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What are the best incentives Call Center Managers can offer Agents?

September 25, 2015 Patrick Reynolds

Many people know that turnover among agents in the call centers are high, but most leaders don’t know how to prevent it nor do they know what type of incentives have the most influence over agent’s performance.

There are many books written on ideas how to change this in the call center I have read over my career.  In this article I am going to talk about what types of incentives enable our agents to perform better and get our agents rallied around one common goal.

Contest incentives are typically best executed around a theme of some sort and are either shorter term one day to 30 days, or long term over 30 days with a much bigger prize and more chances for everyone to win.

Some contests can be activity based rewards (time off with Pay, time off with a friend to watch a movie in the breakroom with free popcorn, manger washes your car, manger dunk tanks, manager take my calls for an hour and many more).  Other contests can include more luck like (spin the wheel, putting contest, go fish, lotto tickets to win other prizes.).

The other types of incentives are larger level contests which have a higher level of success and service output like winning a new car, motorcycle, or a trip somewhere.  Etech has a proven track record of these bigger type contests, and our agent surveys tell us they prefer these well thought out an planned contests where everyone has a chance to win something life changing.

Cash and prize incentives tied to sales or service results when properly executed can sustain really long term results.

Both of these incentive programs have their place.  One does not substitute for the other.

At Etech we have tried points-based incentive programs, metric driven programs for sales and service and even setting up our own Unique Boutique store in our contact centers.  If you are not careful these programs can become overly administrative and burdensome.

The best advice I can give is keep it simple.  If the agents spouse or significant other cannot understand how the agent wins or gets paid, then it’s too complicated.  Agents need to clearly understand how they can win, both short term and long term.  Points systems are too complicated and de-focus reps off the real goal.

Also in terms of sales or service – Sales should be net revenue per phone hour, net profit, or sales per hour.  For service customer satiation as surveyed by the individual agent’s customers on a random basis.

To receive incentives agents should also meet some minimum standards of quality, no person should ever receive incentives if compliance or quality becomes an issue.   Evaluating a program’s effectiveness is easy for a company to measure as long as it related to company revenue not some internal process metric.