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Don’t allow agents to lose motivation and become disillusioned in your call centre, by making a concentrated effort to improve engagement through a variety of methods that will see morale increase and customer service delivery improve.
Agent turnover in call centres is renowned for being notoriously higher than other professions, with reasons from poor conditions to the sometimes monotonous nature of the job often cited as common reasons for causing this.In recent years businesses have been (and are) attempting to address this in their call centre divisions, with a real focus being put on improving employee engagement so that agents are happier at work, more motivated and more productive.
But aside from retention there are other benefits to be had by improving agent engagement. Customer Engagement Strategist and contact centre guru Martin Hill-Wilson highlighted a point made by a professor of business at the Ross School of Business, Michigan, that suggested for every 10% increase in employee engagement, a company’s customer service levels rose by 5% and profits by 2%.
With this in mind, we look at some ways you can drive agent engagement, and why you should strive to do it in order to improve service and more.
Agents spend their daily working hours talking to customers which means they can hold a wealth of knowledge when it comes to understanding customer needs, what is working and what can be improved. Using this first-hand experience agents can provide valuable insights that you can use to improve customer interactions and campaign strategy, whilst making your agents feel like their opinion matters and they can make a genuine difference.
Additionally, it mixes up an agent’s role and adds variety which is also positive for morale, allowing you to utilise their expertise gained from the frontline of your business. Meanwhile, with access to enhanced agent tracking tools you can effectively manage this by creating tracking states that will clearly highlight they have been involved in such a task, allowing you to take this into account when analysing their performance stats for the day, week or month.
Acknowledging good performance is probably the easiest way to improve agent engagement and build the faith they have in their superiors. Agents continuously making efforts to please customers with little – or no – acknowledgement can become disheartened and lose motivation over time. More often than not the better call centres, both in terms of output and atmosphere to work in, will provide incentives that will reward top performing agents.
Agents will not just feel better about themselves and the job they’re doing; they will be inspired to do more of it which can only help your call centre too. A flexible, customisable and real-time reporting suite can allow you to tailor your statistics to your needs. You will be able to quickly and easily log in and locate the stats you need to find the top performing agents that you can reward for their consistent hard work.
Creating a bit of friendly competition is never a bad thing; it inspires agents to outperform their peers and guards against complacency. A vibrant atmosphere across your call centre will make it a happier place for agents to be – and what better way to achieve this than by dangling the possibility of bragging rights above the heads of competing teams? It will also likely get agents talking about it during break periods in rest areas, encouraging them to socialise, which again will have them feeling happier at work and more engaged with their employer and colleagues.
Utilising an intelligent wallboard that allows you to create highly colourful and graphical charts lets you display any ongoing competition across your call centre, which agents can see for themselves and allow them to keep on top of their own – and their team’s – progress. With a wallboard that is highly adaptable you could even create a league table, incentivising rewards for 1st, 2nd, 3rd place and so on.
Avoid wasting time and resources on irrelevant training programmes. Agents either individually or groups of agents working on different campaigns to another group are more than likely going to be better prepared if they’re given tailored training activities relevant to what it is that they’re working on, or where their strengths and weaknesses lie. Properly thought out training plans will help your agents reach optimum levels and make them actually want to reach them.
Ensure they are engaging by using real life scenarios that have actually happened by using actual call recordings. The recordings can even be specific to the agent, which can be used for self-evaluation so you can encourage agents to think about what they could, should or would have done differently. Making the effort to show how much you want to help your agents will inspire how valued they feel.
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