Customer service team leaders have a lot of weight on their shoulders. Typically managing upwards of 15-20 agents, they are responsible for ensuring their staff delivers quality and efficient omnichannel customer service. Constantly short on time, many are forced to operate in a reactive state. They usually have too many agents under their care, interactions to review, issues to resolve, reports to read and distribute, and so on. Despite all this, they are held to a set of clear performance metrics, which their agents must achieve.
In the optimum scenario, your organization will deploy a full, integrated agent optimization software suite consisting of modules for quality assurance, performance management, coaching, e-learning and agent motivation. Each of these tools empowers team leaders and the entire customer service team with automation tools which help improve agent customer service skills and the delivery of superior customer service. Without such a suite, there are some shoestring-budget ways to increase performance which team leaders can employ right away.
Here are 8 tips for team leaders to enhance agent performance:
- Build rapport – Without blurring the line between supervisor and employee, get to know your agents on a personal level. Understand their professional goals, personal aspirations and what motivates them.
- Lead by example – “Saying” is not the same as “Doing.” Don’t be afraid to show your agents how it’s done by taking a call or two every month. They will respect you for it, and your future constructive commentary will carry more weight.
- Daily kickoff sessions – Inspire and motivate your agents by having a pre-session call center/customer service motivation meeting with your team to get everyone fired up for the day.
- Fun hand-shake contests – Aside from any formal contests, have a little fun with your team by engaging in some hand-shake bets. For example, winners of the day get to dress casual next shift and losers must dress formally.
- Share best practices – Start your daily pep meetings off by replaying a best-practice audio or text interaction, for example, to inspire your agents to achieve similar results. Also, create an online social community wall to encourage agent-to-agent interaction.
- Tailored, hyper-focused quizzes – Give your agents a weekly two-minute quiz, which is focused on quick improvement areas for the team over the last several shifts. Incentivize those that get every question right.
- Solicit agent feedback – Bidirectional performance sharing is important. Encourage your agents to provide feedback on what improvements could be made in workflows, technology and processes, and share those with management. Also, ask your staff to offer their own thoughts on their performance evaluations.
- Hand-written notes – Praise by a supervisor is always welcome, but hand-written Post-It Notes on an agent’s monitor or keyboard go a very long way toward inspiring and motivating superior performance. Leave your agents at least one personalized note each week.
These are just a handful of recommendations for moving the needle on agent performance. Employing these tips can and likely will improve the overall quality of service delivered by your team.
Equally important, these tips can bring your team closer together and help build mutual respect among agents and team leaders.
Moreover, the most effective way to inspire and motivate your team to perform at the highest level and to build team unity is to deploy a full agent optimization suite.
How many of these 8 tips do you practice today? What have been the most effective? What tips would you add?
Please feel free to comment below. We’d welcome your thoughts.