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Wednesday, September 20, 2017


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The rise to prominence of employee engagement in today’s contact center industry. As a reminder, 82 percent of participants in Saddletree Research’s recent survey of end-users ranked employee engagement as a highly important component of their contact center operational strategy.

The survey results are representative of the U.S. contact center population with a 95 percent confidence level and a margin of error of 3.6 points.

As promised, this post will look specifically at some of the solutions that will address the changing requirements of an effective employee engagement strategy. At the top of the list is workforce management software.

It’s fairly well known that one of the dominant characteristics of this youngest generation of workers, the Millennial generation, is a desire to maintain a work/life balance. In fact, a 2016 study by Deloitte revealed that Millennial workers rate a good work/life balance at the top of the list of importance when choosing a job.1 This could mean offering these workers flexible work hours, job sharing, remote working and other perks that may challenge today’s workforce managers.

The Saddletree 2017 survey indicates that the contact center industry is taking this industry change quite seriously. One such indicator, illustrated in Figure 1 below, is the fact that 19 percent of the industry will be upgrading or replacing their workforce management software during 2018, likely in preparation for the changes that lie ahead.

Workforce Management Status 2018_Figure 1_Sept 2017.jpg

The data indicates that while the majority of the workforce management installed base will remain stable through 2018, a large percentage will be actively searching for a replacement or evaluating potential replacements. If you refer to my August 2017 blog post, you’ll see that 88 percent of the U.S. contact center industry indicated that they will definitely make changes to accommodate millennial workers, or are open to the idea of making changes as necessary.

Another solution that is poised for a major breakthrough before the end of 2018 is community software for employees. Literally dozens of publicly available surveys have concluded that Millennials would rather work in groups and prefer to have their co-workers weigh in on work decisions. They also seek the advice of their peers when faced with work challenges.

As a result, such digital communications channels as communities and chat boards will continue to increase in importance in the workplace.

Figure 2 below illustrates the status of employee communities and chat boards in the U.S. contact center industry today and indicates intentions toward adopting technologies that support collaboration and employee engagement in the future.

Employee Communities Chatboard Adoption_Figure 2_Sept 2017.jpg

As the figure above illustrates, 53 percent of U.S. contact centers are using either employee communities or employee chat boards, or a combination of both. An additional 24 percent of contact centers intend to deploy either communities or chats before the end of 2018.

This data just scratches the surface when it comes to the inevitable changes anticipated for the contemporary contact center. For planning purposes, the importance of solutions that support employee engagement in the customer experience industry cannot be overestimated.

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