Now Reading
What the ‘Great Resignation’ means for CX careers

360 Magazine 
in Print

BUY NOW

What the ‘Great Resignation’ means for CX careers

CX careers great resignation

A marketing professional gets tired of trying to build brand awareness and goes back to school to study art.

A vice-president of sales doesn’t like trying to close deals over a video call and leaves to launch his own startup instead.

A customer service manager, perhaps pushed by angry customers just a little too far — opts to leave the workforce entirely and spend more time looking after his children.

These could all be examples of what’s been called the ‘Great Resignation’ as business professionals leave jobs or switch careers amid the pandemic.  According to the most recent statistics released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor earlier this month, 4.5 million people voluntarily left their positions in November. This has been described as an all-time high exodus of the non-farm workforce. 

It’s clear that the Great Resignation will create challenges for senior leaders and HR departments. What’s less clear is whether it will make difficult (or easier?) to find those interested in customer experience (CX) roles — and how it will affect their ability to collaborate with other parts of the business.

According to Kate Baird, director of CX Talent in the U.K., the pent-up frustrations of those who have soldiered on during COVID-19 are becoming more visible.

We are seeing lots of candidates from different sectors coming to us now who are looking for new jobs because employers have abused the wfh situation by expecting staff to be almost permanently available and working,” Baird told 360 Magazine. “With no clear end in sight and a lot of managers seeming to have learned bad new habits, people are saying they can’t work in this way forever and so they are acting on dissatisfaction and some are even resigning before they secure new roles.”

Daniel Rodriguez, CMO of Simplr, said customer service and support teams have been hit particularly hard by the wave of resignations, in part because shifting to digital channels has given customers more power. This has been exacerbated by unprecedented amounts of online orders mixed with shipping delays and supply chain issues.

“Service and support teams have always had high churn rates across the department, so for many people, the job itself isn’t the most desirable for long-term placement,” he said. “However, companies must still provide competitive benefits and salary, and recognize that CX teams need to be treated like adults when it comes to managing their own time, especially with remote work. Outdated service and support centers need to do away with draconian policies around logging in and logging off for workers’ lunch and other breaks.”

It’s not just the workload and supply chain issues, however. As part of its annual National Employee Journal Survey, Chicago, Illinois-based HR software vendor Evive found triggers included less managerial support (cited by 15 per cent), lost institutional knowledge (14 per cent) and childcare/eldercare issues. Overall, 71 per cent of employers said employee resignations is having an impact on their business, and they also cited struggles with increased hiring and training costs.

“Employers need to listen to their employees and respond to their needs,” said Elisabeth Duncan, Evive’s vice-president of human resources, whose duties have included hiring customer service reps to support customer success and account management. “By creating an empathetic workplace, employees feel valued, build deeper connections with their coworkers, support others with compassion, and are more productive.”

Baird said most CX professionals are multi taskers and have come to CX from marketing, ops or IT. That means they often have knowledge in those areas already and may not feel the immediate impact of departures in other departments. In some cases, though, companies that aren’t fully staffed may have to look more closely at purpose-built CX platforms, said Jessica Kriegal, chief people & culture officer with Experience.com.

See Also

The company, which is based in India, has found that business outcomes for organizations that automate data collection with its platform can be 20x-30x higher compared to those done manually.

“This workflow gives your company the opportunity to capture an unhappy customer and resolve the situation before they post negative comments that may make it more difficult to hire qualified talent,” she said, adding that employee experience (EX) platforms to streamline the process of gathering and analyzing feedback should also be important priorities right now. “It improves engagement, productivity and employee satisfaction amongst the all teams, including CX.”

Even if they manage to attract new CX hires, companies may also need to think about what they’ll do to create an environment to retain them. During the pandemic, for instance, Washington, D.C.-based ibex invested approximately $13 million in employee health, safety and wellness to help identify, slow and stop the spread of the virus in its facilities. Those investments included transportation for its employees to and from facilities, high-grade disinfection of its CX delivery centers, company-paid vaccinations, and technology investments.

Paul Inson, ibex’s CPO, suggested that employers should bear in mind that CX is still a relatively new area, and showing them the potential career progression could go a long way. Almost 95 per cent of ibex’s frontline leaders, for example, were homegrown call center agents that were equipped and trained to be supervisors.

“The tenure of these leaders has a valuable impact on training provided to other employees,” he said. “Employees are looking to work for strong leaders, ones that will help them develop career path.”

There are age-old incentives too, Baird added. “Our firm’s experience has been for a while now that people want trust as well as bonuses on top of market rate salaries and benefits,” she said. “They want to work from home, to be able to adapt their working hours within reason to be able to balance family / life and work as long as output remains where it should be.”

View Comments (0)

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll To Top