Call center agents have it tough. Let’s face it: being stationed in a cubicle while addressing multiple customer concerns for hours is not an easy job.
High attrition rates are quite common in the call center industry, which goes to show that it takes a lot of work on the part of a call center organization to retain its employees.
If recent studies are anything to go by, it is in the best interests of call center companies to invest a big chunk of their resources into rewarding and recognizing their agents.
By doing this, companies are able to show their employees that they are valuable to the company, which in turn motivates them to stay consistent or even do better.
It’s not that simple, however, since it’s important to understand what motivates your workforce.
Additionally, performance targets need to be clearly defined to ensure that the rewards you offer are reinforcing positive behavior.
Here are five reward and recognition ideas you can try.
1. Offer them material rewards
Material incentives are effective in reinforcing positive behavior. After all, call center agents put in the hours to earn money. Giving them extra rewards makes them feel compensated for their hard work.
Budget constraints can make it difficult for a company to give everyone a raise, but an incentive program can be put in place to ensure that the best performers are rewarded.
It’s always advisable to provide cash rewards to the best employees, but you can also offer a variety of material rewards such as gift certificates, coupons, meals, coffee, and more.
2. Personalize your rewards
Rewarding call center agents with a company mug or a Starbucks gift card for doing well even on a specific task makes them feel appreciated, but only up to a point.
There will come a time when an employee only sees these rewards as nothing more than just token gifts.
It’s always good practice to reward employees with personalized items from time to time. You can purchase gifts related to an employee’s hobbies or interests — anything a friend would give.
Doing this inspires loyalty in the employee because it makes him feel that the company appreciates and values him as an individual.
3. Offer special work conditions as incentive
One of the most challenging aspects of working in a call center is having to deal with shifting schedules.
As such, many call center employees will welcome the opportunity to have some control in their working life.
So reward your best performers with perks like allowing them to bid for their most-preferred shift schedule, extra paid leaves, choosing accounts, and more.
Knowing that they are offered opportunities to get some reprieve from the stressful aspects of the work gives employees a good reason to stick with the company.
4. Develop team-based reward systems
Offering rewards or incentives to reps on account of group performance motivates and inspires them to work better as a team.
This also prompts members to engage each other in friendly peer pressure, which in turn creates opportunities for peer-to-peer learning.
5. Provide positive feedback at every opportunity
Call center employees face stressful situations regularly, so don’t pass up the opportunity to give a compliment when they deserve it.
Remember, even a small gesture of appreciation — a congratulatory pat on the back or a smile of acknowledgement — can go a long way into making agents feel better about their day.
For a reward system to be effective, you have to develop a credible system for collecting and interpreting performance metrics.
Otherwise, inconsistent and faulty evaluation of employees may lead to bickering, which could in turn negatively impact company culture.
Here at EB Center, employees are our greatest asset. We take great pride in our competitive incentive package, which we developed to ensure that our employees are sufficiently rewarded for their hard work.