Neuroscience is about understanding the brain. And obviously human brains, as a focus for how we work, learn and live. Animal brains are important too, but we will leave that to the animal experts. People are all about behaviour, and behaviour is all about the brain. Understanding the brain, is understanding behaviour. And understanding behaviour is a very, very useful and powerful tool for business. If we know what drives and motivates people we have a powerful tool in not only improving performance and profits, but also getting and keeping the best people for your contact centre.
The 3 Sensory Intelligence® Steps for Optimal Contact Centres
1. Recruit the Best-Fit Person
Contact centres are crazy, noisy, busy, smelly, target-driven and hectic! It is NOT for everyone and you need a certain kind of individual with a certain kind of BRAIN to work there. Recruit people that have medium to high sensory thresholds – in other words – they get energised and “switched-on” by this environment.
Because they love it, they will perform better and be your most sustainable and successful agent. People with low thresholds on the converse, get distracted, irritated and are affected by the space and noise. They make less calls, take more time and are more likely to treat your customer with irritation. They are prone to get stressed faster and have higher absenteeism. It really makes sense and is important to realise what you put in is what you will get out.
To learn more about our innovative recruitment solution based on sensory profiling, click here.
2. Space is Important
You can have a contact centre space that is either conducive for performance or hampers it. Three key factors to remember are:
- Air conditioners;
- Chairs; and
- I have yet to come across a contact centre where air conditioning and temperature do not pose a problem. Having an ambient temperature of between 20-22˚ is optimal for brain alertness and will help your agents to focus better and in return attend to detail and the customer.
- Chairs are always more important than desks. Agents are bound to their chairs for most of the day and work in a seated position day in and day out. A comfortable and well-designed chair will reduce fatigue and push performance. An uncomfortable, cheap chair will cause fatigue, back aches, strains, injuries and cause performance to drop.
- Headsets are the communication channel with your customer and if it is clear, precise and comfortable your agent will speak to your customer with more ease and comfort. This will allow them more head space to problem solve, think creatively and truly engage with your customer.
- The above are but 3 of 50 neuroscience principles and tick boxes to ensure your space is conducive to making your agents not only engage and work well, but maintain loyalty and job satisfaction.
3. Train for Behaviour Not Just Skill
We focus all our efforts, energy and budgets on training for product knowledge and technical skills. This while complexities are rife and the products/processes always keep on changing anyway. So we need to re-train consistently. We have access to the power of IT in knowledge management systems and e-learning platforms. We throw a massive amount of information to new agents but we do not provide them with the skills to manage the stress and pressure they often experience.
They need to be able to utilise their time and energy as much as possible and that means being resilient and in control. Teaching contact centre staff the art of self-regulation based on brain science and behaviour is a necessity. It will make them more self-aware, more in control and better team players. They will enlarge their capacity to listen to your customer and provide the service you require of them.
In the words of Richard Branson –
“Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.”