The title of this entry should really be about how to keep your clients, but our readers are more concerned with getting clients, so we’ll leave it as is. Those who succeeded in the call center industry insist that trained managers and intricate monitoring systems win the game in the competitive call center industry. Nothing is better than a call center clerk who is being constantly watched and improved upon!
Just for the record, training and coaching needs to happen regularly for all call center agents, no matter what level they are at. Monitoring can key management in to see what individual callers need customized coaching at! Training programs also need to be modified and evolve over time to meet the needs of your staff. Keep track of what parts of the training program worked well, and what needs to be developed upon or changed.
Send them home…
One company I heard of watches their call center workers all day long. The minute they start slipping, they get sent home. You lose your company’s reputation the minute your phone staff starts getting cranky. I know this because I am sometimes forced to work long hours, and we get lots of complaints when I started getting upset with people who are rude to me (which happens regularly.)
Stop bad habits before they start!
Regular monitoring makes it easy to spot bad habits as they are being formed. The minute your call center worker starts getting off on the wrong foot, it’s coaching time! Stop that bad habit right away!
Keep track any way you can
You can track worker performance on paper, on an online database, but don’t do it in your head even if you have a good memory. Technology is not the goal here — keeping top-notch performance through worker tracking is the goal!
Give daily feedback
Workers like feedback if it is genuine and helpful. Be careful with negative comments. Try to phrase things in a way that praises people for what they did right, and makes suggestions for what they could do better!
Not everyone can do monitoring
Someone who is good at calls might not be good at monitoring and vice versa. You need someone anal who likes nit-picking everyone else, and who has the grace and suave to be well received when they start giving commentary. Monitoring is an art that is refined over time, but regardless of how good your training program is, you need to start with the right personality for the job!
Regular rewards boost morale
The call centers that do well have regular rewards. There is the worker of the month reward, and other creative awards that imaginative companies think of. Those who just have their grunt workers clock in and clock out lack the enthusiasm and quality of work that the more thoughtful companies have. This is what top-notch expert call center managers told me in private interviews. Happy workers are born out of a fun and stimulating environment!
Review examples of high quality interactions on tape
If you have an experienced rep who handles themselves gracefully, use particular calls they did as case studies. Sure, this is not Harvard Business School, but case studies can help with studying many subjects at any type of skill level, plus it is fun to see real experts engaged in what they are good at. Personally, I would like to see Donald Trump in action, since I do business for a living!
Have a system for checking on people
Yes, you need the right person to do the checking. But, you also need the right manager managing the monitor. You need a methodical system for checking up on your call center workers. You need to decide how often to check up on people, how often to give feedback to them, and how to handle every common type of difficulty or issue that props up.
Customer feedback is imperative
If you have your customers give any type of feedback on your callers, that can be very helpful. Customers are wary of long and drawn out forms which take a long time to fill out. But, if you can have them answer a few questions over the phone for you, or write a few quick comments in an email, that might be enough to get some insight as to how your call center agents are doing!
If you award your callers scores for how good their calls are, they will be able to compare themselves to others, and compare their progress over time. Nothing motivates better than seeing yourself improve in a big way over the course of a few months.
Group meetings are helpful
If a bunch of callers get together with a manager and discuss calling techniques for particular situations, that can be meaningful and helpful as multiple points of view will arise. Callers who regularly attend group meetings do measurably better than those who don’t according to the experts!
Self-assessment is also useful
Many callers find that assessing their own calls is helpful. When they analyze what they did right, and what they had trouble with, it becomes a learning process with good long-term results.
Good luck, and make your BPO call center a learning environment where self-growth and fun is a daily occurrence!