By Sharon Scheckter
Director of Service
How to provide value, grow employee happiness and increase profitability
How generous is your call center? And I'm not talking about the dollar amount of your employee holiday bonuses or 'giving it all away' to angry customers.
Encouraging a culture of value creation and generosity in your organization might have some unexpected and exciting consequences for your employees and your bottom line. Here's a look at some of the things we do at Blinds.com:
Be passionate about providing value to your customers
No customer likes to be on the phone with a call center agent that is unable to solve their problems. Empower your employees with the ability to make important decisions and take immediate action to make things right.
There are many smart ways to provide value to your customers, but it all starts with being passionate about customer satisfaction and providing amazing experiences. When your team is in alignment with these goals, the rest easily falls into place. We work hard to ensure that every customer service team member is able to tackle the day-to-day challenges that arise after a customer places a complex, custom order like window coverings.
From being pro-active in alerting customers of delivery issues or unexpected back orders to spending the time required for a deep research dive on an order status with hyper-communicative updates, we train the team extensively to do the right thing for our customers and make it an easy experience. There are, of course, moments in any business where things go wrong and customers become upset.
This means crediting back to a customer's credit card to apologize for a much-delayed order or replacing products entirely (even if they're not under warranty!) when the situation merits it. Agents do these things on their own, without management's approval in most cases, as we have trained them well and given them the power to empathetically take control of any situation.
Be generous to your community and have fun!
It's inspiring to see how your call center employees can rally behind causes they believe in! One of the most rewarding programs we have implemented at Blinds.com is our 'Pay It Forward' customer program. Perhaps it's happened to you. A customer calls in and shares a personal story of a challenge or tragedy in their family that truly touches your team. Beyond offering words of encouragement and a fantastic customer experience, what else can you offer that customer to truly make a positive impact in their world?
Our team uses the 'Pay It Forward' program to nominate customers to receive specials perks or gifts from our company within their quarterly budget. We have sent chew toys and humorous cards to customers who had to replace their blinds because of a naughty puppy.
Employees have even taken it upon themselves to collect personal funds to send money to families who have lost everything in natural disasters or to help sponsor a family movie night outing to offer an evening of normalcy for children who are struggling with an parent's illness. You can take it farther, of course, in supporting employees' favorite charities and providing nonprofit volunteer opportunities to reach an even greater slice of the world. Allow your team to take the lead on what community initiatives to champion and celebrate their successes and involvement. It will mean the world to your employees and to the people they impact.
Encourage a culture of giving within your organization
We enjoy an incredibly low turnover rate at Blinds.com (under 4% annually) in part due to a positive, collaborative work environment. Employees give to each other on a daily basis, whether through peer training, daily coaching sessions or by mentoring each other. While there is always healthy competitiveness, especially as we openly share employees' metrics and salaries with one another, this competition also drives employees reaching out to one another to share their best practices with each other.
To drive this spirit of employee giving home, our employees share weekly 'You WOW-ed Me' cards to recognize the 'little things' that they do for one another. These cards are distributed privately and are greatly cherished as they celebrate moments like 'you calmed me down after a rough call and that meant a lot to me' or 'you referred a sale to me and that really made my day' or even statements like 'your success this week inspired me to try new skills and improve as well!'
Imagine a working culture where collaboration and helpfulness thrive on all levels, there is a tremendous power in actively growing and participating in a generous call center culture. You'll love the results you see!