When I recently came across a book titled I Love You More than My Dog, by Jeanne Bliss, I was intrigued. When I saw that the book was about customer service, I knew I had to read it. I haven’t finished reading yet, and haven’t had time to reflect on the big picture, but one passage has already made me stop and consider how companies today think about customer relationships.
The first premise of the customer relationship philosophy in this book is Decide to Believe. While the focus is mostly on deciding to believe in your customers, there is also some discussion about believing in your employees. Do you believe in, and trust, your employees to provide the best possible service to your customers?
For the intent of this blog, I’m always thinking about agent performance and their impact on the contact center; it is a topic likely always on the mind of contact center managers as well! Now, consider that same question in the context of your agents’ performance: Do you believe in, and trust your employees enough to provide the best possible service AND how can easy access to metrics from your contact center platforms help build that trust?
Many contact centers already provide some level of access to past contact center results. Providing your employees access to metrics in real-time, both on the contact center level as well as individual level, may offer many opportunities to build trust and to further enhance performance. Consider these possible outcomes if multiple levels of contact center metrics are available to frontline agents:
- Agents would have access to concrete performance metrics, allowing them to self-manage and make more informed decisions.
- The real-time metrics would provide an opportunity to quickly see how their performance is aligning to goals and expectations.
- Since they are “in the trenches,” agents may be able to offer additional insight about unusual or unexpected results; perhaps there was a computer glitch or a new promotion that threw everyone off for the reporting period.
- Agents may be able to share new ideas about how to look at the metrics to evaluate overall performance. Are you depending on metrics where agents have figured out how to manipulate the numbers? Are there metrics that you are not using that may be beneficial?
Of course, providing this information to employees demonstrates your commitment to them and your belief in their professional capabilities. It is certainly worth considering whether sharing real-time contact center metrics with employees may help build trust while, at the same, time enhancing the customer service they can provide.