There is a link between employee engagement, productivity, incentives, and recognition. For any experienced call center manager, these links are clear.
Sometimes your call center needs an extra boost to hit specific metrics. It could happen that your staff’s overall productivity is not in the best spot. There is a solution for this.
Recognition and rewards will help encourage the behavior of your team that you like. These behaviors will work best when are included in performance metrics. Some call centers are all about metrics. They could be sales-driven call centers that often focus on conversions and average call length. However, there are customer service centers which may be more interested in first-call resolution rates.
Either way, you should focus on the KPIs that you want to boost and finalize your call center incentive program that will help realize this.
What Achievements Should You Focus On
Through the surveys deducted by companies in 2019, employees listed recognition first on the list of the things they would want to receive in their call center environment. It was listed above autonomy and higher pay.
In some call centers when employees felt their performance was being tracked, their engagement was two and a half times that of employees who didn’t feel like their work was getting attention.
If your company has in place standard point-based incentive programs, it might be possible that you will miss exactly when employees will use their points. This is why it is important to pick the achievements of your team that you should focus on while creating a good call center incentive program.
Focus on Your Employees
Call centers, like many other high-traffic environments, can be stressful places. Sometimes employee recognition can make all the difference. As a team manager you should be able to tell people in a tangible, personal way that their efforts are appreciated. This is not just a motivational tool it is also vital to your team’s well-being.
Job satisfaction is one of the bases of motivation, productivity, and loyalty. Satisfaction in a customer service position is derived from a series of factors. It can depend on work environment, promotion policies, personal growth opportunities, relation with supervisors and management, relation with colleagues, work-life balance. In your call center there are a lot of elements at play that will impact your team’s level of job satisfaction.
To set up a good call center incentive, a team manager should get a little more creative in order to spark such feelings in the hearts of their employees. This working environment is usually very low-control.
This means that your employees need to perform at their very best even at their worst times and they don’t have any control on their actions. Due to this call center agents are one of the most intensely supervised professionals that need to respect strict break and work schedules. This is why call center employees are constantly under stress while interacting with customers. They usually work in loud environments that only add to the overall feeling of mental and emotional exhaustion.
One way to help your valued team members feel even more valued is by recognizing their achievements. Recognition can be a powerful tool of motivation for your employees and something that could bring your entire team together.
With a well thought out call center incentive program, your employees can get public recognition from managers and will be rewarded something recognizable as having been achieved through the program. Rewards can be different, ranging from high-quality logoed products or free company trips.
Set up a Rewards and Recognition System
We already said that making sure that your agents feel like their work is valued is important. Recognition can go a long way for your company. It is likely that it will increase work satisfaction, and it could also indirectly lead to fewer expenses due to lower turnover. Training new employees all the time can be exhausting and counter productive.
For a company it is better to invest more on perfecting the skills of your employees rather than training new ones. Due to this your team can reach a level of efficiency that will help you decrease overall maintenance costs. Having a committed, long-standing team, will also help you create a company culture worthy of praise. This is another positive aspect that can attract more clients and further increase revenue.
Learning which steps are the best when building a great call center incentive can be hard. There is no manual for this, however, there are a few things that you can focus on which are bound to help.
Focus on Flexibility
As mentioned already, having a job of a call center agent implies high demand and low control. It is important to balance things out. In order to do this, one thing you could try is giving your employees control to all areas where control can be given.
For example, you can offer them the possibility of having a more flexible schedule. Especially now in the world changed by the pandemic, people need to tend to their children, their pets, their loved ones. It is impossible to have that flexibility. Working from home creates a whole new array of problems, however offering a flexible schedule that can accommodate personal tasks can go a long way.
Another thing that could prove to be a good call center incentive is break time. Even if it could create complications, sometimes it is good to let your agents pick their break times. If they are assigned it could lead to feeling out of control. However, the ability to choose their own break times can have a beneficial impact on the agent’s mental health to be able to control something as trivial as a lunch break.
In line with break times, if you are working in a smaller call center team, then perhaps you could let your employees choose their own shift schedules, according to when they feel they are on their best. Your dress codes are important as ell. If your agents don’t have direct visual contact with clients, then it shouldn’t be important to enforce a dress code. Let your employees be comfortable and have a say when it comes to their daily outfits.
Offer a Chance to Exercise
Sometimes getting a quick 15-minute workout can work wonders for both body and soul. This can be a great opportunity for a break, to focus on something other than calls, while it is also beneficial after spending long stretches in a chair.
This proposition might not really qualify as a reward but rather a benefit. However, no matter how you look at it, it’s still an efficient way to help your employees eliminate a part of the stress accumulated throughout the work day.
This could be a round of quick and easy cardio exercises, or it can be yoga or meditation. Whatever you choose, a quick break that focuses on stretching would be a great incentive for your call center team.
Focus on Creating a Safe Working Space
While usually underappreciated, this could be the most important thing a company could do for their employees. If you are only choosing one out of the ideas we shared, this would be the best. Having a safe working space from a mental and emotional perspective can make the difference between a burned-out agent with dwindling results and an empowered, efficient agent that reaches KPIs.
The power of a nurturing workplace and a great company culture is immense. A place where your agents feel appreciated as human beings and not only statistic, is a place where your employees are likely to stay.
What Will You Get out of It
Of course, when building a call center incentive program, budget can be a sticking point. If you don’t have a budget in mind, you should determine if the results you receive will justify your investment.
As a team leader you will know what hitting your goals on specific KPIs or metrics is worth to your organization. It is important to use that as your guide to determine an incentive program’s value.
A well thought out call center incentive program increases in ROI over time. Word spreads among employees and more of them work towards the goals. This is how your organization hits more of its metrics. Every reward earned represents great work and numbers met, so the more winners you have, the better your call center performs.