Many call centre agents are suffering from exhaustion and are lacking inspiration and enthusiasm. What’s happened here? This was once a lively, bustling centre! But now, your employees are bored. They’re stuck in a stagnant routine and they need something to lift them out of this slump.
There are a few things you should know about effectively motivating a team. If you’re a manager, you want your team to work with effort, with confidence, and with smiles on their faces. How can you motivate and reward your team?
Sure, a monetary reward is probably the one a call centre employee would want the most, and often acts as a great motivator. But there are heaps of other ways you can improve your call centre, injecting it with that spark it might currently be lacking.
Benefits of team motivation
It directly influences behaviour
It instils a sense of responsibility
It improves quality in your call centre
It creates a more efficient and productive team
It enables employees to be more comfortable and confident
How to motivate a call centre
Like we touched on above, monetary rewards are never going to be sniffed at, but there are other ways to reward excellence in your call centre, too. First though, monetary rewards come in the form of basic commissions or bonuses. These are a great way to instil a little bit of competition amongst employees, can strengthen a team, and will boost morale.
Non-monetary rewards include just the simple acknowledgement of hard work. People don’t want sappy praise where they’re uncomfortably placed in the centre of attention; rather, they want acknowledgement of good work or a desired achievement.
Outline (again, without gushing) what was executed well, and the pleasing outcome from it. This shows not only that you praise hard work, but that you’re paying attention to what your employees are working towards, too.
Some people find it hard to accept praise (yes, really!). Strike the balance between fair and appreciated recognition, and making a song and dance about it that turns their faces red.
Rewarding good work makes for happy staff. And as we all know, a happy workforce equals happy customers.
Invest in training
No matter how much easier it would be, it’s unrealistic to teach someone a textbook formula for talking to customers or clients on the phone. Each call is going to be different in nature. However, there are several ways that periodic training, say three to four times a year, can freshen up your team.
These sessions also provide an outlet for your team to communicate any issues or subjects that need clarification.
Consistently reminding your team that support and help is available are enablers that keep them happy and comforted.
Look at your technology and equipment
One way to make your call centre customers feel valued, important, and significant falls on the shoulders of your telecommunications equipment. Are your phone systems robust enough to handle a high volume of incoming and outgoing calls, day-in and day-out?
Telecommunication is one aspect you cannot afford to get wrong when it comes to speaking to new and existing customers. Do you need some effective call centre solutions?
Assign good managers
Poor managers (or micromanagers – shudder) can often create an environment that is clinical and sterile. A good manager focuses on effort and application, identifying what was done well and praises effort. He or she also contributes to a positive team.
Moreover, a good manager continuously seeks out ways to improve and build a team that has a mindset of growth.
Reprimanding an employee is not something we as managers like to do.
It’s often a sensitive topic, so it still boggles the mind that a manager would reprimand an employee in front of others. The element of social embarrassment takes over, and it’s hard to recover, and as a result improve, for next time.
While reprimanding is not a malicious way to point the finger, doing it in public makes the learning opportunity that comes from it that much more difficult.
When you need to reprimand an employee:
– Do it in person (NOT email or chat)
– Don’t do it in public (this is thoughtless and could even come across as bullying)
– Don’t do it where someone could overhear (even unintentionally)
One final note on this topic: show your humanity and humility – don’t blame a team for what is largely your mistake.
Ask for feedback
Don’t be a good talker if you’re not going to be a good listener, too.
For the most part, your employees are (hopefully) content with your managerial skills, but if there are ever shortcomings, encourage them to let you know. Is there a particular instance you think could have been handled better? Ask your employees for feedback on that situation.
Do you agree with them? Can you reach a happy medium, and work together to create an alternative action for next time? Don’t feel attacked: they’re not victimising you.
So there you have it. Some practical advice you can inject straight into your call centre today.