Happy agents make for happy customers. But only if your call center environment has the right ingredients. In this post, we’ll review 8 tips call center managers can use to help keep confidence up and turnover down.
Call center agents are the face of an organization. They’re usually the first (and last) voice callers hear – which means they influence the bulk of the customer experience. If you have cheerful, motivated representatives answering phones – customers feel good about their experience. But if your call center is filled with agents who don’t want to be there – you’ve got a serious problem on your hands.
So it only makes sense that the majority of call center managers go above and beyond to please their call center employees, right? Wrong. In fact, this detail is so overlooked that the turnover rate for call center agents is among the highest of any industry. Firm numbers are hard to nail down (it’s not something call centers like to share). But average call center turnover hovers between 30-45%.
This means turnover is more than likely a problem at your call center. Luckily, there are steps you can take. These 8 simple tips will help you boost morale, cut turnover and make your call center employees feel appreciated.
Be Part of the Team
Nothing makes call center agents feel less appreciated than a leadership team that thinks they’re above everyone else. Call center managers who think they’re too good to complete an elementary task will never earn the respect of their employees. And without respect, there is no team. Being a team begins with honesty. Be open with your employees – are you frustrated with something? Are you pleased? Or maybe you’re feeling overburdened. Letting your employees know what’s going on lets them know you’re reliable and trustworthy. It will make your job easier, and also the lives of everyone around you.
Brighten up the Environment
It may sound silly, but a fresh and clean workplace will go a long way. Call center employees are already tired of sitting at their desk, staring at the computer and telephone day after day. They don’t want to be stuck looking at pale carpets and blank walls, too. Adding a fresh perspective to the office – a splash of color, a few houseplants or even a motivating poster here or there – brings a sense of joy and playfulness to the area.
Invest in Training
Call centers with poor training produce agents that lack confidence. Providing beneficial training to your employees helps them feel more confident and allows them to help out when new employees come onboard (another part of being a team). And remember, training isn’t just for the first week of work. It’s an ongoing process that continues throughout their career. Giving simple tips and tricks reminds employees that you care, value their position and only want them to succeed.
Learn How to Compliment
Unmotivated employees are one of the most common factors in any industry. This is because it’s easy to get sick of the same routine day in and day out. A simple compliment or positive reinforcement can inspire your employees to stay engaged. In fact, “new research from Deloitte Digital and MIT Sloan Management Review found that the highest level of growth (between 10% and 15%) occurred at companies whose staff were highly engaged.” It doesn’t take much effort. So why not go out of your way to give your employees a little encouragement and compliment them on a job well done?
Gamification involves an “interactive online design that plays on people’s competitive instincts and often incorporates the use of rewards to drive action.” Friendly competition and rewards help motivate employees to reach specific goals and can make the workplace more enjoyable. It’s also yet another way to increase employee engagement.
Keep Up with Technology
Technology is changing on the daily – and that includes call center technology. It’s essential for call center managers to know what’s working and what isn’t in order to best equip their employees. Call center agents who are stuck with outdated tech will be left feeling frustrated and useless. Staying on top of current, up-and-coming technologies will help employees broaden their knowledge base and succeed long-term.
Say “Thank You”
Two simple words can go a long way – especially in a work environment. Call center agents have a tough job. Thanking your employees for going above and beyond, dealing with irrational complaints or even just completing an everyday task reminds them that they are appreciated and that you value what they do for the company.
Give Agents Better Tools
Call center agents are only as good as the tools you give them. The wrong telephony integration will impact how quickly agents can respond to customer inquiries. With the right system in place, you can help agents access actionable caller data faster and make their jobs more enjoyable in the process.
These tips may seem simple but implementing just two or three can have an impact on your business. If you’re a call center manager, that could mean the difference between lovely and lousy with respect to your customer experience. So, don’t let the work of your call center agents go unnoticed – and remember, happy employees are a win-win for both sides of your business.
If customer experience matters to you – CDC can help. Contact us today to learn more about getting your agents engaged with more efficient tools.