Staff motivation levels are an important factor in every business, but even more so in a client or prospect-facing environment such as a call centre. If your call centre agents are motivated, you can expect them to remain an employee for a longer period of time, reducing staff turnover. This not only saves you a lot of resources for recruiting, but also for training.
With longer periods of employment, agents will also become more skilled in their roles. This, together with a more motivated attitude will increase each agent’s performance, and if your agents are performing well, you likely are experiencing increased customer satisfaction and loyalty. This will lead to higher profitability and growth.
While the benefits of having motivated agents are massive, not many centres are able to motivate agents effectively, and they thus rarely see these results. In this blog post we discuss how to improve call centre motivation levels and give you easy steps to start off with.
How to improve call centre motivation levels
1. Set performance expectations with your agents
Be clear on what is required from the agents on a day-to-day or hourly basis. Ensure that these expectations are reasonable, achievable and data-driven. Remember that data tells a story, so don’t expect the same level of performance throughout the month. Expectations should be aligned with peak and off-peak periods.
Start with: looking at your current performance data. This data should inform your agent’s targets.
2. Enable your agents to perform with the right technology
Provide them with the tools they need to achieve the expected results and monitor their performance against the targets in a live environment. There are many Collections & Recoveries Solutions out there.
Start with: doing research into what tools are available for call centres. Don’t just assume you currently have the best or only tools– find the perfect tools for your centre!
3. Provide agents with information on their customers
Provide your agents with the information they need to get results. A computer can determine age and gender from an ID number much quicker than your agent can, and with access to analytical models, you’re able to predict the behaviour of the customer your agent is about to call. The best thing you can do is to share this information with the agent. It will only improve confidence and performance.
Strive to provide this information by way of visualisation, as visualisation (pictures and colours) enhances memory function. According to research by Christopher Taibbi, a specialist in gifted education, one of the strongest ways to help material enter the brain is through visualisation that targets and enforces the occipital lobe as the central point of processing the information.
Start with: sharing basic information with your agents, like what the centre’s overall targets are and how they are measuring up against it as a team.
4. Create a positive environment
Utilise the colour psychology wheel in the workplace to brighten up the environment or to create a high-energy space. Use these colours in the physical environment and in the tools your agents use.
Introduce plants into the environment to increase oxygen and transform a “dead” environment into a living and breathing environment.
We sometimes forget to provide stimulating areas during break times: comfortable seating, healthy food and lots of water within a naturally lit area will leave your agents energised to get back to work after lunch.
Start with: introducing colours into the work environment.
5. Introduce gamification
The majority of call centre agents are millennials and for that reason, we need to introduce generation-specific tools and stimulators.
Gamification is a known motivator for millennials, and introducing it in your call centre could improve energy levels.
Start with: introduce friendly competition for the top performer of the month in the centre.
6. Understand and cater to the millennial
The millennial’s core values consist of traits such as achievement-driven, extremely fun, highly competitive, self-confident and very tolerant.
It’s time for companies to understand the millennials and change to accommodate their traits. If we don’t, we will continue to fight a losing battle against our own agents.
Start with: implementing the changes described in this list in order to motivate the millennials to be a great asset to your workforce.
Our experience has shown that a great motivator in a call centre is to give your agents a virtual assistant, like Agent X. Agent X brings together Artificial Intelligence, machine learning, gamification and human behavioral science to not only guide and support agents during calls but to motivate and inspire high performance via an engaging, dynamic and intuitive interface. To find out more, please get in touch.
Perry de Jager: Head of Collections and Recoveries Solutions
Perry has been with Principa Decisions since 2015 dealing with Collections and Recoveries solutions for clients within South Africa, Africa and the Middle East.