Here are 5 tips CEOS and managers of call centers can apply which may prove successful in increasing agent motivation and performance:
1) Base bonus pay on performance. Research has shown that agents paid a basic, flat rate, no matter how their performance is, tend to remain the same in their performance. But agents who are paid higher rates, or have the opportunity to earn more due to their performance, have often increased their performance to meet this metric and often even surpassed it.
2) Allow flexibility in schedules. Agents who work at home and have the opportunity to set their own schedules have a higher conversion rate, enjoy their jobs more, and tend to stay with the company longer. If you can increase the level of flexibility of scheduling for your call center agents, it may prove to be one of the best moves you can make as a manager. Google allows their workers to do what they need to do and take care of all of these needs within house, as well as offering flexibility in scheduling. They are one of the most successful businesses in existence today, perhaps in part, due to the fact that they consider the life employees have outside of their walls.
3) Offer contests and friendly competitions. Friendly competitions among agents are one of the best ways to motivate workers. They enjoy the socialization, learning from each other, and the change to show others what they can do. Make them fun, such as poetry contests or contests to see who can keep their call time down the most and still do a good job. Things like this can pay off big for call centers and for your clients, as it motivates call center agents to give it their all and have fun at the same time.
4) Let superior agents lead others. Having those who excel the most lead coaching sessions or serve as occasional supervisors in chat rooms, or webinars can increase morale of the superior agents, and motivate others to reach for this status. Everyone likes to be recognized as a rock star. Increase motivation by offering extra pay for leading a coaching or mentoring session to sweeten the deal.
5) Praise high performing agents often. Everyone likes good old-fashioned praise. Like children, we thrive on knowing our job well done is recognized by those in power over us. Praise workers who excel and go beyond the metrics and it will pay off big in terms of higher conversions and more.
In essence, call centers are about sales and conversions. While some focus on customer service, it is all about motivation the person on the phone, that first point of contact with your clients' customers to be motivated to perform at the highest standards. Accuracy, friendliness, conversion rates, and more can all be increased by working on these five things on a regular basis. Try to work these ideas into your business model, if they are not a part of it already. Research shows they are some of the most important factors in increasing self-esteem of workers, keeping them performing at higher rates, and keeping your clients happy.
Cassie Lummus is an independent writer for Answering Service United. Their website helps small and medium sized businesses grow by finding the best answering service solutions.