Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a measure of customer satisfaction. It first appeared in the 2003 Harvard Business Review article, The One Number You Need to Grow. Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS) was derived from NPS. It is a measure of employee satisfaction, and just like NPS, it asks one simple question: "On a scale from zero to ten, how likely is it that you would recommend our company as a place of work to a friend or acquaintance?"
In this article, we'll explore eNPS, how to avoid a major pitfall, and how to get higher eNPS scores by applying best practices in Workforce Management (WFM).
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Why should you measure eNPS?
Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS) was invented by a tech startup in San Francisco that was struggling to hire and retain top talent. They wanted to be able to detect low employee morale and do something about it before it became such a problem that people started leaving.
Does that sound familiar? According to ContactBabel, average annual contact center staff turnover was historically 20%, but since Covid-19 and the Great Resignation, that number has increased. McKinsey & Company reports that the average cost of a new agent hire is $10,000-$20,000. A well-known maxim is "happy employees make happy customers and happy customers grow your business". So monitoring eNPS and taking action to improve call center agent engagement isn't altruistic. It contributes significantly to the business's bottom line.
Learn all about employee engagement. Read and download "The Ultimate Guide to Improve Employee Engagement in the Contact Center".
How do you measure eNPS?
The calculation of the eNPS score is simple:
eNPS = Promoters (%) – Detractors (%)
The lowest possible eNPS score is −100 (i.e., everybody is a detractor), and the highest is +100 (everybody is a promoter). According to a SmartSurvey, any score above zero can be considered acceptable, while a score of between 10-30 is perceived as good. Above 50 is excellent. If the eNPS is below zero, it's time to take action to improve agent satisfaction.
Tip: How NOT to measure eNPS in your contact center
Many online survey platforms are available, e.g. Nicereply and Delighted LCC. You may also find survey functions such as Google Forms or Microsoft Forms in your company's productivity software suite. These can all be used to poll customers for NPS and employees for eNPS. But there's an important difference between the two: NPS surveys are not usually anonymous but eNPS surveys should be. And that's a big difference.
In the customer world, it's perfectly legitimate to ask for email addresses, so you can help detractors, reward supporters, or ask them to recommend your product on social media.
On the other hand, employees are unlikely to give an honest eNPS score if they reveal their identity. They may choose to quietly quit until they find another job - and by then, it's too late. For that reason, we recommended that you make eNPS surveys anonymous. For example, in Google Forms, make sure that all the options that require sign-up are unselected when measuring call center agent satisfaction.
How WFM improves eNPS
The original goal of workforce management (WFM) was to deliver on customer service goals at minimum cost with little regard for call center agent engagement. Today, well-run contact centers strive to optimize the balance between the needs of the customer, the needs of the employee, and the needs of the business. And today's WFM software applications are built to enable you to do just that.
The importance of flexibility
Call center employees increasingly expect to work shifts that fit around their personal lives. In fact, flexible working from the first day of employment is likely to become a legal requirement in the UK before long. Employers which don't provide this option will face lower eNPS scores and higher staff turnover. Conceding to every flexible working request is a recipe for disaster. But WFM applications make it possible to balance the desires of the employees with the requirements of the business.
- Enabling employee-led scheduling with techniques like shift bidding and availability setting
- Giving agents greater visibility of their work schedule in advance
- Allowing agents to swap shifts with their colleagues without the interference of a ‘manager’
- Permitting agents to manage their own time off
- Giving agents visibility into when their teammates go for breaks
>> You can read more about the importance of flexibility and how to plan for it in this blog post.
Other ways that WFM has a positive effect on eNPS
- Good forecasting practice can help reduce stress and burnout by accurately forecasting workload, then matching supply with demand
- Deliberately applying reasonable occupancy rates when calculating staffing requirements helps minimize burnout
- Real-time management enables you to quickly identify periods of understaffing and take informed corrective action before it stresses your agents - and customers
- Agents love self-service shift-bidding, shift swapping, and time off booking using their smartphones or mobile devices
The business impact of growing eNPS in the call center
62% of Call Centre Helper readers view employee satisfaction as a "very important metric". The Gallup workplace survey reports that when measuring employee engagement, top- and bottom-quartile businesses had the following differences in business outcomes:
- 81% reduction in absenteeism
- 18% reduction in turnover for high staff churn organizations (43% for low churn organizations)
- 41% increase in quality
- 10% increase in customer loyalty
- 23% increase in profitability
The key takeaways from this article are:
- Agent satisfaction has a big effect on contact center performance and customer experience
- eNPS is a powerful metric for tracking, analyzing, and growing agent satisfaction
- eNPS surveys should be anonymous
- WFM provides multiple ways to address the underlying reasons for poor eNPS and to drive it upwards
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