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Article : Should You Reprimand or Redirect?


Author: Marc Carriere, Managing Director, Marketing Tactics Pty Ltd

Before you give someone a reprimand, you need to think before you act!

You know with all the constant changes happening in Call Centers today, team members are continuously learning new skills involved with processes, technology and ways of handling calls.

There can be a lot going on and mistakes are bound to happen and because of this, in many cases, it’s much better to redirect team members, rather than reprimand them.

Over the past 35 years, I’ve owned a call center and been involved managing them or consulting with business with call centers, all around the world, and one of the things that inescapably comes up is providing reprimands.

I came across an interesting conversation with Dr Kenneth Blanchard a few years ago that call center managers and team leaders should know about when considering giving reprimand, and have taken some liberties to make it more relevant for a call center environment.

To begin with, Dr Blanchard suggests when someone does something wrong the first thing you should ask yourself is: Should this person have known better?

If the answer is No, then the team member is still in a learning stage and obviously unfamiliar with their responsibility or task and needs redirection.

He stresses that you should never reprimand a learner, whether it’s a new hire learning the ropes or an experienced team member working on a new task because it will only cause confusion or outright discouragement.

In these situations your role as a leader is to help, or redirect, the team member who is having a problem. Here are the 5 Steps Dr Blanchard gives for an effective redirection:

  1. Give the redirection as soon as possible after the problem happens. Prompt feedback is very important.

  2. Explain specifically what went wrong and how it could affect others.

  3. Take on a bit of the responsibility by saying something like, "I must not have made it clear enough…"This reduces the pressure on the employee who is simply in need of supportive redirection.

  4. Reiterate the importance of the task, and

  5. Reassure them you still have confidence in them to help them move toward success on the task. The purpose of redirection is to set up, as soon as possible, an opportunity for a praising to occur.

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If the team member should have known better, then you have to ask yourself: Did this person make the mistake deliberately or because of a lack of confidence? (And, remember that you only reprimand deliberate or unusual regressive behavior.)

If the problem revolves around a lack of confidence, then you need try to figure the reason. It could be that a new situation exists that is unsettling them.

As an example, let’s say you’ve changed a few of your Dispositions for call outcomes and an experienced team member is making a lot of mistakes disposing their calls.

The reason is most likely a lack of confidence due to a change from what was familiar. They don’t need a reprimand; what they need is training on the new dispositions, with support and understanding.

However, if you have good reason to believe they are not disposing their calls correctly on purpose, a reprimand may be appropriate. And, when you deliver the reprimand, remember these four steps:

  1. Similarly to redirection, deliver the reprimand as soon as the poor performance or behavior is detected. A reprimand should never be saved for an annual performance review.

  2. Be specific about what was done incorrectly and the impact it could have on you or others.

For example: If you don’t dispose calls correctly it really affects our call strategy and puts the business at risk of fines by having calls made that shouldn’t be made in the case of Do Not Call, or reducing our data pool by in correcting disposing a call as not interested when they were just too busy to talk to you.

  1. Share your exact feelings about the situation. If you’re frustrated, disappointed or surprise, tell them.

  2. Finish by speaking about their past good performance and letting them know the reprimand is not about them as a person, but about their behavior or actions.

Say something like:This upsets me because it’s so unlike you. You’re one of my best people and you usually dispose all your calls correctly.

This last step is very important because you want them to walk away thinking about what they did wrong, not about how poorly you treated them.

And, always remember to catch team members doing something right and praise them at every opportunity.

Every time you do, you building up deposits goodwill, so that if you need to make a withdrawal for a redirection or reprimand, the sting won’t last long and they’ll be that much more motivated to do better next time.


About Marc Carriere:
With worldwide executive experience managing Call Centre teams that have won 3 Silver and 3 Gold ‘Ardy’ awards, consulting with businesses mentoring and coaching their Call Centre Leaders and having owned a call centre himself, Marc is well aware of the difficulties Call Centres face consistently meeting their monthly targets.

About Marketing Tactics Pty Ltd:
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Today's Tip of the Day - Learn Through Bad Experience

Read today's tip or listen to it on podcast.

