27 May Behavioural agility – the new silver bullet for contact centres
Frontline employees have always needed to be highly resilient and agile enough to quickly transition from one challenging call to be fully present on the next, but now we’re asking more of them than ever – and what are they getting in return?
The ‘contact centre’, ‘call centre’, ‘national sales centre’, ‘hub’, ‘club’ or the even the ‘customer experience centre’ are recognised as the key channel for customer engagement, and frontline staff – agents and team leaders the critical link in developing deepening customer relationships.
In our recent competition to tell us about your ‘worst call ever’ the responses we received painted a pretty grim view of the highly stressful and emotionally charged calls our agents and team leaders are dealing with on a daily basis. And in the main they all do a pretty great job of it despite having had, in most cases, little to no real customer service training, let alone anything specifically designed to deal with the pressure of life in a modern customer contact centre environment. Skills such as conflict resolution and advanced communication are lacking in most cases, never mind any development focussed on mindfulness techniques, stress reduction and emotional wellbeing.
Our research tells us that 90% of CEO’s have customer engagement at the very top of their agenda, yet there is little investment in developing the skills of the people who live and breathe customer engagement each and every day.
Too often an agent will have a good or a bad day depending on who they speak to or interact with. Behavioural agility which can be learned and developed provides frontline employees with the ability to exert more control over their reactions to, and interpretations of the calls they make or receive during the course of their day.
Business is rapidly changing. The world of work is shifting at a pace none of us has ever seen before – the idea of ‘change’ has traditionally equalled ‘stress’ for most people, yet new psychological research is discovering that as human beings we are actually at our happiest when we are growing and evolving. Coupled with this, the research shows that things we are most proud of are the hard experiences where we have pushed through to achieve something we felt was just out of reach.
The key to much of this is the stories we tell ourselves and learning to understand our own explanation style and how we can use it to be more resilient; learning to manage negative emotions and to diffuse from our thoughts and exhibit considered and constructive responses.
Take a look at our science-science behavioural agility workshop where learned emotional intelligence knowledge is used to equip frontline employees with the ability to transition seamlessly between calls, tasks work and life.
For further information or to discuss the unique challenges facing your team, email Ruth on firstname.lastname@example.org