Published: June 26, 2013 | Comments (1)
You know what’s boring and generic? Company meetings that pull every employee in a certain department together to discuss making progress while offering no incentives to grow other than having a forced “Go Team!” attitude. This is what most customer service agencies do in order to motivate their workforce, and it doesn’t work.
Most call center employees fall into a rut of comfort in which they try to get through their workday with the least amount of pain and hassle. Generic pep talks aren’t what they need from their supervisors; they need proper attention, encouragement, and training. If you’re serious about motivating your call center agents, you’ll see to it that this is what they receive.
Build Relationships in a Relationship Building Business
The core of customer service is relationship building, and if your supervisors can’t form a quality relationship with your call center agents, they have no business teaching your representatives how to do so for customers. You want employees who live their own advice; nobody likes a hypocrite, and if your managers are telling your employees to do one thing while they themselves are doing another, your employees WILL notice, and it will breed poor relationships and hostilities in the workplace.
Consult with your call center supervisors about being consistent, about living what they teach. You need supervisors who have a friendly and open demeanor, but who are strong enough to make the tough decisions when they need to be made.
For example, suppose a call center agent comes into work, clocks in early, but doesn’t actually start working until twenty minutes after they punch the clock. Then suppose this employee makes the appointed phone calls and delivers a strong, positive customer service experience, but their call frequency is substantially below company standards.
You need a supervisor who can address this particular individual accordingly, one who will explain the importance of strong work ethic, who will encourage the agent to push a little harder, while simultaneously praising them for the good work they do on the calls they do make. A supervisor needs to be inspired by you, the employer, to be strong and live by example so that they can do the same for your other employees. This way, when an important decision needs to be made, whether regarding an employee’s performance, growth, or termination from the company, you know you can rely on your supervisors to do so with the highest consideration to compassion and ethics.
A Little Praise Goes a Long Way
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: praising your employees goes a long way. Not just generic “good job” praise, but specifics. When you compliment the performance of your supervisor, to comment specifically on how they seemed to have made the agents they’re responsible for happier and have thus raised productivity, it has a tremendous positive effect for that individual, and they’ll feel more obligated to keep up their exceptional work.
Don’t let it stop there either. Encourage compliments, encourage growth, encourage good will, because it all trickles down to your customer, and any business owner knows that you, the boss, don’t pay your employees – your customers do.