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Call Center Agent Retention

5 Ways to Show Appreciation to Your Call Center Agents

Call Center Agents

Call Center Agents

According to a study conducted by the Harvard Medical School, workplace appreciation and gratitude enhances company culture and ensures the wellbeing of employees.

It’s well known that the majority of call center agents are under constant stress. But, you can counter that stress and increase their motivation level by recognizing and respecting their efforts. In return, they will perform and deliver the best results for your company.

Here Are 5 Ways You Can Show Appreciation And Gratitude To Your Call Center Agents

1. Spend Time With Them

Employees prefer leaders over a boss because they can communicate and be themselves with them. Recognize their presence. Show them gratitude through gestures, words and actions like saying, “thank you”, taking them out for coffee, having a casual chat time-to-time, discussing their problems,  or life overall.

2. Provide Frequent Time- Off

The daily stress and continuous calls make the job of a call center agent quite taxing. They are under constant pressure to perform and meet their targets. So, it is only humane to give them a breather whenever possible. Being a boss or a member of the management team, you are able to provide them with the necessary time-off. It will allow them time to meet their personal needs.

3. Give Small Gestures of Recognition

Offer your agents sincere accolade and admiration whenever your agents do a good job or deliver. A small gesture of appreciation like this will go a long way. It will boost the confidence level of your agents and drive them to achieve targets and meet your expectations.

4. Provide a Ladder to Progress

When you work hard day-in and day-out, but are unable to push your career in the upward direction, it leaves you feeling dejected and demotivated. If your boss or manager steers your career on the right track, you’ll feel motivated to deliver and perform. Same goes for your agents. Show them the right path for career growth, and they will help your company to grow.

5. Give Bonuses

Working in a call center is both challenging and fulfilling, but these benefits run the risk of being overshadowed by stress incurred on the job. Pep-talks, accolades and gestures are the best signs of appreciation, but nothing can beat a monetary reward. You can offer annual bonuses to your agents, which demonstrates appreciation for their efforts, cooperation, and decision to be a part of your organization.

What do you think?

Call center agents are a crucial part of an agency. They are the source of communication between your firm and its customers. Keeping the agents happy, confident, motivated and appreciated, will help in maintaining good consumer relationships. Employees and clients constitute the top tier of a company pyramid. And keeping both these parties happy will ensure good health and success for your business.

It is not a selfish approach but rather a “give and take” relationship. Because, when you have a great team you have a successful business!

Feel free to reach out to us for consultation and expert advice on effective employee/customer management solutions.

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4 Ways to Reducing Agent Attrition Rates

Agent Attrition Rates

Agent Attrition Rates

Frequently having agents walk out of the door can be indicative of the culture that they are accustomed to in their workplace.

A heavy workload with no rest intervals in between, a strict routine-based work pace and unrecognized performance are just some of the causes that can directly increase agent attrition rates.

With agents exiting the company, it becomes burdensome of having to replace them every now and then with no certainty of a sure-keep. Plus, you can risk valuable potentials in the process.

Here are 4 simple ways in which you can overcome this:

1. Preempting applicants

Starting right is one step in significantly decreasing the chances of agent turnover in the future. The standards of hiring and recruitment must be enhanced in order to reel in people who are in it for the long haul.

Providing a Realistic Job Preview or communicating what you expect from an applicant can assure you that both parties meet in a middle ground.

Make sure you are transparent with what you expect and what you are looking for. Applicants need to know that you are after someone who can commit to the job and not just flake out at any moment.

2. Training and Monitoring

One reason why agents choose to leave is because there is no upward direction to their knowledge, skills and abilities.

According to studies, employee dissatisfaction is not derived from a minimal pay but from a lack of growth in the company.

Thus, you have to be involved in the performance level of your agents and you can do so by monitoring and identifying the weak areas that need to improved.

Training is beneficial to the employees and to the growth of your company. It is an avenue of developing skills and engaging actively with your agents.

Training can also significantly reduce stress because it allows employees to exercise group dynamics and to offer productive solutions to problems being experienced in the workplace.

3. Motivation and feedback

Make sure you provide constructive feedback to your agents and recognize those who have excellent performance records. Motivate them by giving incentives and words of praise.

Also, feedback should be two-way. You can ask your employees of the difficulties they are going through or what they can suggest to improve the system.

Agents have to be viewed as valuable resources by involving them in the actions taken as a company to boost their commitment.

4. Opening opportunities

Open new opportunities for your agents.

