Is it really important that call center agents enjoy their jobs? Absolutely. It’s no secret that happier customer service representatives make for higher levels of customer satisfaction, so it behooves call center companies to establish a fun, supportive working environment. The effort does not have to be costly, though monetary rewards are always popular. Here are some ideas for creating a positive working space that can translate into a better customer experience.
Make time to show appreciation for an agent or the team that did outstanding work in the previous week. In large call centers, agents can feel anonymous sometimes. Presenting an opportunity to mention people by name in front of their peers can go a long way toward motivating workers to do their best. Employees can vote to select the most outstanding worker, or management can select the winner. Either way, the recipient will feel appreciated and flattered to have garnered special attention.
It is important that whatever type of activity you plan be done on a regular basis, such as once per week. And don’t forget to think outside the box when it comes to recognition. Maybe instead of rewarding top performers with a free lunch, you set up weekly volunteer opportunities and only people who reach benchmarks are able to participate. Not only will you encourage workers to meet team goals, they will be able to help others through the charity activity you set up.
Rewards are not the only motivation at your disposal. You can also offer development opportunities or project leadership roles as incentives toward strong work performance. Perhaps the team that has the highest customer-satisfaction rating for a given week is chosen to head up a new product launch or to be the test group for a new technological tool the company is considering.
They say laughter is the best medicine, so plan a monthly lunch for employees when agents can tell their tales about challenging – or silly – customer questions. Competitive agents will battle for the most outrageous call story, while at the same time explaining how they handled the issue. That allows other agents to both commiserate and learn from their coworkers’ experiences in order to establish best practices. And all it cost the company was some sandwiches and drinks.
If the culture in your office tends toward the playful side, or at least you aspire to that kind of atmosphere, try adding opportunities for play time during the work day for teams that reach their performance goals. For the cost of some sports equipment or toys, you could offer a chance for employees to blow off steam and get a little exercise in at the same time. For a more compact option, create a basket of small toys that teams can pass around for a short break between calls.
There are many ways to motive employees and build a fun company culture without breaking the bank. Look around to see what will motivate agents, and don’t be afraid to get creative about rewards.