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:
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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:
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.
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:
I help level up Team Leaders fast.
Published: Monday, August 16, 2021
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