We all assume that birthday cakes and the occasional pizza party will get agents working as furiously as bees, but some industry professionals have identified some incentives that work in dividends within their own centers. See if you can apply some of these ideas within your own center to really get things going!
"KPIs should be based on success - not on numbers. An agent who spends 5 minutes per call more than others, but has a customer satisfaction rate a couple of points higher than the others should be congratulated and recognised for what they do - not told off because their hourly call rate is less than everyone else. Give variation - for agents who have the capability, rotating them around inbound and outbound calls can give the variation that keeps the job interesting. Accept where the skills start and stop - use skills routing to make the most out of the agents. Accept that some agents are best suited as first line agents - their capabilities are in being friendly and talking to customers, and covering the very common issues brought to the fore. Others may have second line skills in dealing with less common issues, and then there will be third line agents whose personal skills may not be the hottest around, but their domain expertise is the best around. By enabling agents to easily pass on a call through the various levels - without the need for the customer to repeat too much information - everyone can be kept happier."
|- Clive Longbottom, Service DirectorBusiness Process Analysis, Quocirca Ltd, United Kingdom|
"Create a sense of ownership. The more the agent believes in the organization and owns the 'work' the lesser he/she will hold the organization responsible for faults. It's proactive and takes lesser investment to have a employee curing the fault than to loose the fault finder and place another in the faulty position."
|- Arnob Bhattacharya, Lead Consultant, HCL technologies, India|
"Motivating agents is best achieved by creating a supportive environment and using sound telephony, technology, software, working practices, natural light, feng shui principles, intelligent workspace design, ionisation, scent technology and variety of work as an aid to mental and emotional stimulation. Above all they need to believe in the organisation they are working for and the people they work under. Agents need to feel that even in a flat organisational structure they can move on to other parts of the organisation or elsewhere through becoming marketable."
|- John Gelmini, telephone and e mail strategy manager, essex county council, United Kingdom|
1. Interpersonal relationship between agent and team leader.
|- Pravin Vishwasrao, Human Resources Manager, GTL Limited, India|
a) Enable the top performers to choose their incentives - choose shifts, parking and other benefits.
|- Attilio Dalvit, Technology Implementation Manager, Europ Assistance, South Africa|
"Within my team, I always keep them informed and lead by example. I impress upon them the work that is required, but we have fun with it. If your team laughs at work, then you know they are having fun. When they stop laughing, something could be wrong. Regular 1-on-1's with the team also help. They then know where they are with regard to their goals, what needs to be done to achieve them. I've had positive feedback, with regard to the meetings. As they know where they are each month and what needs to be done. There is no shock at the end of the year when a focal review is conducted. Weekly meetings with the team - we go over any issues and do a case review. This is where we share information on how cases were resolved and discuss any conflicts with customers or other departments. We have monthly drinks, where the whole building (mostly tech support) can relax and mingle with other staff."
|- Craig Bonfield, Backline Support Manager, Symantec, Australia|
"Ask them what motivates them. There is no single right answer, no tricks. Treat people with respect and you get an engaged team."
|- Michael Muldoon, Customer Service Manager, Diageo, Ireland|
"- Individualised recognition.
|- Andrew Peel, General Manager, Datacom Connect, Australia|
"Same as most employees – pay them well, give them constructive and quality feedback but most importantly help them to balance their family and personal requirements with work."
|- Robert Hill, Team Leader, Queensland Police Service, Australia|
"- Short term monetary gains - Launch on the floor daily incentives.
|- Hari Raghunathan, Sr. Manager, Operations, , India|
1. Let them work from home
|- Ken Persson, Cofounder, Nordic Homesourcing AB, Sweden|
"I work on the three F's - Fun, Flexibility and ....Food. Giving consultants rewards for excellence, acknowledgement for a job well done and recognition for going above and beyond. The environment the team operates in can be very negative, so we put a big emphasis on sharing experiences, customer bouquets and striving to make every call fresh and new. It's a big challenge as I think a lot of customers treat call centre staff appallingly. They can bully consultants and be very aggressive and think that's okay because "the customer is always right.""
|- Stephen Diss, Call Center - Operations Manager, Fisher & Paykel Finance Limited, New Zealand|
"Monetary rewards are the most important tool for motivation, yet having a comfortable atmosphere and good work space also affect the motivation for the agents."
|- Alaa El-Daly, IT Manager, ECCO - Egyptian Contact Center Operator, Egypt|
"Agents are caught between the customer and their supervisors, with both expecting results. The most important aspect influencing the agent's ability to satisfy both, is the system the agent is required to use in the process. Improving the usability and empowering agents through systems has the single biggest impact on their morale. Time off is, in some instances more powerful than financial reward, but is closely followed by financial reward. Utilising all of the agents' strengths in business gives them a higher degree of job satisfaction because they feel appreciated as an individual and that the company recognises their value."
|- Hennie Lange, Operations Manager, Sanlam, South Africa|
- Flexible work scheduling to meet agents' wants is effective for reducing turnover.
|- Chiaki Hishinuma, Ph.D, Chairman, Japan Telemarketing Association, Japan|
"- give your agents information to understand bigger picture and to feel as a part of community, explain them their contribution and their place in big picture - talk with them, individually or in a smaller groups, not always only about a job but also about their private life, their children, hobbies etc., let them know that you are treating each of them as a person - talk whenever you have the opportunity to talk with your agents - during official meeting, during lunch breaks, coffee breaks, .... - give them feedback positive and/or negative immediately (if it is possible) - listen what your agents have to tell you - their ideas and proposals very often are the best one in a way how to improve some procedures and increase customers satisfaction"
|- Vesna Ivanis-Luksa, Call Center Manager, VIPnet, Croatia|
1. treat then like humans and not battery chickens,
|- Simon Gamble, Call Center Consultant, Capita, United Kingdom|
# ContactCenterWorld ContactCenterWorld is The Global Association for Contact Center & Customer Engagement Best Practices. Today we have over 215,000 corporate 'individual' members have joined the association's website 'ContactCenterWorld.com'. We were established in 1999. www.contactcenterworld.com
Published: Tuesday, September 1, 2009
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|7.)||Lieber & Associates|
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