Productivity is the key focus of any business and a call centre is no different. The more productive an agent is at a call centre, the more they contribute towards the performance management goals of the organisation. For call centres, as they are a service-centric business, it is very important to assess the performance of the employees to ensure that you are best utilising their talent. Performance Management broadly means how well you can maintain the talent in your organisation and what processes you follow and practices you adopt to get the best performance from agents. The more you are able to strike a balance between the skills you have and the roles of the agents, the more productive your business becomes. Call centre performance management, however, cannot be achieved overnight. It is a continuous process that brings efficacy to the organisation and ensures optimum utilisation of resources.
When you ask an agent at your call centre about their job description, are they able to offer an answer without hesitation? In most cases, agents have ambiguity about their expected role. When the agent does not know what is expected of them, how can they perform at par with expectations?
Just like no two jobs are the same, no two agents have the same skill set. It is very important that you place importance on individuality and follow different approaches while dealing with different agents. While you might already have set the KPIs and the benchmarks to be achieved, in your call centre, you cannot expect two individuals to reach there in the same way. Agents may act differently in situations due to their level of experience and their aspects of their personality.
Besides setting a strategy for the team performance, it is important to have a customised approach for each and every agent because of the many different levels of ability in the key areas mentioned.
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While feedback is a tool that you can utilise, it is important that you balance it well. You must notify the agent about their performance and development in a stipulated time, but ensure that your feedback encourages a positive outcome.
If you want a great team of performing agents, you must prove yourself as a good leader first. By ensuring that you support your agents in their development, you can expect great outcomes in return. If you do not engage in the right behaviour, you cannot expect your associates to perform. Always remember that your associates will follow what you do. It is recommended that you follow what you preach and set examples of good behaviour and performance for the team to follow. Similarly, strong relationships with your team can give a manager more influence and therefore more power to drive performance. Together, a great leader with good relationships with their team is much more likely to achieve objectives, reduce attrition and increase customer service. As a great leader, you must focus on:
Emphasise developing the key skills of each agent and utilise it as a strength for the call centre. Being supportive of each agent’s personal goals offers an opportunity of a positive career path with your organisation and will help to ensure your top performing agents stay with your organisation.
Irrespective of the department type, size, and nature, you must ensure that the performance management process is the same for everyone. Obviously, the KPIs would be different for various roles, but all employees must know there is a standard performance management process to follow. One example is a scheduled performance review every three months for every employee. How will it help you? Well, with the same performance management process, the employees will stay abreast of the ongoing changes and expectations from them. This way, irrespective of the team they are transferred to, they will be able to deliver results and stay on track with performance targets. Another advantage of uniformity is that if the team remains the same, but the team leader is changed, the agents won’t find it tough to align with the new goals set as the performance management processes would remain the same.
Call centres often set Sales targets as a KPI, and agents chasing the targets can overlook the quality they deliver to the customer. This is not the best practice for a good performance management process. Instead of focusing on sales, the call centres must prioritise the feedback an agent receives from the customers and set them as a KPI.
Whilst it is important to recognise your top performers, there needs to be a process to recognise positive gains for any underperformers too. Examples of incentives that can motivate your call centre team:
A key goal of setting incentives is to help the agents develop. If you aren’t getting the right outcome, it is better to invest in a better developmental activity, such as additional training, rather than handing out incentives.
A business has access to a range of performance management tools and it is expected from them to make the best use of it. From organising employee engagement games to offering the employees access to the performance management software to keep track of their developmental progress, there is a range of tools that call centres can use to manage employee performance. Datagamz provides a gamification and analytics platform to help you to track performance and KPIs. It offers a method of incentivising your employees through rewards, quizzes and challenges. You can make use of technology in a way that it offers the best benefits to your employees whilst also managing performance goals. Performance management is crucial for an organisation and the leader is a key part of the entire process. By working closely with the agents, helping them identify the goals and offering feedback when required, a manager can ensure that the best performance is delivered by the team. This will not only ensure that the organisation performs well but also ensure that the agents have connectivity with the call centre and associate themselves with having longevity within the business.