Customer loyalty creates staying power for your call center. Building a connection with your customer base gives you momentum for your business especially when you need it. As you know, there are ‘those’ weeks, due to barriers beyond your control, i.e. weather, contagious illnesses on your floor, etc., that exacerbate your already mounting problems.
What is being described here is no ‘get rich quick’ scheme, meaning, establishing and maintaining loyalty is an ongoing process. That process begins with you! “Emotion is the biggest ‘lever’ that companies must pull in order to improve experience, because emotion is a key driver of loyalty,” says Megan Burns, Forrester analyst and author of Forrester’s 2015 Customer Experience report.
How do your agents experience you? Are you likable? Are they loyal to you?
As a leader (supervisor, manager or team leader), you have the burden of being all-in. Do you really know what is meant by “all-in?”?
Leading your call center by being a model of what you require is a start. It is easy to talk a good game, but to live it out is another story altogether. As you lead, you must be aware of your colleagues, superiors and subordinates.
Here’s looking at you, Kid!
Not all at the same time, of course. Let’s put it another way, shall we? If you signed up to be in a play at your community theater, would you expect only to show up on opening night? Of course not! After you audition and earn the role, you spend a lot of time memorizing the script. And, you attend rehearsals, including dress rehearsals BEFORE opening night. In other words, there’s much preparation that goes into a performance, an even more work into an award-winning performance.
An award-winning performance is required of you as a call center leader.
As you connect with your colleagues, superiors and subordinates, you seek opportunities to grow the business. After all, that’s why you are there. There are many ways to grow the business. For simplicity, the business is grown from the inside-out and the outside-in.
To grow your call center business, growing it from the inside-out requires taking an inventory of where your own loyalties lie.
- "Am I loyal to a paycheck or do I love my job?”
- “Am I emotionally connected here, or am I going through the motions?”
Easy enough, right? Oh, but hard to support sometimes, huh? Let’s be honest, the call center business is a tough business. Are there going to be days when you wished you had just stayed in bed? Absolutely. No one is disputing that there are brutal days that causes the strongest leaders everywhere to question their loyalties. But, overall, it is critical to the call center’s success and your own success to gauge your loyalty consciously, from time to time, so that you don’t burn out and burn up the relationships you have built from the inside-out.
The loyalty you build from the outside-in is based upon customer responses to your call center service.
Customer loyalty is dependent on how connected your customers are to your agents, pure and simple. Now, you can say that angry customers are dialing in because they have problems or complaints, which is true. But, they stay on the line with your agents because your agents have pleasant, inviting tones and positive, professional attitudes that keep your customers’ hopes and loyalties alive toward finding satisfying solutions. And, your agents are pleasant, inviting, positive and professional because you are. The customers like your agents, because they like their jobs. And they like their jobs because they like you. They like you because you are loyal. You are loyal to the company and you are loyal to your call center.
You have to understand that your call center is a living organism. Your call center does not exist in a vacuum or on a petri dish. As if the call center business isn’t challenging enough, it is very easy to get tunnel vision when you don’t actually see your customers. Your agents listen to them; the customers don’t walk through the front door for a face-to-face interaction. Therefore, loyalty starts on the inside. It begins in your gut, Mr. or Ms. Supervisor.
Supervisor, where do your loyalties lie?
How can you expect your agents and managers to be loyal if it is obvious that you are not?
In summary, engage your agents with emotion. Emotion wins over loyalty. Once you have established a structure of your organization that is sound, back off. Allow your managers to grow into future supervisors by allowing them to manage the structure you have established. Let them become the disciplinarians. This idea takes time, months, to develop. Once it does and as you ‘back off,’ you focus on managing your managers and building loyalty with ‘your’ customers, your agents.?
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To Your Success!?