Besides those aspects which customers believe important for a good experience with customer service, I also looked at what employees believe important in order to gain satisfaction with their work within customer service. In much the same way as CCC Quality for customers, I have also identified a number of new dimensions for CCC Job Quality which were not included in previous employee satisfaction surveys.
Although there has been extensive research on employee satisfaction, I still felt there are to be aspects missing from the standardly available surveys. I found them to lie mainly within the learning capacity of an organization and the degree to which customers and employees feel involved in this process. The focus groups proved my gut feeling to be true and it was further confirmed by the quantitative survey.
In the end, my research showed a total of 12 dimensions to play a role in creating good job quality in the employees’ view:
1. Opportunity and challenge – challenges at work
2. Role ambiguity – clarity of tasks and responsibilities
3. Role conflict – no conflicting interests, think in terms of conflicts between CSat and steering of telephony time
4. Superior and feedback – support from superiors and sufficient coaching and feedback
5. Atmosphere – atmosphere within the department
6. Empowerment – degree of own responsibility felt and allowed
7. Enjoying the work – pleasure at work
8. Ease of tools – the ease with which employee tools can be used
9. Integrity – integrity of the organization (honesty towards customers and employees)
10. Learning from customers – the idea that the organization takes action on customer signals
11. Learning from employees – active involvement in continuous improvement
12. Information sharing – the sharing of information between departments and within the CCC
The final 3 dimensions are particularly interesting. They have not previously been identified in research, yet they can help the CCC to take a quantum leap forward. They are therefore 3 dimensions which play a prominent role within Customer Signals Management. Let me briefly explain them.
Learning from customers. This dimension concerns the idea held by employees that action is actually taken on the signals received by the organization from customers. For those employees who have continuous contact with customers in particular, it is important that they feel that the customers are heard, in order that they do not continually receive the same questions, comments or complaints, without being able to rectify the situation.
Learning from employees. This dimension concerns the idea held by employees that they are actively involved in improving the services of the organization. Not only that their opinion is requested regarding improvements, but also whether they feel that serious action is taken and that they themselves play a role in the process. Once again, employees who have customer contact are an extremely valuable source of information which is not used actively enough by organizations. This is a missed opportunity, both in the creation of committed employees and the collection of smart ideas to improve services and thereby to improve the customer experience and even save costs.
Information sharing. This is a dual dimension. On the one hand, the sharing of information between customer service and other departments of the organization, and on the other the sharing of information within the CCC. This of course concerns the fact that the CCC is ‘troubled’ by marketing campaigns for example, but also that the CCC can initiate much more contact with other departments in order to help them improve their customer services.
The research showed that the above-mentioned three dimensions required the greatest attention among all participating organizations. This is understandable, due to most contact centers still focusing greatly on the more operational aspects of their work, yet these three dimensions can enable the CCC to take the quantum leap above and beyond operations alone.
This also represents the greatest opportunity for the contact center to position itself as the organization’s driving force in the shift towards customer centricity. Based on its knowledge of the customer, the contact center can initiate a crucial role in moving the organization forward, in concretization and realization of a customer-centric organization.