Keep ’Em On Their Toes
Some call-center employees stay with their companies for many years because their employers are generally fair, locations are convenient for them, the pay is good, the work isn’t too hard, and their coworkers are likable and supportive.
Despite a good work environment, doing the same job day in, day out can get a little, well, boring. This not only results in a feeling of staleness, but it can also manifest in that rote, pro-forma voice that undercuts interactions with customers. So how can managers enrich or enliven the work environment to keep reps feeling and giving their best?
Here are 10 ways to foster personal development in the call center:
1. Pay attention to performance. In the spirit of the adage “what gets measured gets done,” what you don’t notice fades away. This is true for people, and it’s true for the behaviors you want them to use. If you’re spending all your management time putting out fires, working with new people or riding hard on your “problem children” — as so many supervisors do — you’re probably neglecting the good people you count on to be reliable and consistent.
So check frequently to be sure their numbers are in the appropriate range. Periodically monitor their calls to make sure they’re not in a quality slump. Don’t assume good performance lasts if no one’s watching. Watch for small changes so you can address them before anything goes too far awry.
2. Involve your more tenured reps in the choices and decisions that affect their work directly. Show them respeect and keep them engaged by giving them new things to think about. Show respect for their ability to self-determine. If you’re considering a new break schedule, ask them how they’ll be affected by it and what timing makes the most sense for them. If you revise your vacation policy, explain the underlying goals early in the development of the new policy. Try to give them some choice about how the new requirements will be applied.