There are some jobs that are just harder than others and call center agents have a difficult role to fill. On a daily basis, they have the challenge of calming frustrated and angry customers, often while lacking the tools and respect found in other job opportunities.
In yesterday’s blog post, we gave tips #1-5 for helping your call center agents to succeed. Here are five more to ensure they get the motivation and help that they deserve.
Few things aggravate a customer more than dealing with an agent who doesn’t have the answers. With caller ID and contact history, your agents have access to the information they need before they even say, “How may I help you?” This eliminates uncomfortable calls and sets the agent (and customer) up for success (which also coincides with tips #1 and #8). It also gives the agent the power to handle the situation.
“The foundation of strong employee morale is communication — that means collaboration, feedback and recognition,” explains Morgan Norman, founder and CEO of WorkSimple, a social performance management platform. The call center agent is the one closest to the customer and who best understands the ins and outs of a product. Allowing agents to be heard validates the important role they fill for the business.
“I listened to everyone’s opinions, and, without fail, they’d bring up things I hadn’t thought of. More important, my team members knew that they were part of the process and that their voices mattered,” states Kevin Plank, founder of Under Armour. “Employees are more motivated when they feel needed, appreciated, and valued.”
We’ve all had those call center experiences when we’ve waited on the line for more than 20 minutes only to snap at the operator when they are finally available to take our call. Sometimes being on hold is inevitable, but advanced call center software features such as voicemail or queue callback can make that time more bearable for customers. When an agent is able to call the customer back, the customer is less likely to be upset at the wasted time being on hold; less angry customers equals less frazzled call center agents! Your agents will be more motivated to come to work when they know that they will have fewer difficult callers to deal with.
Many times call center job opportunities are for those just entering the job market. “There is a much higher turnover rate in routine, order-taking positions or in outbound telemarketing where burnout is high,” found QATC, a quality assurance organization. “Turnover is lower in more specialized, higher level jobs and also lower in union environments.”
Even small levels of advancement such as addressing VIP calls or managing team quality control can allow agents to feel valued and recognized for their work and potential.
One of the most discouraging things in any workplace is when one employee isn’t doing their share. Custom call center agent statuses can bring much-needed visibility for agents by allowing them to share their availabilities with fellow teammates. This transparency fosters teamwork and a better work environment overall.
Many times, employees spend more time in the workplace than even at home, so it only makes sense to create the best work experience possible. Being heard, respected and equipped for success will benefit your agents, allowing them to be well-prepared with the willingness and ability to address every customer need.
Missed tips #1-5? Check out part one of this two-part series for more ways to motivate your call center agents.
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