Increasing Productivity in the Call Center
In the call center, there are several forces working against agents at any given moment. For one, it’s finally getting nice outside. With temperatures in the 90s, who wants to spend the day inside answering phone calls? Even the most dedicated call center agents have a hard time staying focused during the summer months. Another element contributing to lowered motivation is angry callers. No one likes to get yelled at, and call center agents are no exception. Dealing with too many difficult customers in one day is one of the fastest ways to ruin agent motivation. Poor scheduling, general burnout, and an overall lack of variety and excitement in the call center all also contribute to a lack of motivation.
So what are call center managers supposed to do? When a customer reaches out to a call center, that’s often their first point of contact with a company. Therefore, it’s in everyone’s best interest for the call to go well. That’s never a guarantee when the agents aren’t motivated to do a good job. Here are a few sure-fire ways to keep agents motivated this summer and all year long.
Introduce gamification. A little bit of healthy competition never hurt anyone, and it certainly makes for a more interesting work day. Creating teams of call center agents that compete to see who’s the best at first call resolution, who’s the friendliest, and who gets the best reviews can be a great way of providing some motivation while also helping agents bond. You’d be amazed how much harder people start to try when there’s a chance of winning a prize.
Go omnichannel. If you haven’t become an omnichannel contact center yet, it’s time to jump on the bandwagon. Going omnichannel increases productivity levels by allowing agents to respond to inquiries through all channels—social media, email, phone call, etc. Not only that, but variety is the spice of life. Agents get tired of sitting on the phone all day, so being able to answer a question through messaging is a nice way to change up the day.
Managers, be present. There’s arguably nothing worse than a manager who doesn’t offer support. They’re there to help agents with whatever they need, whether it’s scheduling or dealing with a difficult phone call. Agents can’t ask for help if the managers don’t seem open to providing said help. So make sure your contact center has an open, friendly atmosphere.