How to motivate call centre agents

In any industry, motivated employees are essential for organisational success, and call centres are no different.

According to surveys, some 13% to 16% of call centre agents are considered ‘actively disengaged,’ whereas some 70% don’t consider themselves engaged at work. Low engagement partly explains high attrition rates, which reached 38% in call centres in 2022. 

However, by implementing intelligent strategies designed specifically to motivate and engage agents, call centres can avoid becoming caught up in these statistics.

So, how can call centre managers keep call centre agents’ spirits high?

Set actionable goals

Why specific goals matter

One of the challenges of managing a call centre is ensuring that agents have clear direction and understand expectations.

Vague or poorly defined objectives can make agents feel adrift, meaning they have little to aim at both short and long-term.

Conversely, clear, actionable goals provide a solid framework of achievement that boosts engagement.

How to do it

Begin by defining the key performance indicators (KPIs) that align with your organisation’s overall objectives and vision.

Once you’ve identified these crucial metrics – from customer satisfaction scores and first-call resolution rates to average handle time – establish realistic but challenging targets.

Equipping your call centre with performance management software can provide agents with real-time insights into their performance, enabling immediate adjustments and continuous improvement.

Boost their engagement

Foster a positive work environment

The work environment plays a critical role in agent engagement and morale.

A positive atmosphere bolsters agents’ day-to-day experience, translating into improved performance, lower attrition rates, and a more cohesive team culture.

Strategies to boost engagement

Enhancing engagement could involve a variety of strategies, such as introducing incentive programs that reward top-performing agents with bonuses, extra holidays, or recognition through awards.

Gamification through leaderboards and real-time metrics helps encourage agents to push for better results.

Don’t keep your agents in the dark

Importance of open communication

Transparency is the cornerstone of a fully engaged workforce. Keeping agents informed about broader business objectives, performance expectations, and any organisational changes helps foster a sense of trust and inclusivity.

Employees who feel ‘in the loop’ are more likely to be engaged and immersed in their work.

Open door policy

An open-door policy where agents can freely share their concerns, suggestions, or even ideas without fear of reprisal can enhance teamwork and, by extension, engagement.

A transparent business culture encourages agents to invest more, creating a more harmonious call centre with stronger collective morale.

Give them a shared purpose

Having a shared sense of purpose or mission can work wonders for collective motivation.

When agents clearly understand how their roles contribute to the company’s broader objectives, they are likelier to go the extra mile, invest emotionally in their work, and take pride in their services.

Team meetings for a unified vision

Scheduled team meetings and feedback sessions that outline tactical issues and strategic objectives can help align individual agents with the organisation’s broader goals.

These meetings help clarify the ‘why’ behind the ‘what,’ reinforcing a collective vision and shared purpose among team members.

Share real-time feedback

Feedback is most effective when it’s timely. Real-time feedback is an empowering tool, enabling agents to make instant corrections and adapt their approach while interacting with customers.

One-to-one real-time feedback can both reinforce agents for their accomplishments and qualities or steer them towards learning resources and training that address potential issues.

Implement a feedback loop

Establish a real-time feedback loop where supervisors or team leaders can quickly communicate constructive feedback to agents.

Such a system keeps employees updated with regular feedback, ensuring they can continuously learn and improve.

This boosts engagement as it helps agents feel looked after, contributing to their continued professional development.

Grant autonomy

Balance autonomy with accountability

Empowering agents with a certain degree of autonomy in problem-solving and decision-making can significantly boost job satisfaction.

However, unbridled freedom without accountability can compromise quality. Establish a framework where guidelines and procedures are clear but also allow room for individual discretion.

Provide ongoing coaching

Regularly scheduled one-on-one sessions with supervisors can provide agents with individualised feedback, performance analysis, and plans for development.

Monthly one-on-ones

Monthly reviews can also serve as a forum for agents to discuss their own career goals, challenges, and opportunities for growth within the organisation, adding another layer of personal investment in their work.

Encourage independent learning

The ability to improve skills independently is an asset in the fast-paced environment of a call centre.

Self-paced learning modules can offer agents the flexibility to upskill as per their schedules.

Employers should enable employees to train during their normal working hours and not place the onus on them to do so in their own free time.

Introduce a learning management system

An advanced learning management system (LMS) can be a repository for training materials and guides.

With an LMS, agents can access relevant learning resources conveniently, allowing for a more personalised and self-directed training experience.

Address knowledge gaps instantly

Identifying and addressing knowledge gaps promptly can make a world of difference in an agent’s performance and, by extension, customer satisfaction.

Quick access to resources

By implementing an LMS as per above, employees should be able to access the learning materials and guides they need to self-query, which enhances autonomy and independence on the job.

Motivating call centre agents means providing agents with quick-reference guides, FAQs, or a knowledge base that’s regularly updated. This equips agents with the information they need to resolve customer queries without frustration.

Having resources at their fingertips minimises time spent searching for information, boosting productivity and customer satisfaction.

Motivate your call centre agents with EvaluAgent

EvaluAgent offers a suite of features designed to support and deliver all of these call centre agent motivation tips and more.

Investing in a comprehensive platform is a strategic move towards creating a motivated, high-performing call centre.

Empower your agents with real-time feedback mechanisms and robust analytics that help set actionable goals.