They might feel tied down by just sitting on their desks all day. What you can do is challenge their capabilities by assigning tasks that go beyond their comfort zone.

Constantly offer promotions to motivate agents to work harder and improve their customer relations. They have to know that they can experience new and exciting horizons when they stay in your company.

Conclusion

Imposing an environment that values interaction and growth can definitely put weight on commitment of your agents.

Don’t let a substandard culture hinder the growth of your company and your employees.

Are you looking for a committed team that is customer-centric? Feel free to contact us!

Photo courtesty – © photoprodra / Dollar Photo Club

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Skyrocket Your BPO Company’s Performance Using These Gamification Tips

BPO

BPO

Employee engagement is undeniably important; this is especially true in a call center where your employee’s motivation have a direct impact on your customer’s satisfaction. In fact, many centers have experimented and implemented multiple strategies in an effort to engage and motivate employees. One of these strategies is gamification, and so far it has been nothing short of effective for most centers.

Applying game elements on the floor can transform your call center’s mundane day-to-day activities into competitive endeavors and do wonders for overall performance.

It can empower your organization to interact with agents at a more personal level by leveraging their innate desires for competition, self-expression, altruism, learning, and competition to achieve goals.

What can gamification do for your call center?

It encourages healthy competition

Gamification can help create a sense of competition in your workplace.

Giving points, badges, or levels to top performers is a great way to drive productivity among agents. It encourages healthy competition, especially when you make the results visible to all employees through leaderboards. Incorporate metrics like AHT, CSAT and FCR into the rankings to bring out your agents’ competitive side and encourage them to work on various aspects of their performance. Gamification can ultimately improve your bottom line and foster good working relationships among your team.

It drives employee satisfaction.

Employee satisfaction is crucial to organizational success. To deliver a satisfactory end-to-end customer experience, your agents must be satisfied, happy and motivated to perform their tasks and pursue individual and organizational goals.

Luckily, gamified activities are a great source of motivation. They create a fun and engaging work environment by turning simple tasks into competitive activities and goals into rewards. Agents will strive to be the best when they are enjoying their work and are acknowledged for the milestones they hit and the goals they achieve.

If your center has hundreds of agents, managers may not have the capacity or time to personally congratulate each employee daily, weekly and monthly. Gamification can make this process much simpler by enabling you to grant employee recognition through points, badges, levels and leaderboards.

It encourages employee interaction.

Traditional training programs and tutorials are still widely used in many centers. However, they don’t always guarantee full employee engagement. Some agents have a tendency to not be receptive to repetitive and lengthy training programs. Your call centers can improve employee on-boarding by saying goodbye to obsolete training practices. Instead of training sessions that require agents to spend hours away from the floor for extended periods, choose a more interactive approach.

Gamified training programs are all the rage for many centers now. You can certainly benefit from having interactive training sessions that gives employees access to information in a more engaging way. Here’s a closer look at how gamification can improve hiring.

Conclusion

Gamification can do wonders for your call center’s overall performance. However, without thorough planning, it could be counterproductive, causing poor agent collaboration and low productivity on the floor. Before gamifying, carefully evaluate your call center’s strengths and weaknesses to determine how to make the most of this approach and make sure it contributes to a positive call center culture.

Photo courtesy – © mindscanner / Dollar Photo Club

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Call Center Concerns Answered

Call center concerns
Call center concerns
© magann / Dollar Photo Club

Outsourcing to a call center is very important for companies who want their customer service to excel. It is difficult to find a Philippine call center that can get the job done. However, the right contact center has leverage to a company and its brand management. Here are answers to common questions prior outsourcing to an offshore center.

Will hiring a call center make my company any better?

An outsourced inbound or outbound call center team becomes the front-liners to a company’s customer service department. As they become the POC or person in contact for inquiries, the outsourced call center can set the impression desired. Call center agents have the advantage of gathering customer data which they can use to provide accurate solutions to their problems. Information from surveys such as preferred social media site, consumer trends or product comments and suggestions can go a long way to make the company better.

By knowing the clients preference, managers are able to modify, improve and even discontinue the service and product accordingly to what the customers want. The data gathered by the agents should be generated daily for reporting. It is better for these reports to be given frequently in order to maintain excellent customer service.

With all the call centers everywhere, how do I choose the right one?

