call center manager speaks to agents

 

As a manager, it’s your role to improve the performance of your team. Of all workplace environments, the call center may be the hardest to bring about greater productivity.

 

Call center agents deal with significant amounts of customer exchanges every day and are expected to remain professional throughout. It’s a tough task, so it’s no surprise that call center teams can suffer from a lack of motivation after a tough period at work.

 

As their manager, it’s your job to inspire and motivate call center agents to bring about success. There are plenty of ways to make your team more prosperous and productive – here are eight of them.

 

8 Ways to Keep Call Center Staff Motivated

 

1. Build a Happy Workplace

Any successful workplace starts with a happy, positive environment. As a manager, you have the most control over the working environment and the ability to change it. Set the tone by being friendly, welcoming and engaging to all your staff members. When new members join, be sure to ingratiate them into the team. You can’t underestimate the power of the first impression.

 

To make improvements in this area, you need to know your starting position. Conduct some brief conversations with members of the team and gauge how they feel about the ethos in the team. Are they happy? Do they consider their colleagues to be friends? How could the team atmosphere improve?

 

Once you have some feedback, implement some tweaks. It could be as simple as improving your mood every day or going out of your way to ask people how their weekend was. Break out rooms, team socials or even just brightening up the office are other simple methods for bringing an immediate boost to the workplace environment.

 

2. Offer Regular Feedback  

One of the most frustrating and demotivating aspects of poor management is a lack of feedback. Studies have shown how younger generations value a regular stream of feedback from managers, helping them to hone their skills and bring about gradual improvements.

 

Organize regular catchups with all your team members. This can be a dedicated period where the focus is on that individual: how are they finding work right now? Any success they’re proud of or challenges they’ve had to overcome?

 

Head into those meetings with observations you have on that individual’s work. What areas can they improve on? Where have they impressed you? You want them to come out of the meeting with a couple of things to work on each month – that is the motivation they need to keep on progressing.

 

3. Foster a Team Environment

Managers need to strike a delicate balance between the individual and the team. In call centers, healthy competition can be a great way to motivate staff, but it does come with dangers. Overplay the competitive nature of your work, and it could tip the balance and turn team members on one another.

 

Team-orientated workplaces are often more harmonious places to work. This can be fostered with team socials or simply by eating lunch together. But how do you breed togetherness in an industry where individual success can be measured?

 

Ultimately, you need to consider the characters that make up your team. Are they motivated by the friendly, competitive nature of their work, or would they prefer a more team-orientated philosophy?

 

To build a motivated team, analyze each member and steer them in the correct direction.

 

4. Reward Success  

Call center agents work tirelessly every day in a tough, customer-facing role. When they succeed at their job, they want their manager to recognize that achievement, and reward it.

 

The obvious way to rewards success is with targets. Set realistic goals for your team, be it on calls made over a certain period or a number of sales. If they hit that target, acknowledge it and offer a reward. These team-orientated goals can build a sense of comradery, encouraging everyone to work together. If your team hits their monthly target, why not take them out for pizza?

 

Individuals also deserve recognition when they deliver results. Many call center agents have targets built into their contract, with bonuses to be earned if they achieve those targets. For hard-working individuals, this is one of the best ways to motivate excellent performance every day. Just be sure to maintain that team/individual balance when thinking about how and when you reward success in your team.

 

5. Offer Career Progression  

Call centers are often filled with young people in the early days of their careers. They should come full of fresh ideas and enthusiasm for what lies ahead. Chances are, they don’t see themselves as a long-term call center agent but want to use the job as a platform to develop skills and build experience.

 

As their manager, you play a central role in the progression of their careers. Having a broader focus on the long-term development of the individual can be the best way to motivate them. Focus on what areas they need to develop on and provide them with opportunities to work on them. Consider what future employees will look for and give your employees the chance to build experience in that field.

 

6. Set Clear Goals  

When you sit at a desk answering calls all day, it can be easy to lose sight of the wider business objectives. Managers are tasked with communicating how each individual plays a part in the success of the business.

 

A lack of clarity in an individual’s role, and how it is necessary to business success, is one of the biggest factors contributing to demotivated staff. To provide this clarity, consider organizing a team strategy morning. There, you can take the team through the bigger picture, covering wider business goals and targets.

 

Goal setting isn’t just about communicating business objectives. Setting goals is a huge part of an individual’s motivation too. Linked to career progression and providing feedback, managers can help motivate call center agents by setting them goals. Give someone an achievable, quantifiable future goal and watch them work hard to get to it.

 

7. Give Staff the Tools to Succeed  

A surefire way to demotivate call center agents is not providing the tools required to do the job. The sight of failing systems and broken processes is enough to stop any individual’s drive in its tracks.

 

Work to reduce any barriers to success within your team. This could be working with technology that is fit for purpose or ensuring every team member is fully set up on your internal systems.

 

It starts by hiring the right people to do the job. Frustrations can grow if your team is made up of people who don’t have the required skills to carry out the job. Make sure your hiring process is up to scratch and you’ve made the first step to a motivated team.

 

8. Be Flexible  

The modern workplace demands flexibility. Younger generations entering the workplace want the freedom to fit work around their modern lifestyles. If they feel too suffocated by the constraints of their team, a dip in motivation is just around the corner.

Flexibility could mean one of many things in the office. It could mean flexible hours to work whenever is convenient for that individual. It could be the flexibility to get involved in other areas of the business, helping them to broaden their skills. Whatever flexibility means to your call center staff, offering it to them will only serve to boost motivation.

 

 

Motivated call center agents are happier, more productive and drive better results for your organization. If your team needs a pickup, implement some of these eight tried and tested tips for success.