Call center agents are the lifeline and voice of your business. The experiences that customers have with your agents gives valuable information and insight into your company culture. If agents are upbeat and excited about your company then that positive attitude will translate into the customer’s attitudes. Create the best experience possible, for both the agent and the caller, by empowering your call center agents. Empowered employees are loyal, dedicated and have an increased motivation and desire to aim higher. You can light that spark with these tips to empower call center agents:
Hire People With the Right Attitude
Attitude is contagious. People have to have the right attitude to make the most of an empowered culture. Agents need to be self-motivated and goal-oriented. Tip: Consider giving applicants a personality test and conduct group interviews. This will allow you to see how applicants communicate and interact. It’s easier to cultivate the empowered state of mind from an employee’s first day rather than trying to get them to adapt after they are hired.
Take Small Steps
It’s important to remember that you can’t just wake up one day and decide to have an empowered company, it is a transitional process. The first step is to start small and build employee trust in the process they are about to undergo. A great initial task is to have them pick options for the vending machine or gather ideas on office decor. You have to show that you value their opinions and then work towards larger decisions.
Listen to Your Agents
Empowered agents want and need to be listened to. Do this by establishing focus groups where your employees can brainstorm ideas and express pain points. Your employees are the ones who have the deepest understanding of company challenges. In these groups, you are able to tap into that knowledge base to create action plans on how to solve issues, improve the agent flow and improve the caller’s experience. If you’re going to do focus groups, management has to be open to feedback. Empowered employees are eager to share ideas, but they have to be reassured that their ideas will be heard and considered.
Provide Professional Development Opportunities
Build a strong career path that helps agents develop within your call center. The best way to do that is to provide professional development opportunities. Consider offering time for more training opportunities, listening to webinars, attending workshops, reading articles and motivational books. Professional development prepares employees to take the next step on your leadership ladder. It builds agent confidence in what they’re doing and where they’re going, which is imperative in order to build retention and show employees that there are opportunities to move up within your call center.
To create effective, engaged, empowered agents, they must understand what is expected of them. From their first day of employment, establish clear goals, action plans to reach those goals and next steps once initial results are achieved. This assists in a better understanding of what responsibilities are most important. Defining expectations also sets your agents up for success by giving them the big picture. By giving them the information that is necessary for them to solve problems on their own, they are able to assess call scenarios quickly and know the steps to escalate situations when they arise.
What ways does your call center empower agents? Share your tips in the comments below!
By: Rebecca Clausen