Motivating your call center personnel isn’t always an easy task. It takes quite a chunk of effort to make them feel respected and valued. Working in a call center isn’t always the most exciting job in the world – especially after a whole day of “no’s”.
In order to motivate your employees, you need to give them certain things that will make them feel more relaxed and comfortable.
It's in your best interest to keep your employees satisfied, as it’s been proven that satisfied employees tend to be more productive. Beside basic things, such as listening to their needs and give them the right work conditions in general, you can also achieve more efficient and happy employees by giving them the right tools to fulfill their job.
1. Train, educate and give instant feedback
In general, training and education create more self-confident employees, helps retain them and strengthen the quality of the work done.
Teach your agents how to manage objections
Even those with years of experience in the call center field often have trouble convincing the client to say yes over the phone. And, honestly, it’s no easy feat. Some people get annoyed when they receive a call from a call center employee, and instantly say “no”, before even hearing what the operator has to say.
Knowing that, you should teach them how to manage objections. Not only mentally, but also tactically. Sometimes it's possible to maintain a conversation by using the right techniques and that way turn a “no” into a “yes”. If you teach your employees to use these techniques in a decent manner, you will not only get better prepared employees, but at the end of the day you will also get a higher conversion rate.
Mentally it can be tough to get a lot of ‘’’no’s’’, and most people working in call centers might know the feeling of getting drained during a day filled with rejections. Make sure that your employees understand that it’s just a part of the job to get rejected – and it’s not a personal thing. Talk openly about “no’s”, failures and mistakes, and let your agents share their experiences so they can learn from each other.
Monitor and guide along the way
The best way of teaching new skills is to learn on the fly. Most dialer software solutions allow you to listen live as the phoner speaks on the phone, which makes it possible to give immediate response on the agent’s performance.
Some solutions also give the opportunity to follow all employees’ performance at one glance. This is an almost indispensable tool, when you need to localize who might have difficulty keeping conversations going, who is struggling with specific issues or unable to close their sales. The faster you spot these employees, the easier it is to give them the instant feedback they need.
Be visible as a call center manager
Your motivation and enthusiasm matter more than you think! Be present as a manager and set a cheerful tone right from the first day of induction. This can really help keep the agents going.
Creating a solution and announcing it to the team without explaining it, is perhaps one of the most demotivating things you can do. Make sure the agents take part in finding solutions and solving problems.
Arrange a daily huddle with your agents where you spend 10-15 minutes and explain today's assignments, challenges and priorities, and ask the team what they hear and experience. When you gather the team and involve them in identifying and solving problems, they gain ownership, which helps them feel more connected to their work
2. Provide your agents with all necessary information
It can get a bit frustrating calling a potential customer and not being able to answer all the questions they might have.
Sometimes your agents work on different campaigns simultaneously, and it doesn't take much to get confused switching from one assignment to another.
Remember that your agents represent the face of your company, which urges the need for all communication to be unified, consistent and accurate.
Use scripts and keep your agents up to date
Provide your agents with manageable and easily accessible scripts that gives them all the information they need to make a successful call. Having the right information right at your fingertips also eliminate the risk of making errors and misguiding the people you’re calling – that way you’ll get more happy customers which again gives a higher satisfaction among your agents. It also eliminates the awkward situations where an agent is lost for words and searching for the right phrases.
To avoid misinformation, make sure to update any information linked to a campaign as soon as possible.
It might seem needless to keep everybody updated with rules and legislation on telemarketing and data security, but it's a necessity! Not only to ensure that your business is compliant, but also to assure not to put your agents in a situation where they can become partly responsible for breaking the law.
By teaching your agents the right procedures about legal issues, such as data processing and handling, and how to tackle any breach of data security, you bring comfort and security into their work.
3. Manage your leads wisely
Calling on the same campaign day in and day out not only sounds boring... IT IS BORING in the long run. Especially when you’re working on campaigns where the leads have been called several times before, and therefore are hard to catch or simply tired of being called down.
Distribute your leads evenly
A common mistake is to upload many leads and release them all at the same time. This way you may risk boosting your successes for periods, which can ultimately affect the motivation of your agents.
You can easily add some variation into the work, simply by managing your leads more wisely. Try to distribute your leads more evenly by not releasing all your fresh leads in one go.
Boost your agents
Divide your leads into several campaigns, so your employees get a good mixture of reused and fresh leads during their workday. In some cases, it can be a good idea to start the day making redials, and finish the day calling fresh leads to put some variation into to the work.
It can also be a motivating factor to temporarily provide the unmotivated agents with good leads to boost their efficiency and thereby regain their motivation.
4. Let your agents do what they are best at
It’s common sense, that it's more satisfying to succeed rather than to fail. Some agents are better at doing cold canvas sales than others – and some agents are experts in closing deals.
By building efficient workflows, where you consider assigning the right tasks to the right agents, you can help your agents create better results.
The ultimate way to build and control workflows is to automate as many processes as possible, so that the leads automatically are moved from one campaign to another.
5. Use software that matches your needs
Choose a software solution that not only meets your basic needs but also is intuitive and manageable to use – and, most important of all, doesn’t breakdown!
Avoid system breakdowns
A system breakdown sound like a nice occasion to go grab a cup of coffee. But several breakdowns during a workday lead to frustration and inefficiency, because you’ll get interrupted in the flow. Make sure to choose software with little downtime and minimum maintenance.
Make a user-friendly choice
Most people will agree that complicated and hard-to-use software solutions can be very time demanding. The more intuitive your system is, the better.
But it’s not only a timesaver to choose manageable easy-to-use software. It also eliminates the risk of making errors. If the system allows you to automate repetitive tasks, you are well on your way to provide your agents with the ultimate tool. This will help them focus on their sales instead of wasting time filling out forms and keeping customer data up to date manually.
Customize software settings
The more it’s possible to customize the user settings, the easier it is to filter out irrelevant features and information that may disturb or confuse your agents. Customized user settings that allow you to adapt the interface for its purpose, and set up individual KPIs for each agent are also recommendable. It might seem like a minor detail, but it can be an important motivation factor that the agents can follow their own progress.
5. Celebrate success!
Be realistic about your goals, make them visible and, of course, remember to celebrate when you reach them.
Notice that you can set up many other goals than just the number of closed deals. It’s just a matter of finding the value in the small achievements and progresses you make on your way to closing the deal. Consider measuring conversion rates, the number of calls made or the number of interested leads you have managed to contact. These can be just as important measures for your success.
Visualize your goals
It's a good idea to visualize your goals so that everyone can follow the performance. One might argue that it can be unmotivating to follow the performance when things aren't going that great. But making underperformance visible can be turned into an advantage, if you use it in a tactical manner and stay positive in the situation. Use pep talks to make your agents put an extra effort into their work to achieve their goal, and remember to reward them for keeping up the spirit.
Manage your KPIs using the right tools
Make sure you have the right tools to define and measure your own KPIs – and consistently keep track of them! This makes it easier to make continuous adjustments that ensure your goals are realistic and possible to reach.
Some call centers use gamification as a tool to boost the performance, simply by letting the agents compete against each other. This brings a whole new dimension to the workspace and may work in some situations. But use it carefully, so you agents don’t rush through their calls and forget to be consistent about their communication to the customers.
Work smart, not just hard, and you will achieve spotless call center motivation.