Call centers are notorious for their high turnover rates, unhappy staff, and lack of a company culture that celebrates individuals within that space. But, we believe that a positive culture can make all the difference, leading to higher retention rates in the center, as well as call center performance you can count on.
If you’ve used other call center services in the past, maybe you’ve found that staff seems low energy, unmotivated. Well, that’s a culture problem.
Let’s take a look at why call center culture matters a whole lot more than you think:
Customers are the reason you’re bothering with this call center stuff in the first place. Whether you’re hiring sales reps or lead generators, or a helpful voice on the other end of the line, the impact of the culture is reflected in the tone employees use when they engage with consumers.
Happy people tend to like talking to others. And, in general, when employees feel like they are being valued, they’ll make sure your business runs smoothly, and that you meet your goals. Happy salespeople tend to make more sales because people want to talk to them. Makes sense, right?
That said, we know that many call centers focus too much on ranking employees by the numbers, rather than trying to make sure people feel comfortable, happy, and eager to please the folks on the other end of the call.
Call center jobs can be tedious in a lot of cases, but by improving efforts to ensure staff stays happy, callers are likely to maintain motivation and able to spread their happiness to others.
There are two parts to this point. Work-related competition focused on retaining customers who plan on leaving or generating a certain amount of leads by the end of the week are a tried and true method for boosting sales and keeping company goals top of mind.
Healthy competition extends beyond giving bonuses to the person who gets the most leads, generates the most sales, or other instances of the “mosts”. We’re talking in-office games–bingo, hangman, a rousing cornhole competition. Whatever it is, make sure the spirit is fun. Blowing off some steam in the form of healthy competition can energize workers and can help them spread some positivity during their sales calls.
Ideally, the people working in a call center like, well, talking to people. A call center can benefit big time by adding space for online group chats like Slack, HipChat, or a dedicated Facebook group. That space to share jokes with team members can have a positive effect on performance — even if at first glance it sounds like a time waster.
Additionally, things like happy hours, lunches, and birthday celebrations give teammates a chance to get to know each other, share their thoughts about what’s going on on the job, and more.
Because customer service is a social career path, call center performance depends on staff’s ability to connect with others, keep their spirits high, and collaborate.
Sadly, many call centers don’t value their callers, leading to employee resentment and high turnover. But, managers can improve call center performance by encouraging employees to own their role and become an expert.
When an agent has been in a position for a while, they’re likely to become knowledgeable about the product offerings, the customer personas, and the issues people deal with on a regular basis.
Too often, companies rely on outsourced call centers to provide the face of the company. It makes sense then, to provide the information and training needed for agents to become knowledgeable about the company they represent.
Allow some leeway with the company script. Letting callers take initiative with campaigns and come up with sales strategies gives them valuable insight into the material at hand. These little things add up and give callers some agency over their career and make them feel valued.
And, there’s the added benefit that this professional development will increase the employee’s overall skill and knowledge base, making them a valuable asset — an employee who can solve problems without needing to call a manager for more complex issues.
Looks aren’t everything, but they can have an impact on how people feel while they are at work. Gray walls and cubicles don’t inspire greatness, do they?
Consider adding plants, pictures, and paint to kick things up a notch. Colors like green and blue inspire serenity and focus, while yellow can stimulate creativity.
Customer service is all about communication. When staff feels competent and confident, they’ll be open to collaborating with other staff members, sharing their ideas of how they can better serve customers.
Good communication trickles down from the top, so management must clearly communicate goals and open the channels for respectful discussion.
Clarity within the organization makes it easier for callers to communicate ideas and brainstorm solutions while they’re with the customer.
At Turtle Peak, we know the value of a good call center culture. We’re all about making our agents feel valued — so you won’t find our people with headsets in a dark room. For that reason, we’re able to keep our staff around for the long haul.
If you’re looking for outsourced customer service, sales, or lead generation, we’d love to hear from you.