Why Contact Centers Need Performance Management
It can be tough to do a good job if you’re unclear about the goals. And if you don’t have the training to learn what you need to know – and you don’t receive guidance along to way so you can try to improve – it’s easy to lose motivation. You may even decide to move on to a more supportive and rewarding environment.
That’s why performance management is so important. And it’s particularly important in contact centers, in which agent churn averages between 30 and 45 percent.
The most common reasons for agent churn are because individuals are not good candidates for the work and because of issues with supervisors, says Envision’s Rodney Kuhn.
“Supervisors play an extraordinarily important role in the call center,” he notes. “Not only do they ensure goals are met, but they are responsible for motivating agents and creating a healthy work environment.”
But because contact center supervisors also have to meet aggressive key performance indicators, Kuhn notes, they sometimes lose sight of the need to develop, support, and motivate their agents.
Even those call center supervisors who believe they’re adequately supporting their agents may be mistaken – as there is typically a disconnect between the views of managers and their reports. This is true across the board, not just in call centers.
A July 2016 Ameyo blog says 82 percent of managers believe they provide clear goals to employees prior to formal performance reviews. But only 46 percent of employees say that’s the case. Meanwhile, 83 percent of employers say they include employee input in the review process. Yet only 43 percent of employees say their input is included and valued.
Of course, it’s not unusual for employees to experience at least a mild dropoff of engagement and motivation after being in their jobs for a while. Things like micromanagement can contribute to that decline.
But a formal workforce performance plan can help reverse that trend and increase agent productivity by driving sustained workforce engagement “as the agent strives to take on new challenges, meet and exceed objectives, and benefit from the collaborative environment that has been created,” says Ameyo.
Performance management works to:
• set expectations,
• help agents understand how their work fits into the organization’s overall goals,
• plan work,
• monitor performance,
• build agent skills,
• rate performance,
• reward good or great performance, and
• correct less than ideal performance.
“Performance management is one of the most effective ways to improve contact center service – as long as the metrics are accurate and implemented in a way that bolsters the associated workflow functionality,” says Monet Software’s Chuck Ciarlo. “This is not a one-time fix but an ongoing program that should become part of a call center’s everyday management procedures.”
Edited by Mandi Nowitz