Make Sure Your Contact Center Agents Know You Love Them - Calabrio
Workforce Management
Find More Great Content

Make Sure Your Contact Center Agents Know You Love Them

Are you looking for more ways to increase your contact center agent appreciation? A fun way to show your agents you love them is by using the five love languages. In his 1995 book, “The Five Love Languages,” relationship guru, Gary Chapman, outlines the five ways to express and experience love.

These “love languages” include receiving gifts, quality time, words of affirmation, acts of service (devotion), and physical touch. While using love languages is helpful for relationships, it can also be a great way to make sure your agents know that you love and appreciate them. Let’s explore some ways to use “The Five Love Languages” to support your team.

How The Five Love Languages Work

Chapman uses the analogy of language for his theory because a breakdown in communication happens when a couple’s love languages are mismatched. One person sometimes just simply can’t understand what the other person is saying. An example of this is a wife setting aside quiet time with her husband every day because her love language is quality time. However, her husband doesn’t view this as an act of his love language, which is acts of service.

Instead of sitting with the disconnect, his wife could mow the lawn for him to show appreciation. This would relate to his love language, sending a message of appreciation to him. It’s natural for people to give love in the way they prefer to receive it (their own love language). Chapman theorizes that better communication occurs when a person demonstrates caring to their partner in the love language the recipient understands.
These five ways people speak and understand emotional love actually apply to any type of relationship, including:

  • Parents and children
  • Friends
  • Co-workers
  • Managers and employees

They can also apply to your relationships with your contact center agents.

Using the Five Love Languages in Your Contact Center

Now that you understand how love languages work, you may wonder how to apply them. Thankfully, we connected with some of the people we love, our customers, to come up with some tried-and-tested tips. Let’s explore some ways to use each of the love languages to improve company culture by making sure your agents know you love them:

1. Receiving Gifts

This love language is usually the easiest one to understand. Gifts, as visible symbols of love or appreciation, tell the recipient someone was thinking of them and values them. These small details can lead to greater job satisfaction.

For your call center team, gift-giving can take the form of rewards, incentives, or contests that recognize top performance. Gifts don’t necessarily have to be expensive. Sometimes lower-cost, creative, and more frequent gifts are more meaningful. Some ways you can give gifts to your call center agents include:

  • Give each month’s top performer a reserved parking spot or additional time off.
  • Send gift certificates for going above and beyond.
  • One customer offers physical gifts as recognition for those who are part of the Quality Assurance Top 100 club (for those who are gift oriented).
  • Have a manager cover the phone while the agent takes a coffee break.
  • Give agents more schedule flexibility or perhaps even the option to work from home.

2. QUALITY TIME

In the love language world, quality time means giving the other person your undivided attention. It’s more than just spending time together.

When it comes to contact centers, we asked our customers how they spend quality time with their agents. They said it was to add quality time incentives when they could carve out the time for it. Some ideas that have worked in their contact centers are as follows:

  • Connect one-on-one with each contact center agent. Find out what motivates them and what’s the most interesting thing about them.
  • Provide ongoing and one-on-one coaching, hard and soft skills development, and feedback to each agent to enhance their strengths. Performance coaching tools are now more data-driven and can help you tailor training to their exact skills needs.
  • Have managers make it clear that they’re focusing on their agents. Have them put their phone down (or even turn it off) in one-on-one sessions.
  • Help each agent map a path to their ideal career.
  • Help each agent understand how to apply their professional interests to their current or desired role.

These ideas can help foster happy employees and an even greater healthy work environment.

3. WORDS OF AFFIRMATION

Words of affirmation as a love language refer to “words that build up others.” These verbal compliments go a long way when it comes to motivating and keeping increasing your contact center employee engagement. The key is to keep it specific and straightforward. A few recognition ideas that include words of affirmation are below:

  • Privately compliment agents on specific tasks or situations they handled well.
  • Verbally acknowledge agents for superior work in front of their peers, the executive leadership team, or the entire company.
  • Arrange monthly reflection sessions where workers pass on their appreciation to the best performer with incentives.
  • Introduce a “kudos board” where everyone adds positive feedback for each other for all to see.
  • Praise specific agents via social media, and in corporate and customer newsletters.
  • Send physical or digital thank-you cards.

These small additions are a great way to give praise to hard workers throughout the entire organization.

4. ACTS OF SERVICE

When it comes to love languages, acts of service are things you know your partner would like you to do. These are things that require thought, planning, time, effort, and energy. To your contact center agents, acts of service could be those things you can do to make their jobs easier. Here are a few ways to increase agent satisfaction through acts of service:

  • Take time to identify policies/procedures that make work more complicated and rethink those processes.
  • One customer said, “take regular feedback/reviews from agents and supervisors on how you can make your processes better.”
  • Schedule regular questionnaires to gauge what their agents would want help with.
  • Continually evaluate your tech solutions to better serve the agent’s role. Watch out for software that is slowing them down and frustrating them.
  • Simplify their workflows.
  • Find ways to let them stop doing what’s no longer necessary, meaningful, or relevant.

By removing some stress from your agent’s workload, they can deliver a better customer experience to all. This can even help reduce burnout in the contact center.

5. PHYSICAL TOUCH

Physical touch as a love language is fairly straightforward. But it’s something you want to do carefully in the corporate and contact center world. This can look like the following:

  • High fives
  • Fist bumps
  • Back Pats

Done right, research shows physical contact can be part of a healthy workplace. It can even make employees happier and more productive. But no matter how well-intentioned, some agents may not be receptive to it. You’ll have to judge for yourself.

A great way to gauge employees’ willingness to receive positive physical touch is to send a survey. That way, there is less room for uncertainty, and more opportunities to show recognition and support. As hybrid work becomes the norm for contact center working models, look to virtual high-fives in team meetings to show that extra support and appreciation.

Show Greater Contact Center Agent Appreciation

At this point, you might wonder how you can possibly determine the right love language to strengthen your contact center agent appreciation. For future reference, you do it by observing the way they express appreciation to others. Then, you can analyze what they complain about, and what they request from their manager most often.

The good news is that —you don’t have to. By actively and consistently communicating your “love” via all five love languages, you can show appreciation to each of your contact center agents in a way they’ll understand. Looking for more ways to improve agent wellbeing within your workforce? Download the Calabrio Agent Wellbeing Report to learn more.

Dave Hoekstra has spent his entire professional career in customer service, but it wasn’t until he found WFM that he found his true passion. With over 20 years in WFM, Dave has gained insight into the real world challenges of working in today’s customer service. He is one of the few people who truly gets excited when someone wants to talk about Real Time Adherence or Net Staffing reports.
Recent Posts

Start typing and press Enter to search

People talking with their hands over coffee
Send this to a friend