The Secret to Unlocking Employee and Customer Satisfaction

U.S. businessman Harry Gordon Selfridge was one of the first influential people to triumph the phrase "The customer is always right." A saying that's traced back to the late 1800s and still valued today, it posits that keeping customers happy is key. But ensuring customer happiness requires a domino effect, starting with employee satisfaction.

Good customer experience starts with good employee experience. When employees aren't happy at work, their interactions with customers suffer as a result, which can have detrimental repercussions for businesses and their reputations.

Delivering good customer service has never been more crucial. A PwC survey examining customer experience found that in the United States, even when people love companies and their products, more than half will walk away after several bad experiences, and 65 percent believe a positive experience is more influential than great advertising.

While companies must acknowledge the importance of delivering good service, they should also understand the pressure this can place on their teams. The Microsoft 2022 Work Trend Index, a study of more than 30,000 employees across 31 countries, predicted that more than 40 percent of the workforce is contemplating leaving their current jobs in the coming year. The main reason is that they feel their workloads are unreasonable.

Contact centers often have a reputation for being high-stress workplaces. Widely associated with workers being monitored electronically, having tightly controlled schedules, and taking an average of 50 calls a day, call centers can be challenging work environments if employees don't receive sufficient support.

In 2021, almost 300,000 agents were employed, with most centers located in Texas, Florida, and California. According to data from Cornell University, almost 90 percent of employees in call centers report high-stress levels. A further 50 percent of the agents said they felt emotionally drained, suffered sleep problems, and experienced burnout. Combined, these issues can be a dangerous cocktail for employee dissatisfaction.

What's more, research from Avaya found that 60 percent of agents think their companies don't always provide the technology they need to address customer service challenges, with 34 percent admitting they don't have the right data in front of them when speaking with customers. So how can call center managers help?

Giving call center agents the tools to make their jobs easier will undoubtedly lead to less stress, greater employee satisfaction, and better experiences all around. This should start with a good CRM strategy, which is the blueprint for how companies will maintain relationships between customers and customer service teams. It encompasses all the activities, strategies, and technologies needed to manage interactions with existing and prospective customers.

With a third of agents lacking the right data in front of them when speaking to customers having the right CRM for your business is key to turning this around. Consolidating data into one central location—meaning tasks can be completed more efficiently and with confidence when addressing customers—will assist employees in meeting deadlines and managing their workloads, reducing stress and granting better job satisfaction.

However, to unlock the full potential of a CRM system, it must easily integrate with other vital business applications. In doing so, companies can match the tools they need to communicate with their customers, with the tools that help them build relationships and work more effectively.

With customers prepared to leave companies after just a few bad experiences, businesses must pay attention to the impact low employee satisfaction can have on the customer experience. Businesses must invest in their employees by providing them with all the tools possible to make their jobs as efficient as possible and improve satisfaction.

Renaud Charvet is co-founder and CEO of Ringover.