People love to roll their eyes at the mere mention of millennials (we’re rolling ours right now at the word ‘millennials’ even). But let’s get real.
Here’s a quick statistic. There are close to one-hundred million millennials currently in the workforce. This means they’ve probably already infiltrated your organization. Even your contact center. And guess what? They share the same frustrations as a huge group of your most difficult customers (ahem: millennials).
But don’t sound the alarm just yet. Millennial agents are the gems you didn’t even know you had.
Let us explain.
Super agents in the making
There are plenty of reasons why you want an entire army of millennial contact center agents in your corner. They’re go-getters, pro-active and tech-savvy.
This means they have a different approach to work, are up to date on new tech and understand the customer experience a lot better than you think. And – critically – just like the millennial customers they serve, they’re looking for convenience and quick solutions to make their lives easier.
How does this benefit your contact center?
Millennial agents are intensely career driven (someone has to finance those Versace sunglasses and Adidas Superstars), and as a result have a sense of purpose and drive that differentiates them from the clock-watchers just trying to get through the day.
These agents are more likely to share your vision, which can develop into intense loyalty to your brand. Plus, their technical proficiency really works in your favour. It means they’re quick adopters to new tech and require less training.
Oh, and the thing you absolutely hate about millennial customers who want immediate service now, now, now? Millennial agents are equally impatient to find solutions quickly and often think outside the box to make that happen.
So what’s the downside?
Millennial agents need stimulation and motivation to perform at their best. Your incentive game needs to be on point to keep them interested. Plus, they’re always on the lookout for growth opportunities. For this reason they don’t stay in one place for long if they don’t have room to stretch, which can wreak havoc on your attrition rates.
We feel your pain. There’s nothing more frustrating than investing time and training on someone only to see them leave after a few months.
What you can do
In a nutshell, make life simpler and give them what they need to ensure they can work efficiently. Ensure they’re completely up to speed with your processes and software and give them the tools to brush up when they want. This can be in the form of:
- training, training and more training
- internal company intranet with knowledge bases and how-to articles
- video tutorials by the handful
- company chatbots with basic answers to common questions
What this does is reduce their frustration and hurries things along so they can get on with being super agents. (Easy-to-use software won’t hurt either.)
Incentivise the bejangles out of them
Let’s be honest. These guys aren’t the savings/white picket fence/retirement annuity type. In Jerry Maguire’s famous words: show them the money! According to research published by The Institute for Employment Studies in the UK, bonuses were rated the most popular reward by contact centre staff, with almost a third of agents who responded to an industry survey choosing the financial reward above meal vouchers, discounts and gym membership.
So we know money works, right, but let your imagination run wild. Think banknote wind machines, vouchers for their favourite things (channel your inner Oprah), or even gamification – a new trend where companies add game-like mechanics to their workflow or incentive structure, which not only motivates agents but also encourages healthy competition and team morale. (That’s a whole new world of articles right there though.)
Loyalty breeds loyalty. How about rewarding contact center agents who show potential with paid courses to improve their skillsets? According to the same research, opportunities for skill development and career advancement are key to agent motivation. And let’s talk bottom line for a second. Why would anyone in their right mind want to leave if the door to a fulfilling career path was wide open?
Repeat these words: millennial agents are awesome. Treat them right and they will be the indispensable brand ambassadors you’ve always dreamed of.