How To Motivate Your Call Center Agents

how to motivate call center agents

A motivated call center can be a major money maker or money saver for a company. If you are looking for ways of connecting your call center with the rest of your business, or if you are looking how to build relationships with the departments that support or rely on it, then you will need to consider a few critical pointers. First of all, having a call center that is included with the rest of the business is critical for improving the customer journey.

Second, if you want to run a successful call center that focuses on providing outstanding customer experience, it is important to know how to motivate your call center agents.

There are a few recognized ways to keeping call center employees inspired, such as using recognition to strengthen the relationships between teams and team members alike. Make sure that you are strengthening your relationships on line which will also allow for building relationships off line.

After that, don’t forget that creating greater visibility of all the great work in your contact center is crucial to motivating your employees. Improve recognition tactics and make sure that your rewards and incentives are well-chosen. This is how you will create a collaborative environment based on mutual respect.

The Volume of Calls is not a Good Metric of Success

Unfortunately, this is the one thing that many call centers focus on. In certain fields of service call centers can get very busy. In a high-volume call center, especially within a field where customers are easier to become irritated with a service, call center agents are given a goal of handling a certain number of callers within a designated period of time.

This will often put a lot of pressure on the agents. Having to reach certain numbers by the end of the shift leaves agents with only a few breaks, making them feel that reaching the quota is more important than helping the customers contacting your call center for assistance.

As a crucial step on your journey to learning how to motivate your call center agents, you have to remember to keep the focus on resolving the issues and retaining customers.

This is the best path in the long-run, as it will improve the effectiveness of your call center, and also motivate your employees to dedicate their time to an issue until it is fully resolved. This leads toward a higher customer satisfaction rate, and employees stay motivated when they have the time and capability to genuinely help their customers and resolve their issues. The goal of every call center should be to come as close to 100% satisfaction as possible.

This is not an easy goal to achieve. It will require management that must empower agents with the ability to resolve issues in a way that is acceptable to customers and leaves them with a positive impression of the agent and company as a whole.

Instead of constantly tracking the number of calls an agent has had during a day, focus on the number of calls that ended successfully, with a satisfied customer.

Incentivize the Work in Your Call Center

One of the ways to make call center work more appealing is by using incentives. 

People in all fields of work are motivated by their accomplishments and the anticipation of things they are looking forward to. People in general thrive with praise, and by setting goals and achieving them. 

Your call center management can help create a positive working environment by giving out rewards for positive customer surveys or feedback. For example, celebrating birthdays and holidays are always welcome breaks that help rejuvenate employees and bring on a renewed and improved outlook to their workday.

This doesn’t have to be the only way to do this. You can also set up material, concrete, rewards, like trophies and merchandise as incentives when various goals are met. On top of being a great incentive, this is also a way to advertise your products or services through your agents. Let them use company products or services at a complimentary or discounted rate so they are better educated on their use and can convey personal experiences and benefits to the end user.

There are also the good old cash bonuses. Monthly bonuses and incentive schemes are always useful, however they might be the least motivating out of all. Another thing that will keep staff motivated throughout the month are the smaller, on-the-spot gifts. These are little prizes that they can take away with them as soon as they win them, or hit a target.

Small prizes and cash bonuses are a great way to start things off. However, they work well to provide quick boosts to motivation, but for your bigger prizes it could be a good idea to reward with experiences. Call centers do this so that winning advisors create positive memories that can be associated with the workplace, thus adding passion to the job.

For example, award your employee of the month with game tickets, or a spa day, depending of their choice.

Provide Feedback Correctly

Motivation and incentive strive from feedback. A crucial step in learning how to motivate your call center agents is learning that you don’t need to spend a lot of money to make your staff feel motivated and valued. 

Sometimes a telephone call from a senior manager congratulating a team member on a good week is equally as effective as an offer of a training course or gift voucher. Your senior members play a big role in this. Make sure that your managers take care of your call center agents, by hashing out praises and rewards when needed.

Don’t withdraw from investing in your people. Even if you may have to make decisions to protect the profitability of your business that may not be popular, the messages you communicate are extremely important. Don’t talk with your employees only when they have made a mistake, or their quotas are low. Remember to continue to celebrate success, coach people on specific challenges and address any difficult issues they face.

The Importance of a Friendly Environment

Remember that your call center managers set the tone in your call centers. Make sure to take steps that foster the right attitudes. For example, you can invest in creating an environment that’s warm, friendly, and fair. There is an easy way to do this, simply by learning every agent’s name, greeting each shift as it comes on, and creating a “break room” where agents can maximize their 20-minute breaks boosts an environment’s warmth and friendliness.

Don’t forget that the second step is integral to this. By recognizing and rewarding excellence you will boost agent performance. This also builds morale. If you have already created a rewards program, make sure that it lets agents accrue rewards based on achievement. They can then redeem them as one way to highlight an agent’s achievements.

Don’t be late with recognition. All of your employees like to be recognized for doing an outstanding job. So make sure you share agent success with all key parties in a timely manner.

Collaboration is the Way to Go

Last, but not least, if you are creating a positive working environment and a stellar company culture, you have to keep in mind feedback. By encouraging feedback your are showing agents that you respect them and their expertise.

After every shift, set up a questionnaire, or send out a monthly feedback survey on the things that could be improved within your company. Don’t forget to work hard at collecting insights from agents.

Encourage your call center agents to share ideas with you. They will know first hand what works and what doesn’t. After collecting their feedback, try to implement suggestions where possible.

In addition to this, conduct a yearly survey to collect insights into how satisfied agents are with the environment and to ask what things you can do to improve it. You should also hold regular meetings to discuss key issues and gather ideas on what you can do to fix the areas of concern.

Don’t forget that motivated agents are happy agents and happy agents are more productive agents. If you are focusing on keeping your agents motivated in your call center you will be able to boost its productivity. With this, your employee retention rates will improve as well as your company’s customer service and customer satisfaction levels.