How to motivate call centre teams with instant reward
“Instant reward schemes in call centres can make the difference between motivation and disengagement for your employees and your customers” says Lee O’Connor, Operations Director at Edenred.
Call centre and telephone-based workers are the “hidden heroes” of the UK economy.
For every business, it is their performance, on the front line as the first port of call for customers which makes the difference between a lost or disenchanted customer and one who is happy, loyal and singing your company’s praises.
While in many cases, call centre working environments are vastly improved from the stereotypes of yesteryear, the challenges of repetitive work, stressful calls, sustained pressure during high-volume call periods and unpredictable shift patterns persist as the big challenge in engaging and motivating call centre teams.
A McKinsey study showed that engaged and satisfied call centre employees were over three times more likely to feel empowered to resolve customer issues. Despite this, other research from Evaluagent suggests that 85% of customer service workers thought their employer should be doing more to improve employee engagement.
The job for any manager who wants to maintain the all-important customer satisfaction and net-promoter scores which provide a barometer for call centre performance is to bridge the gap between staff motivation and high-quality customer service.
One of the most powerful tools in doing this is instant reward and recognition: it’s what allows managers to break the monotony of work, ensuring that the day-to-day efforts of employees are noted and appreciated in the moment, rather than letting days or weeks drift by until there is a team meeting or appraisal. Whether it is for a new starter or an experienced team member, instant reward is an impactful way of reinforcing performance progress, upskilling efforts and the behaviors that matter to the business.
Using instant reward and recognition allows you to match the pace of work in a call centre environment whereby the end of the day, achievements in the busy first hour may otherwise be forgotten.
Recognition is particularly powerful when matched with reward. Whether it is an online eReward code to be spent anywhere, an exciting experience like skydiving, a day out with the team or extra time off, a tangible reward is memorable and creates discussion and engagement in and out of the workplace about how good work is valued. Equally powerful is when instant recognition is used to get individuals to work to personal or team goals which unlock reward – without the expectation of reward every time. “Our popular ‘Advisor of the Month’ competition works where the data we get from instant rewards and other feedback are collated, with the winner getting a trophy and an online reward to spend anywhere they want.”
Instant rewards can also be linked to wider team development, training or coaching other employees. For example, individual calls can be showcased as best practice of dealing with a difficult call, where the employee went the extra mile for a customer to turn a situation around.
Finally, instant rewards not only create healthy competition but can also inject interest and variety into any workplace. At Edenred, instant rewards have now moved beyond the call centre. We have a project management team and a back-office client delivery team using our instant reward system too.
“Having worked in call centres for many years I can still remember when we didn’t have the technology to reward and recognise people in the way we can today. While whiteboards and spreadsheets were invaluable back then, I would never go back.
Technology gives us a way to deliver recognition and reward spontaneously while putting consistency and data into when and how we do it.
It allows us to look at motivation “cold spots” - actions or people that aren’t getting recognition; it gives us the power to see who is doing well and map progress for team and individual reward; it allows peers and teams to recognise each other’s value to the business; and it also indicates the end of old and inefficient paper-based systems.”
Using instant rewards for call centre staff in 2020 clearly has the potential to create an immediate but lasting impact. So, when someone in your call centre business has done something really well, why wouldn’t you want to celebrate their success story instantly?