A contact center can be an intense working environment, as agents and managers alike juggle numerous tasks at a rapid pace while striving to perform at their best. With the frequent consideration of such metrics as average handling time and first contact resolution rates, agents may feel particularly stressed and lose their productivity when their time and energy are not managed effectively. With these five tips, contact centers can boost productivity as well as employee motivation.
Devise an employee engagement strategy. An employee engagement strategy may ensure that agents are motivated and ready for each service interaction while feeling like an integral part of the company. Different modes of engagement may include asking agents for their feedback to improve the customer (and agent) experience, providing staff development sessions and motivational seminars, and optimizing the workspace for increased comfort. Allowing employees to grow personally and professionally and showing them that their opinions matter to the brand are critical to improving overall productivity.
Offer regular training and coaching. In order for agents to deliver their best, they need to be properly trained to use the technology implemented in the contact center. For example, contact centers which utilize an omnichannel software solution for a unified desktop need to make sure that agents know how to manage the different channels effectively. Agents should be given regular training as new tools are used, and they should also be offered individual coaching by managers who can give them feedback and help nurture their skills.
Measure and recognize employee performance. In addition to coaching, agents should also be given regular evaluations that measure their performance. Evaluation tools may include call quality monitoring, metrics such as first contact resolution rates and average handling time, and other assessments of performance on other channels. Giving agents constructive feedback based on their performance will enhance their productivity. In addition, it’s also important to reward employees for reaching specified goals. Make sure that clear systems are in place encouraging and enabling everyone’s success (clearly outlined goals are key) and that employees are given proper recognition when they succeed.
Use gamification as a motivational and training tool. Gamification can be a powerful source of motivation in the workplace. Being rewarded for achievement is certainly a powerful motivator, but gamification also enables agents to treat their daily work not just as a job, but as a fun and empowering way to deliver excellent customer service. It may also be used to encourage healthy competition among peers by allowing agents to share their best practices and learn from each other while motivating them to perform at their personal best. For example, managers may provide incentives such as bonuses to reward agents for resolving a certain number of cases, getting the most new subscriptions for a service, or achieving first contact resolution. Gamification may also be used for training purposes, enabling agents to compete with each other when learning new technologies or revising customer service methods.
Optimize agent schedules and diversify their tasks. While quiet periods of low activity may be welcome in the contact center, these times are also ideal for building new skills. Agents can use quiet periods to learn more about channels they have less experience with, building their confidence and ultimately their overall productivity. It’s also important to diversify the tasks they manage and channels they work on. Staying on the same channel for an extended period of time can be difficult, so contact centers should give agents schedules that are optimized for productivity. For example, enabling omnichannel interactions or shifting from one channel to another at intervals are ways to keep attention fresh and make agents feel more productive and engaged.
Productivity in the contact center depends on many factors, but employee motivation, proper training, and optimized scheduling are all critical to delivering great customer experiences. Learn about Vocalcom contact center software solutions for delivering excellent omnichannel customer service .