Moving beyond smiling and dialing to build a call center motivated to do big things for your company
Call center work is hard. Being on the phone day after day can become tiring, and keeping call center agents motivated in that kind of non-competitive enviroment can be a problem.
This white paper details the problems with traditional management responses to performance, and provides ideas on how to motivate consistent high-level performance from your call center agents.
The Problem with Traditional Responses
In a traditional call center environment, the management staff is reactionary. Managers set goals at the beginning of the month, and then everyone waits to see what happens. If performance meets or exceeds expectations, everyone is happy. If agents are not meeting their goals, however, management steps in, letting everyone know they are behind and that they have to work harder. Stress and frustration levels increase, and management’s attempts to motivate their employees have the unhappy effect of demotivating those very same employees, due to the type and timing of their interactions. While the initial problem is poor performance, this management style can lead to long-term problems, including low morale, absenteeism, and, eventually, turnover.
All of these issues increase the cost of doing business, make performing at a high level more difficult, and can potentially lead to losing a client.
The GC Services Solution
GC Services has developed an innovative process for interacting with our call center staff. This process helps our management team create a supportive environment, which allows our employees to perform at a higher level on a more consistent basis.
The process consists of the following steps:
- Start with Hello! Greet all employees each day as they arrive. You want each employee to know they are not just a number, but that they are valued and an important part of the team. Show you care for them not just as employees, but also as people.
- Ensure managers understand their purpose: Senior managers should work with the management team on a daily basis to ensure they focus on training and coaching their employees. Through this daily focus on supporting and training our employees, you will build a team with a high level of technical competence.
- Build a team of experts: With an HR team recruiting highly qualified employees, and management staff preparing those employees to perform at a high level, you will build a team of expert employees with a clear focus on the project’s success. This employee focus encourages their peers to push for excellence and challenge themselves.
- Create an environment of fairness: The foundation of this environment is that all agents are held accountable for their actions within the group.
- Provide clear goals: Focus on the behaviors necessary to help the agents meet their goals. Let the employees know what they need to do, but help them understand how to do it.
- Understand the “Why”: Never stray from the basics of the job. This includes consistently making sure employees know the goal and understand how to achieve it. A large part of ensuring an employee’s comprehension of how to achieve a goal is to make sure the employee understands the motivation behind the goal. Results have shown that the more an employee understands why they are doing something, the more accurate and consistent they will be in completing that task.
- Monitor the pulse on the call center floor: Maintain an awareness of how the agents feel, and ensure the agents know that they are important. This awareness will allow the management staff to make adjustments where necessary in a timely manner. The ability to respond to any opportunities identified, will contribute greatly to consistent high-level performance.
- End with Thank You! As the staff is leaving for the day, make sure the managers and supervisors make a point to say “good night” and “thank you”. Ending with an expression of thanks helps create that personal bond with the staff. It is another way to build rapport and let the employees know that they are not just a number, but people of value.
No employee will be affected by all of these items. As a whole, however, we have seen that this process does gain agent buy-in on a larger scale. This employee buy-in has led to improvement in performance and retention as well as consistency in achieving a higher level of performance.
Let us show you how GC Services can achieve this level of performance for your company.