Spring, to paraphrase the poet Tennyson, is the season when you can’t help but think of love – even in our cut and dried contact center world of measurables and metrics. As contact center people, we are most passionate about data, of course. And there’s no question beautiful analytics can make us giddy, but the truth is we also believe in love… In our books mind-blowing, loyalty-building customer care can only come from agents who feel passionately about the brands they represent. Creating that bond between customer care agent and a brand is part chemistry and part thoughtful planning.
Making the Magic Happen: It’s true you can’t mandate passion, commitment, and trust – but you can certainly hire for compatibility, set the stage for a successful “first date”, and create a connection from the moment a customer care agent and a brand first meet.
Begin with basic compatibility: The right agent is more than the sum of their work experience and their listen & type score. Identifying the attitudes and aptitudes that are best suited to supporting your brand will help build your ideal agent profile. Think in broad strokes about where those aptitudes can come from. Musicians, for instance, who learn by progressive mastery and have patience for walking through a process step-by-step, can make great tech support agents. Gamers, especially multiplayer enthusiasts who tend to excel at multitasking and collaborating, can really shine in logistics support. On our front, we use a proprietary behavior-profiling tool in our selection process that helps match candidates to agent profiles.
Set the stage for a great first date… um, first day: Those first few minutes are the time to create a spark, find points of connection, and paint a picture of a long and happy future together. Ritz Carlton and Southwest Airlines, respected brands renowned for progressive onboarding programs, welcome their new hires with the same enthusiasm and respect they greet customers with. That intrinsic link between agent and brand can start with something as simple as a welcome sign in the lobby making a connection between agent name and brand logo.
Make it an experience: Nothing dampens the shiny first-day enthusiasm of a new hire like a slow, painful death by PowerPoint. And it’s hard to fall in love if you’re asleep. You want new hires awake, engaged, and eager – feeling valued, welcome, and enchanted. Pump up the volume and break out glossy images, sticky stories, youtube videos, and customer testimonials to generate brand pride. Let new agents loose to do some self-directed discovery online and put into their own words the company’s brand promise. Focus first on how orientation feels – on the emotions you are generating in the room – and save the mind-numbing list of rules and detailed due diligence about policy at least until after lunch.
Love and the RFP: Making the decision to outsource for the first time can be an anxiety-laden process. Even when the cost-savings and risk management benefits are crystal clear, concerns about quality and building brand loyalty can keep you up at night. It takes a huge leap of faith to believe that someone outside your company could care about your brand and your customers as much as you do. Love for your brand can be part of a scalable outsourced solution. Analyzing RFP responses about hiring and onboarding processes can provide meaningful insight into what kind of connection you can expect between an outsourcers’ agents and your brand.
What’s your recipe for nurturing the love between your customer support crew and your brand? To learn more about Blue Ocean’s brand-loving agents and our services, contact us here.