Prior to hiring a call center, it is important to do an extensive research about all the possible center options. Look into detail their track records and how they manage and deliver their campaigns. Set a meeting with the managers and ask for a thorough rundown of how the day-to-day operations work. Do not forget to ask for actual office pictures. In most cases, a home based call center is not the best option, look for a real outsourcing firm located in a business district and see to it that their goals match yours.

Schedule a visit to the call center facility and observe how the employees work. A good outsourcing firm is able to establish good communication between the client and call center all the

I will be away most of the time, how do I make sure the outsourced job is done right?

Working with a team abroad could be daunting, but if you manage them properly, operations will run smoothly. Remember to set expectations and goals so employees will know where they stand. Take responsibility and ensure effective communication between the client and center at all times. Provide training materials and recruitment standards to ensure that only the most suitable employees get hired for your campaign. Supervise the offshore office as you would a team locally.

Effective collaboration can lead to a successful campaign. Choose an outsourcing company wisely.

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Getting Ready for Work After a Long Break

Call Center Work After Long Break
Call center vacation
© BartPhoto / Dollar Photo Club

Reporting back to work after a long vacation or an eventful weekend can be tiresome and will need extra push. Especially if you have to work at night in a Philippine call center.

Do not let a new workweek stop you from being productive and hungover from the holidays. Make the first day back an opportunity to improve yourself and work habits.

Here are tips on how to start the week fresh and eager to work again.

1. Plan your activities

Make adjustments to you schedule for the last day that you’re on vacation. Avoid activities that can tire you the next day to avoid fatigue and even hangovers. Another technique is to wake up early so you can sleep early during bedtime.

2. Prepare your things

Nothing is worst than having to bring an empty purse the next morning or forgetting to bring your ID. Call Center Outsourcing companies are very strict in terms of attendance. It is a bad start to be picking up your things all over the place in the morning. All the more being late.

3. Arrive early

It is likely that many were also on vacation just like you. Avoid the rush on the first day back to work by arriving early in the office. That way, you will look composed, settled and ready to start the day.

4. Think Positive

Work starts to become easy of you think of it as something you enjoy doing. Though you might have been struggling to stay awake while taking inbound call center calls, think of your outsourcing job as the source of all your vacation funds to get yourself motivated.

5. Focus on your work

There is nothing better than hearing stories from friends at work. However, save these for break time and concentrate on more important things so you wouldn’t lose your focus.

Being an inbound and outbound call center agent allows you to leave all your work worries behind as the day ends. Work hard, do your best and prepare for another adventure to motivate you.

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The Effects of Conflict at the Workplace

workplace conflict
Conflict at the Workplace
© Sergey Nivens / Dollar Photo Club

All call center agents who work in a Philippine call center have one common goal. These employees usually come from different backgrounds, have a diverse set of skills and more often than not, approach every task at their own pace and capability. Because of such dissimilarity, conflicts and other issues could arise when call center outsourcing employees are not managed properly. Common factors for such arguments are values and character, power, social factors and even attitude towards work.

The most important factor in achieving a common goal is communication. If you have a barrier which includes poor listening skills, insufficient information, misleading interpretation and perception of nonverbal communication, it will be very difficult for the team to succeed.

The size of the organization, attrition and retention rate, employee engagement, reward systems and level of work focus among employees are all part of the structural disagreements. Whereas personal factors are the employee’s self esteem issues, personal goals, value, needs and respect for oneself.

For these aspects to be dealt with accordingly and successfully – managers, team leaders and call center agents alike must understand its instability and impact on the team as an one unit.

However, not all conflicts have a negative effect. It also gives the opportunity for each employee to express their feelings and speak what’s on their mind that they believe is best for the team. Arising conflicts also enables the team’s problem solving and decision making skills to be put into use by motivating people to solve and analyze the situation. Call center employees follow a script while taking calls and encouraging them to express themselves and their ideas outside those calls is energizing as they try to seek the best solution. The most important thing when handling conflicts is your ability to handle it properly and constructively.

Having a productive and hardworking Philippine call center outsourcing team is every manager’s dream. But working together in peace is also a very important common goal. Team work is bounded by good leadership, cooperative team, effective communication and respect towards others and space.

Conflicts are normal, it’s just how you deal with it that makes it better or worst.

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Call Center in the Philippines: Building Strong Relationships at Work

Call Center in the Philippines
Call Center in the Philippines
© kameonline / Dollar Photo Club

Every Philippine call center is a relationship business. The quality and impact of your work, and the profitability of your business, depend upon relationships — with customers, co-workers, and competitors; with suppliers, distributors, and support services; with direct reports, senior managers, and boards. Being customer service and telemarketing agents is so tedious that in most cases, stress eventually takes its toll on them. That’s why it often affects an employee’s productivity and relationships at work.

