Success in a call center begins with recruiting and training a team that can handle the daily trials of a difficult and often thankless job. The goal for any call center manager is to find the rock star callers who can work quickly and close with confidence, but even the most energetic and high-performing agents can get tired and lose motivation sometimes.
That said by using cloud-based call recording software, call center managers have the tools they need to help keep agents motivated and performing at their best.
Guidance and Support: More than anything, your agents need to know that you are there to help and support them. Mentorship and assistance should be an ongoing process. Offering feedback, helping them in the face of errors, shielding them from discouragement, and offering the occasional words of wisdom and motivation will help them stay focused and enthused about the job.
With a real-time call monitoring feature, managers can listen in to calls and provide feedback immediately following the call in order to train agents effectively and introduce instant changes into an agent’s processes.
Incentives: Reward systems are a great way to build up agents’ spirits on a daily basis. Offering prizes, such as movie tickets and treats, are an easy way to drive results day in and day out while developing a sense of friendly competition among the team.
Competitions should be more about rewarding the winners rather than punishing the losers, unlike what is seen in Glengarry Glen Ross, where the loser gets fired. Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) call center setups allow managers to keep an eye on agent performance on a main, single-view dashboard to easily determine which agents are performing at the highest levels.
Public Praise: Everyone working at a call center has good days. Acknowledge your agents when they have their big moments. Never be afraid to give them a proverbial pat on the back. This not only makes the agent feel good about themselves and their job, but it also sends the right message to their peers. The group knows that you reward hard work.
It’s also important that praise be timely and regular. Intermittent praise will not resonate with your agents as strongly as frequent, honest praise. Also, make sure that the praise is immediate. Delayed praise – like waiting a month before telling someone that they did a good job with improving their numbers – will just make the agent feel like their efforts went unnoticed.
With digital call recording, managers can replay excellent calls, or calls that meet all service steps, to entire teams for training purposes at the end or beginning of shifts.
Private and Fair Criticism: Sadly, agents who make a mistake are sometimes chastised in the presence of their peers. This can have devastating consequences and the truth is, public humiliation is an ineffective way to correct undesired behavior, and can actually end up having a negative effect on the individual and the team as a whole.
Improvement feedback needs to be handled in private and always in a fair manner. This is another area where digital call recording can come into play to help improve agent performance. By replaying calls that don’t go so well with the agent in question present, you’re able to dissect the call together and find ways to improve performance for future calls.
- Hierarchical Structure and Opportunities: In addition to goals related to the tasks at hand, agents need to be able to set goals for what they can do to achieve desired career objectives. Upward mobility, even if incremental, is important. Try to create additional supervisor roles to which you can delegate smaller responsibilities. In the process, allow your agents to learn something new, so there is a sense of professional growth.
Ultimately, bringing your team together is just the start of the battle. Keeping them together and motivated is an ongoing fight. However, by being a positive and supporting leader who fosters a team environment, your call center can become a focused, unified workplace.