There are two main functions of call centre staff, and these typically revolve around sales and customer service. Sales teams are measured against call rates, conversion ratios and leads generated, whereby customer service teams are measured on call rates and wrap times, availability and outcomes.
The challenge for any company who wishes to motivate its call centre staff is to build and maintain a level of engagement such that the expectations of the business are matched. However, the distinction between an incentive and actually being motivated is often overlooked, and this must be recognised in order to truly engage a call centre workforce. You can incentivise people to achieve targets but motivation comes from the desire to be there and that comes from being valued and recognised as well as having the right tools to perform the required tasks.
The communication and training provided has to be right for a motivation programme to be successful, companies need to research their audience and have realistic targets and expectations. It’s key to have an element of competition with top performers receiving recognition for their efforts in their ability use their own initiative and implement the fundamental aspects of the training they have been given. This, in turn, fuels the performance of the group. Expensive, high-end rewards are not necessary, and although a reward should be delivered, it is the feeling of being valued and recognised that is key to the engagement of call centre environment. To ensure a degree of longevity within the environment, points collectible programmes work well, where a variety of measures can be incorporated, leagues for individuals and teams have great relevance and agents can set performance ‘goals’ to achieve – ideal where merchandise is the reward type. Cash or cash-equivalents do not necessarily fuel long-term performance improvement, they merely provide a short-lived feel good factor and can mask underlying motivational issues.