Contact Centers: Three Reasons Contact Center Reps Fail to Measure Up
Poor performance by your contact center reps can be traced to one of three underlying reasons: Reps either don’t know about, can’t or won’t perform the duties assigned to them, said Penny Reynolds, founding partner of The Call Center School, during her session”Don’t Know, Can’t or Won’t,” held at the National Conference on Operations and Fulfillment, held in Gaylord, Texas, last month.
The first steps to battling poor performance, said Reynolds, include: clearly defining the behaviors and performance expected of your reps, communicating those to the reps, and developing a fair and quantitative means of measuring those parameters. However, in those situations where you’ve completed those steps but rep performance still doesn’t measure up, it’s time to look deeper, she said. Following are ways to battle the “big three”:
1.Don’t Know. In these cases, the rep simply is unaware of your expectations, or is unaware that his or her behavior or performance is not up to snuff. This problem is most often seen in new employees, said Reynolds. To do: Look for opportunities to boost your contact center’s educational components, including during the interview process, initial training, ongoing training and performance reviews.
Also provide consistent, timely and most importantly, on-the-spot feedback, she continued. “Sit with them on calls, rather than doing monitoring at the end of the month,” Reynolds offered. “The more regular the feedback, the more likely they can shape their own performance.” Takeaway tip: Be honest but also aware of helping reps maintain their self-esteem, she added.
2.Can’t. These folks may not actually know how to perform their jobs at your level of expectation, or they suffer from some internal barrier. Perform a needs assessment to identify the rep’s current skills and knowledge. Then identify gaps in his or her training, Reynolds offered. “It’s possible the rep didn’t understand some things in the training. Try sending him or her through the training program again.”