Customer Experience News & Trends

Why you should plan more happy hours

If you want your customers to have a better experience, plan the quintessential post-work happy hour for your employees.

If a drink at the local pub isn’t your team’s style, then plan a potluck lunch, break time walk-and-chat or pre-shift coffee and bagel meeting.

The important thing is to provide opportunities for employees to become friends.

Why? A recent Gallup poll found that when employees have good friends at work they are driven to do positive things for the business that they might not otherwise do.

Benefits abound

In another survey by Barbara Burke, a customer care consultant, employees were asked to identify the greatest benefits of having a friend at work. They said it:

  • makes coming to work more enjoyable (72%)
  • gives me an opportunity to help somebody else get through the day (65%)
  • gives me someone I can talk with between work duties (56%)
  • encourages me to the best person I can be (56%), and
  • cheers me up when I am down (55%).

So workplace relationships and friendships aren’t just about people being able to chat it up during breaks. Employees who get along encourage each other to do better, have a more positive impact on the customer experience and stay motivated even in tough or stressful times.

Encourage friendships

No manager can require teammates to be friends. But you certainly can help employees foster positive relationships that give them more tools to help customers.

In addition to the occasional fun event, here are a few ways customer experience leaders can foster positive workplace friendships:

  • Hand over the reins. Invite employees to take charge of training or a small project to encourage teamwork. Give them some direction, but allow them to ultimately decide how to complete the task. Then give them time and space to work together.
  • Encourage collaboration. You likely have many “subject matter experts” helping customers. Ask them to be the “go-to people” on the front line for their areas of expertise, a position in which they’ll field questions and give advice in those areas.
  • Ease up. As long as water cooler chat doesn’t involve negative talk or gossip, let employees linger a little longer to build stronger friendships.

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Take a couple minutes today and simply look out onto the production floor of your contact center. Chances are pretty great that you are seeing a diverse group of people that span across several generations.  Read more!

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