Compassion is Trending in the Contact Center

Yes these are unprecedented times, we have heard that and we all agree, COVID-19 is a situation unlike any other we have faced. Tasks still need to get done, and the normal things like checking on a phone or electric bill are not so normal anymore. My question is how are you adjusting your messaging to bring compassion to the Contact Center?

This weekend I had to make an adjustment to my account with the electric company, so I called them as it was one of the ten tasks I had to take care of. Naturally I was trying to rush through it, but then I was greeted with the following message:

“Thank you for your call, many of our agents are working from home with less resources than they are accustomed to. The call quality and speed of their answers may not be exactly what you are accustomed to however our spirit of service remains intact to serve you our customers. We appreciate your understanding.”

One Message Of Compassion For The Contact Center Agents Changed Everything

Right there, in that moment it hit me. I went from thinking about the mental checklist of ten things I needed to do, to picturing the person on the other side being a human going through what we are all going through. Working from home for the first time, not having the direct resources available that we are accustomed to, dogs barking, kids running around in the background.

That was all I needed, COMPASSION for what the person on the other end is trying to do, trying to overcome obstacles to help me. I went from needing help to seeing how I could help Janet who answered my call. I started off asking how she was managing, if customers are being understanding, and engaged in real human interaction before getting my account updated. Which was the original purpose of the call.

That one message, fifteen seconds completely reframed my state of mind. Yes the world has changed, however old habits are hard to break and having a reminder that the Contact Center agent is dealing with this as well was much needed.

The Best Contact Center Agents Have Always Led With Compassion

Compassion is a trait we look for in the best Contact Center professionals, and this can become a two way street if we set ourselves up for it. Letting your customers know what you are going through proactively via chat, email, or on their calls helps strengthen your bond between your company and your customer. After all isn’t this all about relationships in any business? Creating memories that last?

Being open, being genuine, bringing compassion front and center, giving your customers perspective into what your Contact Center staff is going through are small steps that can bring long term results. How the front line employees are treated by your organization is something that people will remember long after this pandemic has passed.

I spent all of twenty five seconds getting my account updated, and several minutes on other subjects with Janet. Never before have I remembered the person’s name, or gave it much thought the next time I had to call a company I do business with. That changed for me, from now on I will be wondering how Janet and her pets are doing because we shared that moment.

Customer Experience In The Contact Center Goes Beyond The Right Tools

Many companies are scrambling on how to put the right tools in place to ensure their Contact Center experience doesn’t drop. That is important and necessary. However those tools are simply a gateway to the big picture of what can really be accomplished during this time.

There has never been a better time to have your brand ambassadors, your Contact Center agents form a real meaningful bond with your customers. Compassion is at an all time high, and people are craving human interaction. If you set your all-stars up with the right tools to be able to connect, really genuinely connect with your customers then you won’t have to worry about sending a corporate response to COVID-19. Your agents are your response.

That fifteen second message changed my mindset for not just that call but all interactions with anyone in a Contact Center. Having a focus on customer experience has always been one sided in my mind, however I realize that is now a two way street. Helping your customer understand your people, your operations and your culture is a huge part of customer experience in the Contact Center.