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Measuring Agent Satisfaction: Why E-Sat Should Be a KPI in Your Contact Center

Published: September 9, 2014 | By: Greg Levin

If you are a contact center director, manager or supervisor, you most likely value your agents. You most likely strive to implement programs and incentives to keep agents engaged and happy. You most likely even smile at agents when you see them – unless, of course, they are out of adherence.

Yet you most likely don’t have Employee Satisfaction (E-Sat) listed among the key performance indicators (KPIs) in your contact center.

This doesn’t make you a bad person. But it could make for a bad contact center.

Without a formal process in place for measuring employee sentiment and engagement, you are merely left to assume that the folks who seem to be smiling when interacting with your valued customers are actually content. In reality, they could be planning a violent coup.

And it’s no secret that unhappy agents lead to unhappy customers. Unhappy agents also lead to high turnover, which costs tons of money and leads to unhappy executives, who then make you unhappy.

All this can be avoided – or at least kept in check – by making E-Sat a KPI in your contact center.

E-Sat in Action

The best contact centers do more than just give lip service to E-Sat. Rather, they regularly measure it – as often as every quarter – using a comprehensive survey tool. They also keep a close eye on agent sentiment in between those formal surveys to make sure a mutiny isn’t in the works.

These centers’ surveys are designed to gauge not only traditional employee satisfaction, but also employee engagement. Engagement is satisfaction on steroids. Having an engagement component built into your E-Sat survey helps to identify which agents would not only help to put out a fire in the contact center but also run through the flames to save you and their employee manual.

It’s best to use a third-party surveying specialist to design and implement your E-Sat survey to ensure that the right questions are asked in the right ways, as well as to help foster a sense of privacy/anonymity, thus increasing the chances that agents will respond in a frank and honest matter. Surveying specialists can also help a contact center evaluate results, pinpoint key trends, and suggest actions to take based on the findings – such as hiring bodyguards for the supervisors.

Naturally, every contact center would love to achieve a 100% E-Sat rate, but that’s about as likely as a home agent bathing every day. As with C-Sat, anything in the 80%-90% range for E-Sat is impressive – and feasible, particularly if you incorporate into the survey process threats of physical harm for low ratings by staff.

If E-Sat isn’t already on your contact center’s list of critical metrics, add it ASAP. Bump Average Handle Time off the roster to make room. And when it comes to measuring E-Sat, don’t just go through the motions, or you’ll likely find that you have a bunch of agents doing the same.

And when that happens, your customers may also go through some motions – like moving their account to your competitor.


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