Call centers should activate leadership activities that can become valuable strategies in the workplace. When done correctly, these activities can impact the attitudes of call center agents by making them feel supported and appreciated in the workplace.
The responsibilities of a call center manager are complex and always evolving. When it comes to hiring, training and monitoring agents, there are many aspects at play. Although platforms like Tethr can evaluate the effectiveness and quality of customer interactions and provide guideposts for managers to better coach their reps, the right leadership pursuits can foster team morale. Agents who are satisfied with their working conditions and environment tend to outperform agents who are stressed or generally unhappy while on the job.
Here are some strategies managers can take advantage of to up the call center game.
Bring FAQs to light
Keeping a running report on the most frequently asked questions can keep teams aligned. Schedule time to regularly go over these topics. This gathering can serve as the perfect opportunity for leaders to recognize team members who are demonstrating excellent customer service.
Flexibility boosts productivity
Offering flexible scheduling options is one way to offset call center agent turnover. For some, this might mean allowing your workers to select shifts that best support their home lives. For others, this means giving reps the reigns to work remotely if the technology is in place to support it.
Schedule quarterly dinners
Get in the habit of holding end-of-quarter dinners to celebrate the quarter’s biggest achievements and growth, and discuss the plan to perform even better over the next quarter. This keeps operations transparent, makes agents feel appreciated and clarifies business goals. A change of scenery is also a great way to keep the wheels spinning.
Everyone loves a good challenge. Divide your reps into teams and have them compete against each other for the most completed first-call resolutions or who offered the lowest-effort experiences (use the Tethr Effort Index to get those scores.) Games boost team energy levels while also helping businesses reach goals more quickly. The more involved management is, the more successful these contests will be. Prizes can be monetary, or things like extra time off, sending staff to an exciting training or offering more flexible working options.
Make the space inspirational
What does it look like inside the call center? Creativity is less likely to be found inside dull and dreary work environments. Lively art, motivational quotes and bright colors are linked to employee productivity and excitement. It’s difficult to get pumped up for work when everything around you screams “lackluster.”
A growing company needs a diverse team. A unique background of work and life experiences can be a goldmine for ideas. Your customers are unique and your employees should be a reflection of your customers.
Agents can practice honing their skills by roleplaying. Managers can craft real and perhaps complicated examples reps might encounter during daily interactions. Agents can learn to consider new ways to handle their customer conversations by becoming inspired by others or by being encouraged to think in a less conventional manner. This sort of improvisation is important as you never know what’s coming up on the other end of a frustrated customer call.
Praise publicly, criticize privately
Offering public praise is good for morale. Public individual criticism? Not so much. Be sure to give personal constructive criticism to the individual in private so they don’t feel embarrassed or attacked. Another good tip is to sandwich criticism with praise. This helps people let their guards down and truly listen to the corrections and advice managers give.
Do good together
Try to get your team to volunteer together for local, charitable events on a monthly or quarterly basis. The relationships your team builds with non-profit organizations can do a solid for their customer service skills. Be sure to collect team input on the kind of causes they are passionate about. Volunteering is associated with increased life satisfaction and it’s especially important for your call center agents to be happy as they are the face of your brand.
Offsite gatherings rejuvenate teams
Sometimes you just have to get out of the office to really think outside the box. By holding semi-regular team building events, agents can get the breaks they need while also collaborating on ideas they can bring to the workplace for months to come. Team buildings tend to refresh, strengthen team bonds and reiterate the “we’re all in this together” mentality. If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.