 2015, www.sjssolutions.com

People generally today are used to consuming a lot more news and content, faster, more frequently and on numerous devices.  And for the younger generation, it’s all about the ‘visual experience’.

A well thought out internal communications strategy designed to appeal to the way your different employee groups take in information will help retain your people and attract your future stars. And the technology is here to help you.

People consume information differently

We came across an interesting article in The Guardian recently, on how people across the generations consume daily news.  It looks at the differences between Millennials – 18-34 year olds – and the Boomers aged 50-65.

The article highlighted that the Millennials like to access news items a number of times a day; they are used to receiving many types of messages and images frequently and newsbrands have adapted well.

Millennials will tend to fill any spare time during the day finding out what the latest news is or checking their social media updates.  Boomers, on the other hand, will tend to have more set times when they like to check news.

So, what does this mean for companies that use TV screens and other devices to transfer knowledge, information and data to their employees?

Getting the balance right is key

We believe wallboards need to inform, inspire and instruct.  Getting this balance is key – aiming to provide a mix of vital information – ‘need to know’ as well as ‘nice to know’.  Developing and maintaining this mix will help you appeal to a broader audience and deliver far better results.

But it’s not just about content – your designs need to look visually appealing too, be consistent with the brand values of the company and be available on different platforms.  Using traditional “data only” layouts are guaranteed to switch off your agents and employees.

Wallboard content needs to be well thought out and form part of an on-going internal communications strategy.  It is not just about providing the important information people need but creating an environment that delights and surprises people at all levels of the company.

Wallboards need to be visually appealing

It is estimated that we, as consumers, are exposed to about 5000 images or adverts a day, but only 12 of them will be remembered.  The challenge to get your attention today is huge.

Millennials make up the majority on highly visual social sites such as Instagram.  According to Sprout Social, 53% of users are between the ages of 18-29.

With the constant bombardment of images and data everywhere, it is difficult for companies to create the balance between engaging employees by giving them a good experience and not pushing too much at them.

It is important to think about the next generation now

The 18-29 year old users on Instagram, as well as the younger generation still at school, expect everything to be fast, relevant and accessible on the device of their choice – they haven’t known anything else.

Smart companies will be adjusting their communication strategies now – to cater for the current as well as the next generation of employees.  They need to ensure their technology is fit for purpose to meet the internal communication objectives and provide the sort of instant access to knowledge younger people need to perform at their best.

Wallboard technology has come a long way

Wallboard technology has come a long way in the last few years and last year saw the launch of the 5th generation of the Optymyse Visual Communications Solution, a multi-platform solution capable of displaying engaging designs via flat screen TVs, mobile devices and agent desktops.  Optymyse allows companies to quickly and easily tailor communications to specific groups of people, making content highly relevant and visually appealing.

The way we communicate is constantly evolving and modern contact centres and managers using out-dated visual communications will get increasingly frustrated that the technology isn’t doing what it needs to do.

When used properly, alongside a well thought out internal communications strategy that is designed to appeal to all employee groups and the way they work, wallboards can provide very quick returns on investment – boosting morale, improving performance as well as saving time and money.