Monday, May 14, 2018

The High Cost of Poor Workplace Culture

By Anonymous

Log into your programs, put your headset on and turn on your phone.  That first call of the day means so little to you because you take hundreds of calls a week that are exactly like the one you are about to take.  The work environment of a call center rep can make this moment worthless or worthwhile and can dictate your overall career with that company.

I work in a fairly large call center that has poor morale and very abysmal culture.  I’m not just saying that to be dramatic – we actually received a letter from the president when we started that their job is not to build morale but to provide service for our customers.  Truthfully, I didn’t know much about contact center culture until recently when a close friend of mine, a manager in a different call center, began dissecting my work complaints and dictating how I, a lowly tier one rep, should advise our management on changes.  Truthfully I haven’t taken much of it to heart because I do not see myself with this company for an extended period of time.  And this, as stated by my friend, is where the problem lies… decent and hardworking employees like me leaving companies because they do not empower or appreciate us. 

Obviously, my center has a huge turnover rate.  Since I was hired, we have taken on somewhere over a hundred new service representatives, Granted, to fill new shifts, but nonetheless people are rolling in almost daily.  Our company boasts strong customer service but honestly, we don’t track it.  We don’t have any programs, surveys or data proving our customers find our service strong.  The way we are tracked is by the number of calls we take, and the amount of time in “not ready” status, which includes break time and time doing any work related item that requires us to be off the phone.  This alone sets the precedent for a lot of my coworkers as to how they spend their days.  Most of them don’t care about call totals or not ready, because it has no impact on us.  You don’t get an award for the most calls taken or even a nod from the manager – we are simply “drones” as my peers say. 

If your center is anything like mine, your employees are miserable and constantly looking for another job.  They become frustrated with customers, management, and their coworkers.  They complain and eventually lose hope.  
Creating a positive, employee focused culture, will help shape positive attitudes, and save the company a ton of money in the process. Hiring new people isn’t cheap, nor is training them. Unhappy employees are quite expensive in the long run!
Simple things can create a sense of pride in their work and a better representative of your company on the phones.  You will have stronger service if agents enjoy coming to work and have confidence in their leaders. The customer service agent may not make decisions on strategy and execution, but they are the voice of your company. If they aren’t treated with respect and appreciation, they won’t treat customers that way.  
Every day, call center staff will decide if the next call is worthless or worthwhile.  Sadly, some in leadership are not aware of their influence in the agent's decision.
This article is provided by an anonymous customer service employee.

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