Ad Image

Can Customer Service Organizations Lead the Way to a 4 Day Workweek?

Can Customer Service Organizations Lead the Way to a 4 Day Workweek

Can Customer Service Organizations Lead the Way to a 4 Day Workweek

As part of Solutions Review’s Contributed Content Series—a collection of contributed columns written by industry experts in maturing software categories—Mario Matulich, the President of Customer Management Practice, explores the concept of customer service organizations potentially leading the way toward a 4-day work week.

The movement towards shortening weekly working hours continues gaining momentum as many burnt-out customer service agents opt for part-time work and more flexible schedules. In addition, several recent studies have shown the benefits of switching to four-day work weeks. Not only have agents’ health, relationships, and even finances improved, but data also confirm a productivity improvement. 

While the attraction to the concept is clear for employees, employers and consumers may already wonder how the customer service industry will be impacted by call agents conducting business from home instead of a call center, let alone with reduced hours during the week.  

Effective customer service is not a Monday to Friday, 9-5 job. To excel and provide the best experience, customer service organizations must be ready to service their customers 24 hours, seven days a week, regardless of traditional business hours. A recent Hubspot report showed that 82 percent of customers expect exceptional customer service and instantaneous responses. This is a tall ask to meet during a regular workweek without implementing overtime. As one of the most demanding industries, customer service is the perfect leader to show off how to successfully manage the shift to a 4-day workweek. But with such heavy needs, how is allowing a flexible or shortened employee schedule even possible? 

Implementing automated customer service support is a significant factor in providing uninterrupted customer service. While many companies were at the beginning of their journey to invest in the proper technology stack to provide a smooth automated process at the on-set of COVID, they were forced to embrace a digital transformation to continue providing excellent customer service as call centers were temporarily, and some indefinitely shut down and in need of a solution.  

While COVID threw a significant fork in the road for customer service centers that weren’t quite ready to quickly implement new technologies, being forced to adapt pushed the industry to evolve in the right direction. While it may initially seem counterintuitive to decrease the human touch in the customer service cycle, implementing automated touchpoints gave companies the potential to meet customer needs in the fast and efficient manner they demand, even during uncertain times.  

The right tech stack for a company’s customer service center can alleviate some of the pressure agents are challenged with during the customer service cycle. For example, deploying various AI-powered self-service tools, like recently advanced chatbot technology that can easily handle getting information for intake forms, is a necessary first step to providing a good customer service experience. Then using this information, agents are given the ability and empowered to focus on higher-level tasks that offer the best solutions for their customer’s issues.

Additionally, enabling customer service agents to focus their talent on these next-level tasks allows them to showcase their value and work towards promotion while also increasing their work-life balance without disrupting service. Also adding to customer service agents’ ability to perform better is that working fewer hours or having the flexibility to work from home has been proven beneficial to their health in numerous ways. By allowing agents the opportunity to put the headset down, they can step away, relax and destress.

A 4-day workweek schedule structure will reduce anxiety, promote better sleep, and provide ample time needed to exercise, spend time with family, or pursue hobbies and interests, leaving agents more fulfilled outside the workplace. In turn, happier agents outside the office will evoke superior service rather than the disillusion of a burnt-out worker. An agent with a positive mindset will more likely provide a remarkable service experience.

According to CMP Research’s 5 Findings on Agent Experience in a Flexible World, a positive agent experience leads to a positive customer experience: 59 percent of satisfied agents overperform on CSAT versus only 46 percent of agents not confident in their current role. After all, the link between a happy customer service agent and a happy customer is undeniable. 

However, a remaining concern is how working fewer hours during the week adds another layer of disconnection between managers and teammates. While it challenges managers to be creative with team-building tactics, it’s important to note that workplace revolution leads to happier employees. According to the same CMP report referenced earlier, satisfied agents are 2.5 times as likely to stay in their current role than their unhappy counterparts, allowing agents to be long-term employees and encouraging long-term relationships among teammates.  

Based on the evidence found in CMP’s report, the answer seems simple. Flexibility is the future of customer service work—agents want it and want it in different permutations. It’s indisputable that the four-day workweek will help engage customer service employees and help customer service organizations deliver exceptional customer service, but will 2023 be the year the masses adopt it? We’ll have to wait and see.

Download Link to CRM Buyer's Guide

Share This

Related Posts