However, the way you manage key relationships with even the most difficult people will determine your level of success. Building strong relationships with others heightens your ability to gain support for your work and manage barriers that will inevitably come up along the way. There is also a personal benefit with effective relationships in that they can make you feel more engaged with your work which can lead to greater job fulfillment.

When you take the time to understand another’s’ feelings and positions you can create strength in relationships, both parties allow each other to communicate without being judged. Effective relationships require parties to openly express their feelings and positions on all matters pertinent on the level of the relationship.

Respect is the key to relationships, you can show respect just by listening to the other party and by trying sincerely to understand what is important to them, you can also look at their communication style and personality to better understand what makes them tick, a person can also show respect by reinforcing the person when they are doing something well or offer to help when they are needing some extra help.

Respect, communication and working toward a win-win situation are the very foundation for a great relationship. When parties fail to express whatever is on their mind or their feelings, it can get in the way of building an effective relationship.

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A Positive Approach to Call Center Stress

Center in the Philippines - Call center stress
Center in the Philippines - Call center stress
© Dmitry / Dollar Photo Club

Stress indeed has been regarded as a major threat to call centers in the Philippines. The cost of workplace stress is a serious matter in a company. How do inbound and telemarketing agents react to increased job stress?  They are more likely to use sick time, have low morale and experience interpersonal conflict on the job, and this stress leads to decreased productivity, increased injuries, accidents and even workplace bullying and violence. (more…)

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Call Center Career: Understanding Job Interview

Call Center in the Philippines - Job Interview Tips
Call Center in the Philippines - Job Interview Tips
© Syda Productions / Dollar Photo Club

If you notice, most jobs featured in a jobs listing website are positions for business process outsourcing (BPO) companies. Among these jobs are customer service assistants and Philippine call center agents which are in fact, high paying jobs. That’s why it’s very important for job seekers to understand and prepare for job interviews because this maybe the beginning of your career path. You might be one of hundreds of people who respond to a job opening. However, most of the people who respond won’t get interviewed. They’ll get screened out through a process of elimination by an individual or committee which will determine the final candidates. Typically, this is how you’ll be scored during interviews:

Good chemistry

Can you “fit” into the organization? This can be shown by your grooming; if you communicate and listen well with co-workers, customers and management; if you have personal interests and beliefs consistent with the company’s goals and objectives; if you have leadership potential and has a positive and upbeat with a can-do attitude, follows directions and accepts criticism.

Competence and ability

Can you do the job? This implies your technical skills; expertise or if you have the background and experience to do the job and education or if you have the required knowledge.

Willingness and enthusiasm

How willing are you to have that job? This signifies your ambition or if you have the desire to learn, grow and excel and your being motivated, energetic and team player.

It is also important to understand the employer’s perspective, to make a good impression and focus on what you can do for the company. Remember, your value is what makes an employer want to hire you.

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Call Center Career Tips: The Value of Punctuality

Career Tips
Career Tips
© sharshonm / Dollar Photo Club

The life of a call center agent– especially in urban environements, – can be chaotic. However, the importance of punctuality should never be underestimated, showing up on time to an appointment or work is the mark of a truly professional telemarketing agent. Being punctual for your work day, your appointments, and your deadlines shows respect for others and for yourself as well.

Being habitually late shows a serious lack of organization skills and perhaps will even give the impression that you do not like your job or the person you are meeting with.

If you’re struggling with punctuality, here are a few tips to help you be more on time:

Develop A Pre-Work Routine

Get your clothes ready the night before, give yourself an extra thirty minutes to get ready, and leave earlier than you absolutely have to. These are all things that can help you get ready and out the door so you can face the world, on time.

Know the Importance of Rest

Being well rested is another key to having your day go according to schedule. If you are tired and fatigued you are less likely to be prepared for the next day. Just like having a set time to get up in the morning, you should also have a set time to go to bed.

Make a Record of Your Attendance.

If your boss isn’t doing it for you and sending you reminders, make a record of when you come in to work late and when you get there on time. This may give you a clearer picture of how often you are tardy.

Work on Time Management

You are not going to get things done if you don’t make the time for that to happen. Most people can’t make up success as they go along. It’s up to you to change your habits so that you can be more punctual, and receive the benefits that come with always being on time.

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