Motivating Agents Through Competition
05 / Mar / 2013
By Jordan Linford
The one consistent element that is present on every call room floor is competition. Whether you like it or not, it is there in some form. It is those call room floors that learn how to harness the competitive spirit that get the best out of their agents. Competition is one of the best producers of success. There are three things to remember when embracing and utilizing competition on your call room floor.
1. Be ready to reward
2. Be ready to reprimand
3. Be ready give them the tools they need
Be ready to reward!
If you are going to let your agents compete against one another, be ready to reward your top performers. There are the select few that enjoy being the best for no other reason than bragging rights, but more often than not the average performance will be delivered by our agents if we don’t give them a reason to succeed and some recognition of their performance. The awards don’t have to be anything significant. We have had success just giving out gift certificates to restaurants. Just the fact that you are willing to recognize a good performance with any reward says a lot to your employees.
If you are going to let your agents compete, be ready to reprimand. This makes your job as a call floor supervisor both harder and easier. It becomes harder because someone is going to be at the bottom and you are going to have to make the tough decisions. You are going to have to put time in to some corrective training. You are going to have to invest in the kind of software that will allow them to monitor their behavior. Hopefully these are things you are doing already, but if not, get ready for a rude awakening.
Motivating agents through competition will make your job easier. When you have to let someone go you can blame the metrics. If only we could do this in real life relationships! If someone is consistently performing at the bottom of the pack, they will most likely not be surprised when they are let go and you don’t have to be the bad guy (although let’s face it, you’ll still get blamed a little bit).
Lastly, you must give them the right tools to compete. Studies show that agents on call floors respond much better to in the moment correction than they do to after the fact correction. Invest in something where your agents can see how they are doing compared to everyone else right now in real-time.
One of my first jobs was in a call center. I always remember how annoying it was when I received the end of the day report and some of my stats were not up to par. I couldn’t think of any reason as to why they were low, it didn’t make sense to me. I needed that “in the moment “ correction. I needed to see who was performing better than me and see how they were doing it. If you are going to have them compete, let them have visibility into the real-time action of the call floor. We all need a carrot dangled in front out our faces to keep us going. They need to see right now how they measure up to everyone else.
Our company uses software called ClearView that easily allows us to do this. We have found great success giving our agents real-time insight into how the rest of their team is doing. Agent productivity has shot through the roof since we have started this approach.