Improving your employees’ productivity and performance can help your call center gain credibility and raise profitability. A reliable workforce can help you attract more clients, while allowing you to boost employee engagement.
However, keeping your agents productive isn’t a simple task. It will require hard work and constant monitoring to ensure that the performance improvement methods you’re using are effective.
Usually, what contact centers do to build a stellar team is to hire only the best and most skilled agents who fit the company’s requirements and culture.
But even if you’ve hired the most competent employees, you must still work on improving their skills and encouraging them to stay in the company. A highly capable workforce that’s fully committed to your organization can strengthen the quality of your services.
Here are seven ways to improve the productivity and performance of your call center agents.
1. Continuous training and mentoring
Training and mentoring must be consistent features of a call center. However, while you may already be implementing established training programs, you must keep an eye out for your agents’ training needs. Managers can also mentor their teams by sharing the knowledge they’ve learned from their years of experience in the industry. This can breed a collaborative relationship among agents, team leaders, and managers, ensuring teamwork and constant learning.
2. Providing incentives
Whether it’s for good performance, loyalty, or complete attendance, rewarding your employees is a good way to encourage productivity. It also encourages healthy competition among employees and teams, which can inspire them to perform better.
The incentives you give to your top employees need not be in the form of money all the time. You may also provide gym memberships or even small tokens like gift cards. These rewards can even help employees deal with stress.
3. Assessing performance through metrics
You must determine the metrics that your call center should prioritize so that you can execute your customer service in ways that are consistent with your goals. For sustainable performance improvement, you should also train your agents in accordance to the demands and requirements of your metrics. From there, you can assess their performance and provide appropriate feedback, training, and incentives.
4. Giving feedback and reinforcement
Customer service agents need to receive unbiased feedback so they can learn from their errors and improve accordingly. Based on the metrics you use, you can assess employees’ performance and determine if they’re meeting the company’s performance standards. Quality analysts can also provide feedback regarding each rep’s performance.
Alternatively, high-performing agents should also be commended for their significant contributions to the company. This is a way to encourage them to maintain their good work.
5. Empowering your call center agents
Empowered agents perform better and are able to create harmonious relationships with their colleagues. They’re also likely to stay loyal to your call center. They’re proactive in their roles and driven to deliver positive results.
One way to empower your employees is to provide them with opportunities for personal and career growth. For instance, keep giving them relevant skill trainings and recognize when they’re ready to be promoted to a higher position so they can apply the expertise and experience they’ve gathered.
6. Encouraging longer breaks
You can increase employee productivity by encouraging your agents to take breaks during the work day. As call center environments can be rather fast-paced and chaotic, encourage your agents to step away from tense situations from time to time to help them recuperate from stress.
Some companies also allow their employees to take naps. Napping has been shown to refresh people’s minds, helping them re-focus their attention to the task at hand. These days, more and more customers support firms are placing sleeping quarters on the production floor to give agents a chance to take a short rest during their break times.
7. Optimizing employee scheduling
Call center reps must follow well-planned shift schedules to ensure that they’re given enough rest time. The shifts you arrange must also be optimal to your productivity, since you must consider when you’d need more agents on the production floor. For this, you need to know when you’re likely to start receiving large call volumes. With properly scheduled work hours and off days, employees become productive and work-oriented, helping you cope with customer demands.