Your main goal as a call center employer should be to make the work lives of your call center employees as positive and uplifting as possible. After all, we spend the majority of our waking hours at work. If we’re not happy at work, that spills over into our regular lives, but can also have a serious impact on productivity. How do you effectively manage a call center?
To keep your staff team productive, the most important thing to keep in mind is that a happy staff is much more likely to be productive than an unhappy one. 13% more productive, if you want to put a number on it. Here are seven best practices call center managers can use to build a productive staff.
Paying call center staff a low wage can be a false economy, as it may not bring in the savings you might expect. This is because of the increased risk of a high turnover of staff – the cost of hiring and training new members of staff can quickly rise to astronomical levels, especially when it becomes a regular occurrence.
Offering your current employees a better salary is one way to retain your staff and keep them happier and more productive at work. Take the time to research local minimum and living wages where your employees live, as well as the regional average salary of a call center worker.
This will help you to fix your staff’s wages at a competitive and fair level. Simply paying your staff a reasonable compensation to begin with is an easier solution to improve employee relations and productivity than dealing with hiring and training brand new staff on a regular basis.
It also helps to have a clear upward trajectory for your staff, with promotions and pay rises that your team can work toward. This serves the purpose of motivating staff to stay with your company rather than looking to other employers to provide them with a better career path.
Ultimately, getting paid a fair wage helps in making staff feel valued and appreciated for the skills they bring to the table. This encourages staff to maximize their skills and potential, improving your call center’s overall productivity as a result.
Being mindful of your staff’s needs with respect to the number of hours expected and how those hours are spread out across a working week can go a long way toward improving overall productivity. When your staff feels happy at work and able to achieve a livable work-life balance, the quality and efficiency of that work can only improve.
An unworkable work-life balance is another major cause of staff turnover, with 83% of millennials citing lack of flexibility as a reason for leaving their workplace. Offering flexible working hours to your staff will also mean that they are more likely to work at optimal efficiency, as they won’t be as rushed off their feet and stressed.
Working in a call center can take an emotional toll on staff. While many of the people your staff will talk to will be polite and respectful, others will see the calls as an opportunity to vent frustration on and even verbally abuse your staff.
This is why it is so important to give your staff an appropriate level of emotional support in order to help them bounce back from more challenging calls. The right support can help them avoid letting a bad experience affect the next call that they’re on.
Having weekly one-to-ones and implementing policies around breaks throughout the day to support their mental health can help alleviate some of that stress and help your staff to be more resilient.
Some companies have a designated chill-out area and offer their staff meditation sessions to help manage their emotions. Giving your staff a little extra support can help them become a lot more resilient and productive overall.
There are not many things in an office that are more demoralizing than feeling like an impostor, or like you’re just not doing a good job. If your staff is performing well, praise them. If they’re struggling somewhere, offer them some kind constructive criticism, ideally accompanied by a genuine compliment.
We all crave approval and praise because it makes us feel good about what we’re doing, and it makes us feel like a valued member of the team. When we feel valued, our productivity output is set to improve.
You can also ask your customers for feedback on how the line2 alternative interaction with your call center agent went for a clearer picture of their performance. These kinds of customer feedback mechanisms can help you to offer more well-rounded and informed feedback.
Once you have a clear idea of how your staff is performing, you can offer them tailored and specific training for their particular skill set, weak points, and aspirations. If they need training on how to get better ratings and reviews, that’s something you can tailor for their requirements.
In addition to a solid foundational training at the start of their journey with your company, offering continual opportunities to learn is crucial for developing a motivated and skilled team.
Call center technology can make the lives of your staff a lot easier while also aiding productivity. Software to help with assigning and transferring calls, ordering calls by order of urgency, and tools like observability software and interactive voice response can lighten your employees’ workload.
CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tools are also a must for any business working with customers. And don’t forget to equip everyone with essentials like bluetooth headsets for phone calls.
Having an overstretched workforce is a serious detriment to morale and productivity. Make sure you have enough staff in your team to fulfill the demands of your business.
You should also ensure that you have people on call to bring in during your busiest times. Using forecasting software can help you to estimate when those busy periods will be.
The best way to secure a productive staff is to ensure that their basic needs are being met. These needs range across the financial, emotional, social, and practical.
When people are paid fairly, listened to and supported, included and motivated, and given the practical tools that they need to succeed, then they tend to thrive. And a thriving, happy group of people is also a productive and creative team.
Author Bio: Jessica Day is the Senior Director for Marketing Strategy at Dialpad, a modern business communications platform that takes every kind of conversation to the next level—turning conversations into opportunities like conference calls for lawyers. Jessica is an expert in collaborating with multifunctional teams, to execute and optimize marketing efforts, for both company and client campaigns. Jessica Day also published articles for domains such as Filestack and Recruit CRM. Here is her LinkedIn.