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3 Ways to Protect your Brand Experience during Pressing Labor Shortages

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So much has been made about the Great Resignation that it appears to have become part of our reality. But is that true? Any time we see a shift in business practices, it often shines a light on an age-old problem, rather than being a new trend. Bad labor practices brought about unions. Strong desire to be more efficient strengthened the use of technology. Rising labor costs drove advancements towards offshoring, outsourcing and then artificial intelligence.

Yet, take a step back and evaluate why so many left secure jobs. There are many reasons given – low pay, frustration, long hours, bad bosses. Organizations that have a high tolerance for internal negative cultures are paying a price now as employees express their dissatisfaction. The good news is that its repairable. Even better news is taking steps to improve internal structures will pay off in unexpected ways.

Here are three strategies that can be utilized today to ensure your customers have a positive brand experience regardless of the employment climate:

Create an Internal Brand

People crave a sense of belonging. They aren’t just looking for a paycheck – they want work that matters. A mission. This is especially true with younger workers who watched their parents labor long hours for little return. The choice to create an internal brand unifies a team to do more because they feel like they are part of a bigger purpose. In a customer service or inside sales department arena, this can easily be done using virtual agent training methods.

Your brand, and the experience associated with it, are how your customers and employees grade you. There are multiple platforms dedicated to publicizing this grade based on an individual’s interaction. When you focus on reminding your employees why they are important, the result will be a strong advocate for your organization.

When creating an internal brand, think of your employees as Brand Ambassadors. Loyal employees provide more than productivity. They innovate, solve problems, provide new ideas and ensure a positive culture. Giving team members a sense of ownership, a mission to fulfill, shapes the way they serve customers and makes it easier to recruit good talent. Dedicated team members deliver a ROI on your customer experience because agents will LIVE your brand.

In his TED Talk, Simon Sinek says “People don’t buy WHAT you do, they buy WHY you do it.” Bringing an employee’s purpose and passion together with your company vision and mission will build a stronger brand, inside and out.

Provide Employees with Meaningful Work

There are positions within all organizations that have a higher burnout rate. Often working in customer service and dealing with customers can be one of those positions. The unfortunate reality is that customers call, text, and connect via live chat, when they are frustrated and unhappy, not when they are thrilled with your service. Outsourcing some or all of these roles gives you increased flexibility, takes the pressure off your team, and creates an agile workforce.

The right partner can seamlessly integrate customer service into your organization, learning the culture, brand and support aspects of the job. Another way to support customer experiences is to have a solid experience digital technology strategy or implement a self-service strategy.

Depending upon the personality of the customer, automation can often alleviate frustration quickly, is available 24 x 7 and allows those who want to rapidly receive an answer to feel gratified. Adding digital technology combined with live agents is the best way to create an agile customer service agents.

Partnering with Humach, whether to provide supplemental support or technology improvements, will improve your organization’s ability to better utilize talent and balance workload during high peak times of the day or week. Bringing in a partner improves the internal work of your employees while also providing work to people who truly enjoy working with external customers and are well-trained in handling even the most difficult client interactions.

Respond to Social Media

Hashtags like “#iquitmyjobtoday” and “#iquitmyjob” have been trending for months. The social aspect of the Great Resignation is so prevalent that people create “Quit-Toks” to share as they quit their jobs live. It is easy for employers to ignore negative social media posts as chatter that will go away. The reality is that these conversations can snowball, particularly in light of the influencer culture of the various platforms. Even more important is organizations can learn some truths about how employees and customers perceive their brand.

Social media is where you will find how others perceived their experience, both internally and externally. Addressing these issues, when appropriate, in a calm, positive manner is important. Acting on those posts that shine a light on real problems is a must. The reality is your customers will have a preconceived notion about your brand, and the type of experience they are apt to encounter, based on social media. Whether true or not, the preconception is still there.

To combat the influence bad social posts may have, be as open as possible about how you are addressing challenges. Treating employees as Brand Ambassadors can go a long way to improving the external perception of your organization. Changing how an organization utilizes social media to showcase internal positive culture provides authentic insight into the organization without having to take to task any specifics or negativity. This will improve the brand experience for customers as well as potential future employees.

There is interesting, and potentially even good news regarding the current labor environment. According to Inc. magazine, 72% of workers regret resigning, primarily because their new places of employment were not what they expected. The good news is that by focusing on improvement of your internal brand and providing meaningful work you can both hire and retain customer service agents.

When team members positively impacting customers, it grows your brand, and is a recipe for success. Finally, choosing a partner capable of aligning with your business objectives will expedite the positive aspects. The Great Resignation is an opportunity for organizations to focus internally on constructive changes, and move toward a more effective, positive brand experience.

 

For over 30 years, it’s been our mission to provide call center services that transform brands, support teams, and grow businesses. We’re here to answer all your questions and tell you about your options so that you can confidently decide if outsourcing is right for you. Ready to learn more? Contact the experts at Humach today!

 

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