How to increase call center agent engagement

Ashley Sava

April 1, 2020

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Engagement matters. In fact, the secret to driving customer loyalty might just be learning to drive call center agent engagement. Are you willing to spend more time and resources improving call center morale?

While engagement might not be the sole key to a loyal customer base, it is a fact that engaged agents produce higher quality experiences for customers because they feel compelled to do so. 

Call center agent engagement: An already challenging job requires more incentives

Consider the sheer number of challenges call center agents face during a workday. The very nature of the job already contributes to high turnover and employee disengagement, which means employees can hastily grow indifferent to the company. At this point, they're already withholding their best efforts and ideas—something no growing company wants to risk losing.

It doesn’t have to be this way, of course, but that’s really up to the manager. Modern managers can choose to position themselves to apply solutions to improve call center agent engagement. When done correctly, these measures can swiftly boost rep productivity, enhance skill sets and poise the business for more opportunities.

Encourage agents to take advantage of workplace flexibility

If you’re not already boasting a flexible call center environment, you should start now. Employee burnout is no joke in this industry, but it is something that can be diminished by becoming a workspace that truly allows for a work/home balance. While the 24-hour customer service era continues to flourish across businesses, prolonged working hours and constant peak-hour shifts are the recipe for a stressful and resentful place of work. If this isn’t dealt with, productivity slumps, while reps calling in sicks rises.

Offering flexible scheduling options is one way to counteract this imminent dilemma. Several leading call centers support a remote working environment in order to retain the best and the brightest. Others provide the option for reps to select the shifts that best support their lives. 

When putting these orders in place, don’t forget to optimize staffing, keep a record of adherence, and ensure the satisfaction of your customers and potential clients.

Increase call center agent engagement with strong coaching

Fear of meeting complicated performance standards is a chief worry for call center agents. Although extensive training through programs and shadowing can get reps started on the right foot, things don’t always progress without the guidance of regular feedback from leadership.

Scheduling regular cadence for coaching sessions built into employee schedules is one way to combat the “fell through the cracks” obstacle that frequently creeps up on busy call centers. This is a surefire way to increase call center agent engagement.

Unlocking an agent’s potential to maximize their own performance requires coaches who will invest in rep learning. Use platforms like Tethr to culminate best practices from top performers, dig into the trends taking place during your calls, test the progress of your coaching engagement and obtain same-day progress feedback for your coaching feedback and agent performance progress. 

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Don’t treat reps like a number

Leaders should remember to recognize the efforts of agents who are going above and beyond. Appreciation is a fundamental human need. When a topnotch performer feels they aren’t getting acknowledged, they will either churn or their efforts will curtail, little by little. Successful reps are much less likely to be unsatisfied with their jobs, but unappreciated reps will head to greener pastures if they feel their talents will be properly highlighted elsewhere. 

Captivate your team through your culture

Agents can become engaged through things such as company core values, team events, and group activities. Your call center should have the same core values as the company does, and reps should never feel like they aren't part of the overall culture. Promote those core values in various ways, whether that be through in-person events, ongoing training, or office signage. Immersing these employees in the company culture is especially important for retention. Don’t forget to reward out-of-the-box thinking!

Every time an employee interacts with a customer, they are representing your brand. Make sure your call center is a place people want to work for, in order to build call center agent engagement. This, in turn, will benefit your brand.

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