Off Center
Most contact center professionals will tell you how much they value their employees, and how the center has a lot of programs in place to keep agents – and thus customers – engaged and happy. However, few contact centers include Employee Satisfaction (E-Sat) on their formal list of key performance indicators.

And many of the centers that do consider E-Sat among their KPIs don’t do an adequate job of measuring/tracking the metric. Instead, they implement a plain-vanilla E-Sat survey once every year or two and take little action based on the findings.

The best contact centers give teeth and attention to E-Sat, using a comprehensive survey tool and implementing the survey once every six months or so. These surveys are designed to gauge not only traditional employee satisfaction, but also employee engagement. Engagement is satisfaction on steroids; engagement surveys help to identify which agents are not only happy with their job but also willing to maim others or themselves in the name of the company’s honor.
Most leading centers use an outside surveying specialist to design and implement the survey to ensure that the right questions are asked in the right ways, as well as to help foster a sense of privacy/anonymity, thus increasing the chances that agents will respond in a frank and honest matter. Surveying specialists can also help a contact center with evaluating results, pinpointing key trends and warning managers of a frontline mutiny.

Naturally, every contact center would love to achieve a 100% E-Sat rate, but that’s about as likely as a home agent bathing every day. As with C-Sat, anything in the 80%-90% range for E-Sat is impressive – and feasible, particularly if you incorporate into the survey process threats of physical harm for low ratings by staff. 

If E-Sat isn’t already on your contact center’s list of critical metrics, make some room for it. Bump AHT off the roster if you have to. And as for measuring E-Sat, don’t just go through the motions, or you’ll likely find that you have a bunch of agents doing the same. 

JR Hardenburgh
5/10/2012 10:48:11 pm

Hal Rosenbluth of Rosenbluth Travel in Philadelphia demonstrated the need for strong E-sat in his book "The Customer comes Second...". Having visited the center and interviewing agents, the philosophy was true; don't worry about customers being happy if you treat your people well, they will take care of things. Take that NPS!

5/10/2012 11:15:43 pm

Yup, I love that title. More of a mantra than a book title -- and a bold yet accurate one at that.

Thanks for your comment, JR -- much appreciated!



5/11/2012 06:03:22 pm


E-Sat (just like C-Sat) is a double edged sword, though maybe sharper

I have worked at several places where they have measured customer satisfaction, eulogised about the customer, put posters on the wall and then done precisely nothing about it. And the result? A lot of cynical employees.

I guess that taking the same approach with E-sat would be even more catastrophic as your staff will end up both cynical and disenfranchised

No point in measuring it unless you are prepared to do something with the answer

Thanks for the post


5/16/2012 10:01:05 pm

Great article. Agree 100%, especially on the engagement piece. I have put together some sample questions that allow an employee satisfaction survey to be actionable. Obviously there are a lot more and you want to make sure you include questions that apply to your business. Besides overall satisfaction you can get a lot of insightful information in terms of process, training, leadership, coaching, performance improvement and most importantly, engagement. As mentioned it is important to let the employees know the action items after the survey and a timeline in terms of when changes will be seen.

5/16/2012 10:08:10 pm

You clearly know your E-Sat/Engagement stuff, Jeremy. Thanks so much for sharing the link to your sample survey -- excellent resource for any contact center professional. I may even refer to it in an upcoming presentation I'm doing on Agent Engagement and Retention.

Thanks again for your very valuable input!



5/16/2012 10:16:02 pm

@James: You are absolutely right about the negative impact of failing to act on E-Sat (and C-Sat) survey findings. Research backs you up: According to a study by leadership development firm Blessing White, conducting an engagement survey and NOT visibly acting on the findings can DECREASE agent engagement levels significantly.

Don't bother measuring it if you're not going to move on it!

Thanks for your comment!




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