1. Define your ideal employee based on competencies (e.g. the Lominger competency library) and hire well on the front-end.
You’re not looking to just put “butts in seats”; you want to select the ideal behavioral traits, hire those who fit that profile, and then partner with that employee to create a professional development plan from the get-go to create a positive company culture and help him or her feel seen and valued.
2. Make data-based decisions with empathy and consistently give and solicit feedback.
This also means that you leverage the benefits offered by hosted call center software to ensure proper scheduling and balance the workflow so your employees have what they need to do their jobs effectively. What tools and resources offered by the call center software do they like and which cause problems? Are you
maximizing the support provided by the software itself and coaching your employees properly on doing the same? Do your employees face recurring challenges that you don’t know about? On an interpersonal level, do they perceive you as someone who cares? To resolve any technical challenges, consider establishing or deepening your relationship with a call center partner like My Call Cloud so you can focus your energies on managing the interpersonal aspects. For the latter, consider implementing frequent employee surveys, focus group sessions, or one-on-one coaching sessions to reveal employee preferences and needs. One simple approach for improving employee performance is the SSC, a simple service observance approach consisting of “Stop, Start, and Continue” sections, where one undesirable behavior is stopped, one is newly implemented, and one is praised. The bottom line is that employees have a safe forum to exchange feedback; you can then use what you learn to adjust your current approach to using hosted call center software and shape your overall infrastructure to meet both business and employee needs.
The #1 Most Common Complaint from Call Center Managers
Out of the myriad challenges a call center manager confronts and overcomes on a regular basis, what’s the one that makes the stomachs of managers and stakeholders alike churn with anxiety? In the words of blogger Benjamin Drury, it all comes down to people, or in this case, the continuously revolving door of people. With a call center turnover rate of approximately 35% as of 2018, and the average cost of training at 6,000.00 for an employee making 12.00 an hour, high employee turnover means that a company has low ROI, a manager must continually train new employees on call center software, protocols, and best practices, service quality may go down because employees have less experience, and in more severe circumstances, a client may go elsewhere because there are simply not enough people on staff to achieve the high volume of calls necessary for a project. Granted, the work itself is tough. Whether a call center representative is engaging with the public to complete surveys on community issues, receiving inbound calls from customers rattled by services issues, or making outbound cold calls to make a sale, the work can be monotonous, customers are challenging, personal space is minimal, advancement opportunities are limited, and the pay is relatively low.
If you’re a call center manager, you know the importance of retaining and motivating your people to provide the level of quality stakeholders expect. But what are some ways you can overcome such a widespread and persistent problem? How do you convert a role prone to burnout, poor performance, and turnover into a job of choice? In addition to exploring some of the solutions offered by a call center software partner like My Call Cloud, below are four concepts worth considering:
3. Establish incentives and practice positive reinforcement, so employees want to do well
because it will bring them benefit, whether it’s intrinsic or extrinsic; this is a night and day contrast with an employee who does just enough to avoid negative consequences. Find out what really motivates your employees. Sure, everyone wants higher pay, but beyond that, what makes them feel truly valued? This can be tricky because there is so much diversity and differs from one person to the next, but there are tools and training materials out there that can help you learn how to better reach your employees, such as the DISC assessment or materials focused on Emotional Intelligence (EQ).
4. Prioritize employee engagement and help employees achieve individualized benchmarks.
Whether your company regularly has opportunities for advancement, the likelihood that an employee’s aspirations stop at being a call center representative is slim. Your primary task here is to build value to the tasks entailed in their role by showing the possible relevance to other aspects of life and keeping in mind the WIIFM (What’s in it for me) concept that drives most human behaviors. Facilitate their development such that they perform well in the workplace and know how to successfully maximize use of hosted call center software and protocols while also honing the skills they themselves see as important and relevant in a fun and supportive environment. Team or company-wide initiatives and trainings that emphasize friendly competition and gamification concepts can be successful, whether premised on metrics provided by the call center software itself as a performance-based points system or as a competition run by the employees for the highest service ratings from customers.