It starts with you.
There are a number of ways that supervisors go about improving agent performance in a call center. If you are a supervisor, you already know that mental preparation is key when looking at improving agent performance. If you are seeking the easiest ways to improve agent performance, verify that you have allowed for enough time to:
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- Evaluate the Performance Process
But first, start with your own positive mental attitude (PMA).
Prior to your assessment period, there are a few things that you need to consider. These are simple tips that will just guide you to the appropriate mindset of where you need to be to conclusively improve agent performance in your call center. Anticipating obstacles is one of the things you need to consider as you start preparing. Being mentally prepared to handle objections to the process change will go along way in building call center team confidence. Also, scheduling time for feedback from your managers will help in putting your call center agent performance plan in order. Therefore, it helps to have a PMA!
For the week or so that you have allotted to prepare for your agent performance improvement plan, focus your energy on re-creating a performance-driven culture, especially if you haven’t consciously done so already. Mistakenly, the largest oversights most call center supervisors make when looking to improve agent performance is not assessing and/or making an attitude adjustment. You might think this is a no-brainer. But, I can’t tell you how many times through the years I have been in call centers where the attitude on the floor reflects the attitude in the office! It ALL rolls down hill, and not just the bad stuff.
So, also remember: if the status quo has been a cultural norm, it is important to recognize that you are upsetting the applecart, so to speak. What I mean is that you must reset your attitude and behavior first, then sell your plan to your managers. Finally, your call center agents will buy-in, after they see that leadership means business by being willing to “practice what you preach” through making the necessary PMA changes yourselves.
A word of caution: avoid every temptation to skipping this part of the process. Skipping your own PMA adjustments is definitely doing things the grueling way. The results of mentally preparing for change will far exceed the pain. Realize that the reason change is resisted is because during the uncomfortable process of change, your agents can feel insecurity and instability. When insecurity and instability becomes excruciating for your agents, remind them of the rewards, reassuring them of the good feelings that go with a job well-done and bigger paychecks.
In conclusion, when it comes to improving agent performance in your call center, the simplest way to initiate the process is to go through the mental steps. Do not cut corners when it comes to changing your PMA! If you decline, you will eventually discover that it is not worth doing it any other way, and you will end up working for more time than you expected. The truth of the matter is that a week is not a huge investment of time to prepare for something as impacting as changing the culture in your call center with a PMA. So, devote yourself and invest the time needed for your PMA and you will be improving agent performance in your call center before you know it!
To your success,
PS – This is the first article in a series of 5 Easy Ways To Improve Agent Performance In Your Call Center (1 of 6.)
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