3rd Party Remote Call Monitoring Feature
The Right Touch: Managers That Can Motivate Agents Build Successful Call Centers
Building a well-run contact center is both an art and a science. It’s a science because it depends on technology, by and large, to communicate with customers through a variety of media, and provide agents the information they require to complete customer calls. It’s an art because a lot of the success in the contact center business involves recruiting the right agents, training them and motivating them. There is no way to master this latter process from a technology manual or an FAQ list. It’s a touch that some managers have, and some simply don’t.
There are tools to help, of course. There are hiring and training solutions, call center simulators, training modules and other products that can help build compelling training experiences. Still, it’s the human touch that motivates agents to become great and effective communicators.
The UK Web site CallCentreHelper recently reached out to real call center managers to compile a list of tips for motivating contact center agents. There is advice call center executives will never find in a box…only from real-world managers. They include:
Giving agents a purpose. Communicate to agents that they’re not just logging in and getting a paycheck. They’re helping people, and making others’ lives easier. (This is particularly effective is the call center performs some philanthropic duty.)
Monitor them fairly. If agents perceive that they are being monitored in biased way, they may build up resentment. It’s critical that agents perceive they are all being monitored by an unbiased process. Since human managers will find it hard to avoid accusations of favoritism, third-party call monitoring can go a long way toward building objectivity into the performance monitoring process.
Autonomy (News - Alert). Reading a script all day long is a quick way to burn out. CallCenterHelper says, “Allow your staff to focus on their purpose, not the process. Let them make their own decisions about what is right for your customers.”
Let them self-correct. By using metrics and dashboards together with performance management solutions, agents can see how they are performing and how they stack up against others in the contact center. Most people naturally want to strive to improve, and will do it on their own if given the right tools.
Provide motivation. It doesn’t cost much to put motivation programs such as pizza parties, employee-of-the-month awards, birthday celebrations and off-site social gatherings into place. It can help employees bond with one another and stick to their work out of friendship and camaraderie.
Ensure they have the right tools. Nothing will scuttle motivation efforts faster than talking the talk without walking the walk. Ensure they are comfortable and not using poor, outdated equipment, ensure the contact center is attractive, and be extra sure they have the right tools to do the job.
In the end, motivating agents is a skill a manager either has or doesn’t have. Hiring managers who understand the importance of motivation is a good first step, and ensuring that manager continues to focus on the topic as part of his or her daily tasks is extra critical.
Edited by Blaise McNamee