Published: Monday, August 16, 2021

Printer Friendly Version Printer friendly version

2021 Buyers Guide Speech Technology


Agara is an autonomous virtual voice agent powered by Real-time Voice AI. It is designed to have intelligent conversations with your customers, vendors, and partners without any assistance from human agents. It can handle a wide variety of calls including inbound customer care calls, outbound lead generation calls, appointment scheduling calls, and overdue payment recovery calls.

Agara is available for several industries including banking, insurance, retail, e-commerce, airlines, and telecom. Powered by advanced Real-time Voice AI that understands speech in real-time, automatically determines the right process to follow and guides the caller along in the process with natural conversation.

Call Center Studio

Call Center Studio
Call Center Studio is the world’s first call center built on Google and is one of the most secure and stable systems with some of the industry’s best reporting. It is one of the most full-featured enterprise grade systems (with the most calling features, one of the best call distribution, outbound dialing features and integrations—including IVR, AI Speech Recognition, blended inbound/outbound calling and includes Google’s new Dialogflow and Speech API. Call Center Studio is the absolute easiest to use (with a 10 minute setup), and is the price performance leader with lower equipment cost and less setup time.

Call Tracking Metrics

Execute automated actions based on words spoken by your customer.

Our intelligent word detection and transcription tools make it easier for you to decipher the content of your customer conversations and automate action based on those insights.

Transform the audio of your calls into speaker-organized scripts so you can easily search your call log for specific words from a conversation, or automatically detect when words of intent are spoken by your customer.

Listen in on and highlight common patterns in order to execute triggers to initiate a new action or workflow, such as emailing a manager if the word “cancel” is spoken on a call. You can also set up to automatically redact content from a transcript, such as sensitive health information transmitted on a call.


Daisee builds technology that empowers people to solve problems by making interactions simple and smart so they can have a more significant impact, be more productive and be better at what they do. We believe incremental improvements carry huge potency and provide exponentially greater change for the better.

Genesys customers can now automate risk and quality management using Daisee’s speech and sentiment analytics and remediation workflow software. Daisee helps improve customer experience, ensure regulatory compliance, identify missed commercial opportunities & training requirements as well as provide valuable insights back to the business directly from the frontline – the true voice-of-...
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Advanced speech recognition and natural language expertise that routes callers by simply asking ‘how can I help you?’. It allows customers to use their own words to ask for what they want and steers them to the right place.

Menus are eliminated altogether and contact centres can use a single inbound telephone number.

MattsenKumar LLC

SmartSpeech – The Best In Class Speech Analytics Software

An all-inclusive speech analytics application that enables you to visualize your audio using state-of-the-art speech recognition, transcription, and text analytics technologies.


InTone Suite - Emotion Detection via Voice Analysis
InTone™ is a voice analysis tool geared to detect genuine emotional and cognitive reactions regardless of the speaker’s language or chosen intonation.
It integrates into existing contact center environments and provides realtime indications of both client and agent emotional reactions throughout all ongoing calls. This unique set of indications assists managers and call center representatives to truly understand the client, improve call center performance, easily detect angry calls, elevate training efficiency and provide a tailored customer experience in every single call.

Nemesysco's contact center technology is also available in API and SDK forms.
Please visit our website for information about our product portfolio.

Voci Technologies Incorporated

V-Blaze Speech to Text
Our GPU-accelerated, AI-based technology enables you to deliver greater insights to the contact center by transcribing audio into analyzable text.

- Transcribe large volumes of recorded audio quickly
- Integrate transcripts with your analytics or business intelligence platform
- Reduce your hardware footprint and minimize total cost of ownership


Voxjar is your one-stop-shop for driving better phone calls with your customers. We're a modern Conversation Analytics and Call Coaching Platform.

- Custom Charts and Dashboards give you the freedom to analyze calls from the highest level down to the details of each conversation.

- AI-Powered Speech Analytics transcribes, searches, and analyzes your reps' phone conversations, at scale.

- Quality Assurance and Call Coaching tools let you evaluate and improve agent performance with a human touch.

- Long term recording storage for historical analysis

All of these together provide the holistic, easy-to-use software that you need to manage a modern call team and create better con...
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