Motivating employees is hard enough. Motivating call center employees? That’s even harder.
Imagine a team of employees that deals with clients day in and day out. They typically work demanding hours and assist disgruntled customers. Agents are constantly on their toes. They have to know their product or service inside and out to intelligently and thoughtfully answer any questions customers have. Needless to say, it’s a difficult and exhausting job, but somebody’s got to do it.
Managers of call centers should ensure that they know how to motivate their employees properly. Knowing what drives these employees and what prompts them to wake up and go to work every day factors greatly into maximizing their efficiency. To that end, here are some helpful and surprising ways to motivate call center employees:
1. Give employees a sense of autonomy
It may seem like a very difficult task to give call center agents autonomy. After all, it’s a job where every call is monitored and analyzed. Agents follow a set of guidelines that dictate how best to coordinate and communicate with customers. Conversations are run by quality assurance programs. Additionally, organizational rules determine how agents handle inquiries, from each statement uttered to each keystroke made.
This structure can result in demotivated agents who end up feeling like robots. While this is indeed valid, managers should remind agents that they do have autonomy over their work. Despite all the guidelines, standards and rules that they have to follow, it’s still up to them to communicate effectively with customers, because how they manage callers will mean the difference between concerns that get resolved and calls that get escalated.
2. Highlight an agent’s need for expertise and mastery
Agents aren’t robots, but a lot of people assume they are. They don’t recognize the fact that being able to answer a customer’s question insightfully while addressing their concerns requires a certain level of skill.
This boils down to the fact that agents should be knowledgeable and understand the “ins and outs” of the product or service. Knowing that they are experts in this aspect of their job is a great and surprising motivator for a lot of agents. Be sure to help them achieve mastery by investing in their training and developing their skills.
3. Underscore their sense of purpose
Another misconception that’s so deeply ingrained in this industry is that working as a call center agent isn’t a career that gives purpose. For many, answering phones is tedious, but talking to a customer can mean the world to him or her.
An agent’s ability to talk to customers and make them feel like their concerns are important can make a tremendous difference to them. An agent can save someone’s day simply by taking their call. They can fix a problem, cheer someone up and create a solution.
To get the conversation rolling with a team of call center agents, ask them how they are able to help people through their calls. Share stories, gather anecdotes and point out that simply showing up at work can make a difference in other people’s lives. Make sure they have the tools to do their jobs in the best way possible by leveraging the latest technology and training.
Agents make a positive impact on customers in more ways than you can imagine. Putting the spotlight on this fact is one of the most effective ways to motivate your call center team. If you want to learn about how GoToConnect's CCaaS (Contact Center as a Service) can help make a difference, give us a call today!