A motivated call center employee is the last and most important line of defense in your push to deliver an exceptional customer experience. That’s because even the most carefully planned customer journey can break down. And when that happens, your clients will pick up the phone and want a real person on the other end of the line who is capable of solving their problems.
You may have already read advice about motivating your staff by adding more productivity tools: IVR and Web services, new channels, extra training and e-learning sessions, and so on. But will it really work? To find out, ask yourself two questions: will it make your employees’ life easier and will it improve their earnings potential? If the answer to either is no, you are likely to miss the target with these initiatives. Instead, try a few relatively simple strategies that improve the quality of life of your agents quickly and directly. When you create a safer and more nurturing environment for your workforce, your agents will immediately respond with higher engagement levels.
Tenacity interacts with call center agents every day, and here are a few suggestions based on the issues that matter to your employees:
1. Install a card-friendly vending machine with a good variety of snacks (including healthy options)
Your employees need to refuel after dealing with your most difficult customers, but nothing is more frustrating than trying to scrape up quarters for a favorite snack. This is a waste of your employees’ energy and time. Moreover, most people want to eat more healthily and will choose healthier options when these are available (hint: high protein snacks are the best). Healthier snacks will help your employees to avoid the sugar spikes that lead to higher irritability and low energy levels.
If you want to score some bonus points, arrange for a local food truck to make a stop by your center to cover morning shifts.
2. Secure lunches
We have heard multiple stories from agents about stolen lunches at work. Without a question, it’s a very frustrating and de-motivating experience. Employees that bring their own lunch to work are making a special effort to eat healthier and save more. When their lunches are stolen, not only do they have to rush around to get a replacement meal, they also lose trust in the safety of their workspace.
Motivate your employees by making lunch storage more secure, both at their desk (if this option is available) and in the common refrigerator. Work with the security team to establish processes that prevent and quickly identify and punish any offenders.
3. Create goodwill with “Goodwill”
If your employees don’t have a way of offering some goodwill to clients then you are not fully tapping into their intrinsic motivation. Your best employees truly want to be helpful to your customers. Did you know that feeling proud about one’s work could actually release endorphins? Enable your team to go the extra mile and they will become more involved and committed. You can expand the definition of “goodwill” with creative offerings, then make sure that all your customer-facing employees have access to it (perhaps, at different levels correlated to their performance). Get extra credit if your system allows to track how goodwill correlates to other KPIs.
4. Organize an “Invite your family to work” day
Your best employees are proud of what they do, and they want to share their experience with close relatives and friends. It’s a small gesture but it helps your agents feel more connected and involved with your company.
5. Organize a special “Dress Up” event for the site
This is a brilliant option to boost your employees’ morale quickly. The days of obligatory suit and tie at work are long gone. That’s because most people feel much more comfortable in a t-shirt and a pair of slacks. But once in a while your agents will actually want to put on their best outfit. Give them an excuse, and you will be amazed at your agents’ enthusiasm, creativity, and gratitude for letting them express themselves to their workplace community.
The above tips only work with agents that are already intrinsically motivated to perform. So hire intrinsically motivated agents and help them maintain a good quality of life. Don’t’ just say it: show that you care for them and in turn they will care for your business.
If you are interested in learning more about a comprehensive workforce solution to motivate, engage, and retain your call center employees, schedule a consultation with the Tenacity team.