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Diversify the contact center experience to better serve your customers

Author: Rose de Fremery

An exceptional contact center experience helps companies deliver long-term customer loyalty and thrive in a competitive marketplace. Contact centers are also sometimes known as call centers. Ensuring diversity in the contact center is an effective path to fostering that experience.

Why diversity matters in the contact center

A diverse workforce comprises a wide range of ages, ethnicities, races, languages, religions, gender expressions, sexual orientations, abilities, neurodiversity, mental health statuses and backgrounds, and it can improve business performancein many ways. Prioritizing diverse perspectives in your workforce can generate better business ideas, opening the door to innovations that can create strategic competitive advantages.

Diverse employees can also unlock access to new markets by skillfully navigating linguistic and cultural nuances that prohibit growth. Because a diverse workforce brings a fuller and more inclusive range of lived experiences to their work, they can help your company connect with a larger and more diverse customer base in natural, personalized and authentic ways.

Prioritizing a diverse workforce can also help support recruitment and retention and open access to a far larger pool of qualified talent. According to Glassdoor, 73% of job seekers will not apply for a job unless the company's values align with their own. By walking the walk with a diverse and inclusive workplace, you signal to prospective employees that your company is serious about creating a culture that values its workers equally.

A diverse workforce improves the contact center experience

Personalization is essential to providing an excellent customer experience, and diversity helps you deliver it. When your workforce is representative of your customer base, you can connect customers to agents they are more comfortable speaking with. And you can meet them on a level playing field, whether meeting with a customer who uses American Sign Language over a video conference or connecting a customer to an agent who speaks the customer's native language.

Making your company more accessible and relatable establishes trust because your customers know that you not only respect but understand where they are coming from. This distinction is subtle but powerful. Customers who see that you value their experience will reward you with repeat business and genuinely enthusiastic brand advocacy. Customers who do not will go somewhere else.

Unlocking opportunities through diversity

Many businesses—particularly large companies with historically homogeneous workforces—face challenges in diversifying. However, there are smart steps to overcoming these obstacles. Rather than tapping the usual networks when recruiting, for example, it might be beneficial to search for candidates in new forums and settings.

Job descriptions not written using inclusive language could discourage talented applicants from applying for an open position. Consider taking a conscientious approach in how you describe a particular job—for some businesses, that means ensuring that every job description is reviewed by a diverse committee. Review your compensation practices, too, and make sure that there are no pay gaps. As Glassdoor notes, 58% of employees say they would not apply to work for a company with unequal compensation.

Innovative technology solutions can also help you attract a diverse workforce. Many younger employees, in particular, may value businesses that deploy cutting-edge solutions—they see it as a sign of a dynamic and leading-edge company that has the tools to enable success. An advanced contact center can help them deliver better customer care, and intelligent customer engagement tools can empower them to deliver exceptional customer service.

Prioritizing diversity in the workforce takes thoughtful planning and long-term commitment, but it is well worth the effort. By creating a call center that reflects your customer base, you will position your company to thrive well into the future.

Learn how Verizon's Customer Experience portfolio can enhance your customers' satisfaction.