Who’s looking out for the HR CSRs?

If you search Amazon for books on the topic of “customer experience,” you’ll find there are 3,320 of them.  If you do the same search on “employee experience,” you’ll find 452.  Both can be considered hot topics.

There’s a unique job where you’re responsible for delivering both.  And that position is the customer service representative (CSR) in the HR service center.  (Let’s call them HRCSR’s.) 

When an HRCSR takes a call from an employee, he’s supposed to treat that employee like a valued customer, and delivery a superior “customer experience.”   But that person at the other end of the phone is also an employee, and therefore, entitled to receiving a superior employee experience.

But here’s the issue

The HRCSR is also an employee, and fully deserving of that same superior employee experience.  But who’s looking out for him?

A recent report by Gartner - How to Design Customer Service Representative Experiences Using Persona-Driven Employee Journey - offers some key suggestions.

According to Jim Davies, “As contact center employees' expectations increase, failing to consider their needs and aspirations will affect retention and customer (employee) experiences. Contact center operational leaders should use this framework to guide and prioritize customer service representative experience design efforts.”

Create Personas for Identify the Different HRCSR types.

In marketing terms, a persona is a fictional person that embodies the market research and buyer behavior that a company collects. And it is invaluable in truly understanding customers—Harvard Business Review states the persona is “the single tool that does the best job at spreading empathy (for customers) throughout a business.”

Map Personas to common service scenarios.

The differences in each persona affects how they approach their work in the service center.  Once you’ve mapped each persona to the service scenarios, you’ll likely find “preference gaps.” These are gaps between how the persona would like to perform an activity, and how they must approach it, based on the systems and processes in place.

Design a new HRCSR Journey to fit each Persona.

Once you’ve identified these “preference gaps,” it’s time to design a new experience that’s HRCSR-focused, rather than business, process or technology focused.

According to Davies, “looking at the world from the point of view of the HRCSR and not the business, and by framing it from the moment they wake up to the moment they go to sleep (rather than standard office hours), a very different journey is constructed.”


Example CSR Employee Journey Design, Gartner, 2016



Measure, monitor and control.

As with any new initiative, it’s critical to continually measure the results, and make necessary adjustments to produce the desired outcome.  One way to approach this is through a voice of the employee program.

Voice of the employee involves getting feedback from a representation of each persona type to determine if the new journey fits the persona.  In other words, does the HRCSR like the new journey?  Does it fit his or her preferences and daily lifestyle better than the old way?  Do they enjoy their job more?  Are they more eager to deliver a superior experience to their customers?  If so, then well done!

In Summary:

Customer service representatives in an HR Shared Service Center are expected to deliver a superior experience to their employee customers.  Much focus has been given to the customer experience and the employee experience.  But comparatively little regard has been paid to the HRCSR experience.  Doing so will increase the retention of these valuable players in the service center, while improving the overall employee experience.