With being a call center manager comes the responsibility of caring for your employees. As a call center manager, you have the power to reject the stereotype of disgruntled, unmotivated call center agents. You are able to influence this by creating a positive work environment, giving your agents plenty of feedback and opportunities for growth. Another important thing is to invest in the right technology. This is how managers can keep their agents motivated.
Remember that the only way to truly drive your call center agents is to lead by example. If you put them first and take the time to enhance their work experience, your call center agents will respond in kind with the same level of dedication.
Take a look at our things to know when considering how to motivate your call center agents.
Perhaps the most important aspect in creating a great work environment is to commit to the tam building. A good team makes for a healthy company culture and within a good team your individual employees will feel appreciated. This is the first step toward creating a good company culture and in turn preventing employee churn.
In order to create a motivating environment commit toward instilling a sense of belonging in the individual. The best way to do this is to use teams. If you have a team structure within your company, the team members will assume responsibility. Not only that, but creativity and potential are recognized and fostered, trust and camaraderie us developed. As friendships develop more easily in a team environment, people are more likely to look forward to coming to work each day if they feel a part of a group.
There are a lot of different ways of approaching team-building. Some team-building activities involve competition of some kind between teams. For example, various types of competition can be effective in the call center as long as designed well. However, take care that competition should be positive, free of embarrassment, and non-threatening.
Your friendly team competitions should optimize the number of rewards by providing rewards for both outstanding and improved performance. The criteria that you could use and standards that you will be observing for competition should be based on the performance goals each team is expected to meet.
If you are thinking of designing a team competition, your agents should be involved in the evaluation process. Your employees should also play a key role in establishing the competition and rules. Individual and team challenges should be designed with awards given to the winning team and individuals. While competition can bring team members together for a common goal and provide a sense of belonging, it has to be carefully designed. Encouraging competition is wonderful for creating a spirit of cooperation. However, if your competitions are not carefully designed, they can reinforce a negative attitude. You would not want to encourage the “end justifies the means” thinking, which would limit learning/sharing between teams, and can shift the focus away from performance to winning. This is why, before anything, you should carefully plan your team competitions.
Optimal Rewards and Incentives
When considering how to motivate your call center agents, it is important to consider setting up an incentive program. For example, something that you should keep in mind are the reward and incentives to be offered to your employees.
It is often the case that cash, or a monetary reward, has the advantage of being easy to administer and simple to handle. This is because everyone understands cash. Cash rewards are desirable, and can provide an extra boost to a long-term program. However, there are negative sides to this as well. The drawbacks to using cash include the fact that there isn’t a “trophy” or lasting memorial of the reward. A cash incentive is not considered exotic, it can’t be enhanced, and tends to become an expected reward.
This is why cash is typically confused with other compensation and is therefore easily forgotten. When setting up an incentive program, consider a non-cash reward. This will be memorable and it will reinforce the relationship between the reward earner and the reward provider.
During their work within your company, every employee will need to be introduced to new software, methods of work, or similar. They would need coaching every time something within the company is changed, or when they are moving to a higher position. This is why coaching is a key component of motivation.
Your team leads would have an essential role here as the entire process of coaching includes being a role model. You as a call center manager, or your team leads will be in charge of providing feedback on a regular basis, actively listening to agents, clarifying expectations. Your agents need to know what is expected of them and how they are performing.
Bear in mind that without coaching and feedback, your call center employees have no way of knowing if they are on target or missing the mark. It is also key to remember to provide feedback to the agents who are performing at or above standards, and not spend all of the time with those who are under-performing.
When considering motivational factors, it should be noted that some employees will be motivated the most by working in an environment in which they are constantly learning and growing. Not every employee wants to stay within the same position throughout their entire career. One of the ways to provide professional development to agents is to create a continuous learning environment.
This is why supplemental training should be provided not just on the work currently done, but also education to provide a foundation for future career opportunities. This is how you position your company’s employees for future advancement and this is something that will keep many staff motivated to stay in the center and perform well in order to receive opportunities to learn and grow within the organization.
Perhaps one of the most important things to consider and one of the most difficult to give. It may seem like a challenging task to give call center agents autonomy. The job of a call center agent is a job where every call is monitored and analyzed. This is a position where agents follow a set of guidelines that dictate how best to coordinate and communicate with customers. Their conversations are run by quality assurance programs. In addition to that, organizational rules determine how agents handle inquiries, from each statement uttered to each keystroke made.
However, it is no wonder that such a strict structure can result in demotivated agents who end up feeling like robots. Even if the quality of every call needs to be monitored, managers should remind agents that they do have autonomy over their work.
Even with all the guidelines, standards and rules that they have to follow, it’s still up to your call center employees to communicate effectively with customers, because how they manage callers will mean the difference between concerns that get resolved and calls that get escalated.
Provide a Sense of Purpose
There is a big misconception about the position of a call center agent. That is that working within this industry isn’t a career that gives purpose. For a lot of people, answering phones is tedious, but talking to a customer can mean the world to him or her.
It’s important to nurture an agent’s ability to talk to customers and make them feel like their concerns are important. This can make a tremendous difference to them. An agent can save someone’s day simply by taking their call. They can fix a problem, cheer someone up and create a solution.
This is a career that has a lot more purpose than it is given credit. Try asking your call center employees how are they helping people through their calls. Try sharing stories, gathering anecdotes and pointing out that simply showing up at work can make a difference in other people’s lives. If you make sure your agents have the tools to do their jobs in the best way possible, you will have a happy and fulfilled team.