Tips Motivate CC Agents Blog Image

Working as a VoIP call center agent can be extremely challenging, and the job itself is known to create high levels of burnout and carry a pretty hefty turnover rate. While this is undoubtedly bad for the call center's morale, it can also negatively affect the business bottom line since hiring a call center agent to fill the open role can cost an average of $8,780 in the U.S.

As the people managing these customer service representatives daily, call center managers bear the responsibility to keep their agents motivated and inspire higher levels of productivity and employee well-being.

While it may seem impossible to turn a disengaged employee into a hard-working go-getter, there are a few practical ways that managers can make a difference. By creating a better work environment, communicating effectively, and investing in the right technology, managers can empower call center agents to work harder and smarter.

Here are some practical tips to help motivate your call center agents.

1. Create A positive work environment

Few employees can thrive without a positive and healthy work environment. Workers tend to perform better when they are encouraged to be themselves and take initiatives. By creating an environment that's friendly and welcomes new ideas, managers can improve their call center productivity and reduce the level of agent burnout.

The first step towards creating a positive work environment is investing in the space itself. A clean office with working equipment and a relaxing area for employees to take their breaks is much more enjoyable than a cramped or austere space that kills productivity. When managers invest in the office, even with something as small as a bit of artwork on the walls or a well-stocked break room, they demonstrate their commitment to their agents' well-being. For employees who work remotely, check in with them to ensure that they have a decent workspace where they can be focused and productive.

The mental environment is just as important as the physical, as a toxic workplace full of passive aggression and gossip can contribute significantly to stress and employee turnover. Managers should lead by example by learning every agent's name and checking in with them regularly. Team building games can also be an excellent way to facilitate bonding among employees while improving communication. Even when most or all of the agents are remote, it's crucial to create a positive mindset and camaraderie in the team.

2. Encourage feedback on both ends

When a call center stifles communication, agents are much less likely to be driven or set goals. A regular and accessible feedback system is necessary to encourage employees to take the initiative while also opening themselves to receiving criticism. Managers should normalize feedback for their call center agents, regularly providing them with commentary on their positive and negative performances.

When managers regularly commend their call center agents when they go above and beyond, it also becomes easier to bring up areas that they can improve in. Commendations for a job well done should be given to workers whenever possible as an added means of validation. While managers should feel free to provide positive feedback in an open space, negative criticism should be given in a one-on-one setting to avoid any potential embarrassment. The more often call center agents are used to hearing feedback about their performance, the less stressful and awkward it will be for them to acknowledge their areas of improvement.

Feedback is a two-way street, and employees should have an equal opportunity to speak their minds too. By encouraging employees to ask questions and offer their opinions regarding upper-level decisions, managers can assure that none of their call center agents dwell on unspoken resentments. Receiving feedback from the agents can also allow managers to clarify any miscommunications and explain things in the context of the bigger picture.

3. Set specific goals

Both inbound and outbound call center agents need to have goals to stay motivated and add meaning to their work. If every day is just the same as the day before it, it's easy for the work to become mundane and meaningless. By establishing goals for every agent to achieve, managers can give their employees a reason to work harder. However, these goals should be specific and attainable, or else agents won't be able to see their improvement.

Managers should take the time to come up with goals for each agent and goals for the team as a whole. Whether the objective is reaching a certain level of calls per day or achieving a certain average CSAT score should be relevant to your overall company mission and have a clear and meaningful benefit. Goals should also have a deadline, as time can be a great motivator for employees who are struggling to move forward.

4. Offer incentives for excellence at work

A major motivating factor that goes well with goal setting is call center agents' opportunity to receive rewards or commendations for achieving those goals. Rewards programs are an excellent arrangement that allows call center agents to accrue a certain level of awards through their achievements that they can then redeem later. Providing your employees with the opportunity to earn things like gift cards or tickets to a show is a fun way to incentivize hard work and reward those who go above and beyond.

Another easy way to reward excellence at work is by offering additional work benefits as a reward. An additional 15-minutes for a lunch break or the opportunity to go on a company-sponsored trip are great incentives to motivate employees. Managers should also provide their agents with regular rewards to show their appreciation for the team. Small touches like a holiday card or a catered lunch can remind employees that the company values their hard work.

5. Provide opportunities to grow

Working a dead-end job isn't going to be very motivating for anybody. While some call center agents may not be looking to advance within the company, it's crucial to present everyone with growth opportunities. Managers should encourage agents looking to grow by setting up career development plans for them and giving them a path to promotion. Helping call center agents identify the areas they can improve in and giving them opportunities to learn new skills can motivate your agents to push themselves and work harder.

Whether your call center agents are looking to move up in the company or not, they will benefit from regular training sessions that teach them new skills and help them retain old ones. These skill development training sessions can help give new agents the experience they need to handle customers alongside more seasoned agents confidently. Some of your agents may not intend to stay at the call center as a long-term career. However, they will still benefit from training opportunities that help them become better workers and help keep the daily grind feeling fresh.

6. Leverage smarter technology

Nothing kills a call center agent's motivation like slugging through outdated and arcane technology. By investing in up-to-date technology that offers intelligent features, managers can make their agent's jobs more comfortable and keep them motivated. A cloud contact center software like Dialpad can help support agents manage customer inquiries across multiple devices using one easy-to-use platform.

Dialpad offers smart call routing features, connecting callers with an available agent who has the necessary skills to help them. It also provides real-time call analytics that help managers stay on top of their agent's activity and performance. Call analytics can be an excellent tool for managers to help identify growth areas and provide their agents with the appropriate feedback. It can also help provide real-time insights into how customers react to specific answers or the average talk time of the agent vs. the caller.

Call center metrics to help monitor agent productivity

Many contact center software providers can also pair with HD quality desk phones and headsets that ensure a smooth experience for both the customer and the agent. When agents know that they can rely on their equipment, they can work confidently with customers without the fear of dropping the call or tech interference.

Having easy access to relevant customer information can also help agents provide faster service without clicking back and forth between multiple platforms or applications. The better the customer service a virtual call center agent can provide, the more motivated they will be to help the next customer.

Motivated employees are good for the bottom line

Call center managers have the power to reject the stereotype of disgruntled, unmotivated call center agents. By creating a positive work environment, giving their agents plenty of feedback and opportunities for growth, and investing in the right contact center technology, managers can keep their agents motivated. The only way to truly drive your call center agents is to lead by example. If you put them first and take the time to enhance their work experience, your call center agents will respond in kind with the same level of dedication.

Leverage the right technology to keep your support agents motivated

Check out Dialpad's Cloud Contact Center Software