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It is never easy to keep all your employees happy. This is a challenge at any workplace, let alone an environment that is as highly stressful as a call center. Having a call center incentive program is essential to keep your employees motivated. Plenty of research shows that happy employees are more productive and keeping your employees happy should be imperative.
Call center incentive programs are meant to drive motivation and work ethic with your employees. Have in mind that incentives that don’t keep people engaged become an expected part of work. It would be just another task to do and it will soon become a chore to your employees.
Maybe you already had something set up as a stress-relief for your call center employees. A weekly lunch, or a team-building event every Friday? However, while this is all well and good, it might not be enough to motivate your call center agents and keep them engaged. There comes a point when you need better cell center incentives if you want to increase performance of your agents. With increased performance also comes better customer satisfaction.
Your call center incentive program requires careful thinking and planning. It is likely that when employees expect rewards for completing a program, it soon stops being something to work toward and creates dissatisfaction when removed. The rewards instead need to be motivating. Don’t think that giving out lazy trinkets is enough. Stop and plan your call center incentive program.
You will need something to drive results for a long time. Your call center incentive program has to push agents in the right direction. You will need something to motivate your agents that will not go stale fast.
This is where call center incentive programs come into play. You need to find that sweet spot in the juncture of happiness and productivity. Keep in mind that cash bonuses are not the only way to show your employees that you value their hard work. There are plenty of other ways to reward your employees and keep them motivated.
How to Plan Your Call Center Incentive Program
The first thing that you should keep in mind when planning a call center incentive program is the company culture. There are certain ideas that will be helpful for boosting your call center incentive, but there are also some that you don’t really need. Take time to sift through all the propositions and choose the ones that suit you the best.
Figure out the goals first
Every call center has goals. Giving your agents something to achieve is a great way to keep them engaged. Why don’t you try setting daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly goals for your team.
You can scale the rewards with the target and its timeline. You can also divide your goals by team, department, and division. These are a great way to help everyone feel the camaraderie and encourage agents to support each other.
Make it all about your employees
Try tailoring your call center incentive program to your organization. First, talk to your agents. Their input is critical for building a program that drives engagement. Their feedback about the call center incentive program should always be welcome.
If you understand the motivation of your employees, you will be able to set up the program better. For example, regularly conduct a “what makes you stay” interview. This will serve to assess where your employees are at in terms of happiness at your company.
The rewards you give out as incentive should be specific and personal. Why not have them be customized so that agents know you appreciate them as an individual?
Recognize the hard workers
This might be the most important thing to give your call center agents – recognition and praise. Your employees work much harder if they receive recognition for their work. Knowing that someone appreciates them is a big motivator.
Why not try celebrating non-metrics-driven wins? There are some call center incentive programs that include giving out certificates for goals met and providing outlets for recognition. Don’t forget to give your agents praise, Make sure the praise is personal and presented in front of other people. If it comes from a high-level leader, it is the most effective.
Pick appropriate prizes
When selecting prizes for your call center incentive program, try having something that will make the work experience more convenient, and allow your employees to exercise their choice. For example, paid time off, the ability to leave early one day, getting a preferred parking spot or seating location, the choice of their break/lunch times, the opportunity to take calls they prefer, and the first pick on choosing shifts.
Offering tickets for a certain event would be a good incentive as well. Also, keep in mind the age groups in your office. Someone might appreciate a spa-day, but someone else might appreciate a baseball game more. It is important that everyone feels included.
Work on the teamwork
The goal of your call center incentive program should be to better the performance, but also to work on the teamwork of your employees. A little friendly competition in the work environment is a great way to bring everyone together as a team. It would be interesting to choose games that have different shifts, teams, or departments facing off, to create a bit of buzz in the office.
In this case, the reward should be something everyone can enjoy – like a big party.
Choosing a Call Center Incentive Strategy
It is important to take into account the engagement of your call center employees. Try asking yourself what do your employees want to accomplish, how can they further their career, how can their work be made to always be interesting?
Make sure your program is clearly defined and attainable in order to truly motivate your call center agents. Take care to set your agents up for success. Otherwise, your call center incentive program could hurt morale and affect the customer experience.
Try making your program repeat regularly, but don’t let it become repetitive. Don’t design it so that the same five agents win every time. Use this as a chance to break up the monotony. Do not let it simply become a part of the daily grind.
Focus on the right things. Encourage your employees to reach for bonuses in a way that will also boost their performance. Encourage the right results only. Create target-based initiatives and choose the correct revenue target. The best call center incentive program will highlight the core values and those who work and live by them.
In the end, when a call incentive program is set up the goals are usually designed to increase revenue or keep the revenue for the call center. Managers in your call center are usually aware of what improvements need to be made if revenue is down. They can also determine what factors are contributing to high revenue stream and it is important to consult them while working on a program.
If your company has several call center locations, you will be able to compare important metrics from which you will develop your incentive program and its goals. You can choose a test location to start with. Then as the call center incentive program is tuned, it can be implemented in all locations. Keep in mind that the goals may vary by location.
How to Know the End Goal
Taking a look at things from the employee’s perspective – it is really difficult to feel engaged with work when you do not have opportunities for progress. Keeping your employees engaged and involved makes them better workers. It will up their productivity and keep them motivated.
It is not easy, working at a call center. These roles often involve making customers feel satisfied no matter what the situation. Sometimes, this can put a lot of strain on your call center employees. Throwing money at the problem usually is not the best solution.
Your employees are put through difficult situations throughout the day. It is often that noncash rewards are more motivating than money to the individuals who work for you. The most important thing is to bring everything to alignment. When all the parts of the workplace align, then your workplace performance will improve.
Call center incentive programs bring all the components into alignment, thus creating employee motivation. Motivated employees work towards achieving company goals, which allows them to advance their own careers.
Perhaps this is why one of the best things you can do in a call center incentive program is investing in the professional development of your employees. It is important to talk with your team and figure out their end goals. Then take a moment and think how can you help them get there through your organization?
Here are some of the things you may find helpful: provide access to skills development courses online, offer job shadowing opportunities in a department the agent might want to move to, provide opportunities for attending industry events, and similar.
Communicate With Your Staff
Before any call center incentive program can be made, the most important thing is to talk things through with your team. Every successful company is founded on effective and prompt communication. It is imperative to avoid doubts and confusions that can result in discomfort and complains. Your incentive program should be the opposite – it should generate excitement and motivation. Ultimately, this is what you want to achieve.
When forming the first steps to your program, you will need to respond to the questions of your team first. What is the program about and what will the bonus be, why is the bonus given, who is eligible for the bonus and when will it be given? It is important to make sure that this is clear for everyone. Don’t forget about the transparency in the process.
Only after the communication is clear and set, you can proceed. The next step before building your call center incentive program will be measuring the variables.
The variables that you will need include things we already covered in this article – the age and interests of your employees, their positions, their years of work and the like. Make sure you get the information on time. Choose someone reliable in your team to will provide the information. After this evaluate what you need, and what systems are needed as well.
The measuring process needs to be fast, precise and simple. Before completing your incentive program, take advantage of the systems you have in place already. Remember, there is no room for mistakes and incorrect evaluations. This might affect the validity of the bonus. It is important that your employees are constantly informed on their performance, so that they can know where they stand and take actions to reach the desired goal.
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