Supporting Employees in Contact Centers with Bob Kobek – Insights from our Community

This guest blog post comes from Bob Kobek, President of Mobius Vendor Partners and a member of Conscious Capitalism’s Senior Leader Network.

Your organization has recently focused on employee satisfaction at call centers. How can creating a more positive work environment for employees also bolster the experience of customers and other stakeholder groups?

I could write a book on this question. This is actually four questions in one, so this is a really high-level answer to what I think is its premise.

There have been some amazing dynamics that have changed the culture of what we refer to as “call centers.” Some are technology driven, some are regulatory driven, and others are driven by global events, like — oh, a pandemic.

It was Sir Richard Branson who stated the obvious, “Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.”

Also, there is the saying, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression!”

Both true, and both seemingly trite, until you relate it to the tip of the spear of your customer interactions — the contact center.

Technology has driven a constant evolution in enhancing the customer care process. It can feed information to every silo of business (or department, segment etc.), some that are managed who are not cognizant of the true value of the results of a contact center, a.k.a. call center. Evolution because the basic premise of all call centers is built on three key ingredients (inbound or outbound):

  • the plan
  • the list
  • the human

Technology enables an agent to provide and enhance the customer experience service in the omni channel environment. The agent is more enabled to access the phone, chat, email, digital media, and other tele-communication vehicles.

Now comes the culture part — the people. And it is a pretty simple equation when you think about it — do whatever you need to do to minimize turnover. As a contact center consultant, I advise to everyone with a call center — clients or not — minimize turnover. You have heard the term “it costs five times more to gain a client than to keep one.”

Here is the math on retention based on the same premise:

From recruitment through training to dial tone (vernacular) = $8000 x W2’s = cost of turnover.

That is per year.

Invariably, there is a suit in the company that will treat a contact center like they are an orphan. Here is some guidance for you. Do what you can to help them understand what goes on in that critical, tip-of-the-spear part of the business.

Another opportunity that presents itself well when dealing with the hard and smart workers in your contact center — tell them about the mission of Conscious Capitalism, Inc. and include its topics in your regular communications. The contact center people, and all the suits, should understand and commit to the premise of Conscious Capitalism which is that your businesses operate ethically while pursuing profits.

Prior to forming Mobius Vendor Partners as a professional business process consulting firm in October of 1999, Mr. Kobek spent more than 30 years in the direct marketing industry and government. In 2007 Bob and Mobius launched CustomerCount℠, a feature-rich, cloud-based survey solution providing intuitive real-time reporting, fast turnaround on updates, and detailed and dynamic data gathering for process improvement, customer loyalty and employee experience to improve your bottom line. In 2022 Mobius launched Patients-Count, an online enterprise patient and employee experience feedback system.