When managing a call center, the ultimate goal is to interface with vendors and customers in a highly productive fashion. Why? Because it’s a pivotal part of building and retaining relationships that’ll ultimately help boost the company’s reputation and brand visibility.
However, how can you possibly expect to provide high-quality service to your customers if your employees lack motivation and are unsatisfied with their work environment?
Maybe you’ve tried motivating your team before by providing lunch once a week. What a great perk, right? But you quickly found out that the routine became stale and was not enough to boost engagement among your call center agents.
While finding ways to motivate your agents may prove to be a little difficult, it’s certainly not impossible. When done correctly, it’ll have a direct, positive impact on performance and customer satisfaction.
It may take a bit of trial and error to find what methods produce the most effective results, but once you find your groove, it’ll be incredibly impactful to your company.
To help you get started, here are several ways you can boost employee morale and motivate your agents to put their best foot forward.
How To Motivate Call Center Agents
#1. Make the Physical Environment a Pleasant One
You may think this is silly, but just as designers will recommend painting your bedroom green or blue as it promotes a sense of calmness and tranquility, your office space should be treated with care as well.
Not only should you always maintain a clean and decluttered workspace, but you should decorate the space with warm colors and plants so the area feels inviting and pleasant for your employees.
If you’re a creative person, don’t hold back. Use that creativity to transform your office space into one that someone would be proud to spend the bulk of their week in.
Similarly, encourage your employees to make their workspace their own. Maybe that involves photos of loved ones or maybe it means small plants to remind them of the outdoors.
#2. Provide the Tools Needed for Success
Supplying ample coaching and training is not only important for professional development but it also allows for continuous improvement. It ensures your agents are meeting your high standards and that they can eventually surpass them too.
Always provide constructive feedback and establish a strategy designed to set your agents up for success. Knowing that you value the professional development of your employees is highly motivating.
You also want to make sure your employees are equipped with the tools and resources needed to produce high-level work. This includes an updated computer, high-speed internet, working phone and headset, and internal platforms to streamline processes.
#3. Celebrate Successes & Give Praise
Quite possibly the most important part of motivating and retaining your call center agents is by giving regular recognition and praise. Employees tend to exhibit higher productivity levels and put more effort into their work when they know it’s appreciated and recognized by superiors.
Don’t just praise team members for metric-related wins, celebrate other wins outside of those walls as well. Career milestones, birthdays, work anniversaries, going above and beyond for a client, and personal achievements are a few of the many ways you can give recognition.
Whether you give them a certificate, an extra vacation day, some company swag, or other a bonus, make sure you personalize your praise and do it in front of others to truly make an impact.
Peer-to-peer recognition and customer compliments are also a fantastic way to celebrate your agents’ successes. You can create an internal “gratitude” board for employees to give cheers to their colleagues’ hard work and you can send your team emails whenever you receive feedback from a happy customer.
There are so many ways to get creative with praise!.
You could crown an employee of the month, create fun internal competitions to ramp up individual drive, have a team mascot that gets passed to whoever handled the toughest call that week - there’s really no shortage of ideas when it comes to recognizing the hard work for your agents.
#4. Establish Attainable & Clearly Defined Goals
When goals are ambiguous or just plain unattainable, it’ll only serve to discourage and confuse your call center agents. Your employees will lose their motivation if they feel like goals are set beyond their reach. Exercising transparency among your agents is key - it helps establish trust and it’s the mark of a good leader.
Always be clear with agents about why they are assigned certain tasks, what the objective is, and even the short and long-term impact their work will have on the overall success of the company.
Employees thrive in environments where they feel like their work is meaningful and contributing to the bigger picture. Start by setting small, attainable goals and slowly increase these targets to hit bigger KPI’s so your agents can see their individual progress.
#5. Let Your Agents’ Voices Be Heard
Whether you choose to schedule monthly feedback meetings or create an online survey where employees can submit their feedback anonymously, letting your agents know their opinions and ideas matter is vital to strengthening the effectiveness of your team.
Don’t shy away from the opportunity to flat out ask your staff what motivates them. By proactively having this conversation, you’ll be establishing rewards that your agents will actually want to work hard for.
What you think is motivating may not be motivating to your agents.
#6. Help Agents Avoid Burnout
A large contributing factor to employee dissatisfaction is the lack of support after difficult phone calls. While call center agents are professionals and have been specifically trained to handle irate customers or taxing customer interactions, they are still people at the end of the day.
To help combat this, it’s important to put a system in place that allows your agents the opportunity to vent, take breaks throughout the day, and receive post-call support after particularly difficult calls.
Also, consider creating a feedback loop that encourages agents to bring forward policies, billing errors, or systems that cause callers to become annoyed in the first place.
This might help mitigate future angry callers.
These ideas are just a few of the many things you can implement to boost employee morale at your call center. Keep in mind, you know your staff best! If you have any noteworthy ideas (not included on this list) that’ll encourage motivation, don’t be afraid to try them out.
Believe it or not, sometimes the tiniest changes can lead to a significant improvement in the overall attitude and culture of your call center.