Tips to Inspire and Motivate Remote Call Centre Agents
Managing a team is a tough job.
It requires several skills to ensure that you and your fleet of excellent workers are on the same page and aiming for the same goals.
However, managing a remote team is a lot more challenging.
This is even magnified currently because of the worldwide health crisis.
While remote call centre management has been around for a while now, the stress and pressures your call centre agents are facing today is on another level.
Contact centre work can be demanding and stressful, so managers and organisations need to observe practices that can help with agent motivation.
Since your team is working from home, chances are they perform their tasks in different work conditions and levels of distractions or stress.
Below are some useful tips on how you can keep your remote team motivated and productive at work during difficult times.
The Top 5 Ways to Inspire and Motivate Remote Call Centre Agents
1. Acknowledge and reward their hard work
When your agents feel appreciated, they feel a boost in their self-worth, making them happier and more motivated to perform better at work.
This is a must-have if you want to increase employee retention and satisfaction that will encourage them to stay longer in the company.
Apart from recognising their accomplishments or wins, you can also provide incentives and rewards.
Rewards don’t have to set you back a lot of money.
It can be as simple as a thank you note, preferential scheduling, highlight on social media, a one-month free subscription to a streaming app, gift checks, and more.[Read: 18 Great ideas to reward staff without blowing the budget!]
2. Maintain clear communication
Having too many channels for communication may lead to misunderstandings and cause unnecessary confusion.
Have a communication channel for immediate or urgent contact for client concerns and updates to ensure that your daily operations go smoothly, even when you don’t see each other.
For documentation and alignment, you can use email.
Moreover, you can implement policies, such as employees attending to messages within an hour.
If an hour has passed, only then can you contact the individual in a more personal channel to call their attention.
Fostering an effective and open communication puts everyone at ease and on the same page.[Learn more about Knowledge Management Tools designed for contact centres]
3. Use different communication methods
It isn’t easy to inspire and lift your team’s spirits through chat or text message or email.
Since you can’t do face-to-face interactions in a remote management setting, video is your second best choice.
When trying to motivate remote call centre agents, why not use video calls for meetings or team engagements?
With video, you can better express the right emotions, such as excitement and optimism, through your facial movements, tone of voice, and actions.
In times like this, when many people crave human interaction, seeing your team’s faces and vice versa helps get everyone together even when all of you are miles apart.
4. Provide growth opportunities
A new customer support agent often stays motivated for several months.
However, after a while or once they’ve settled in at work, that new job “high” starts to dwindle.
This may result in decreased productivity and performance level.
No matter what stage your employees are at their job, it’s essential to offer them growth opportunities to continue fuelling their drive to work better.
For your monthly or quarterly performance reviews, ask your employees questions that give an overview of their career goals, such as follows:
- What tasks or projects they would like to get better at
- What tasks or projects drain their energy
- What tasks or projects keep them engaged
- What kind of tasks or projects they want to handle more
- What else they want to try or achieve at work
- What other skills they want to develop
5. Prioritise flexibility
With your team working from home at a time of lockdown and quarantine policies, it’s highly likely that their family members are at home as well.
This means there are more potential distractions and stressors (e.g., taking care of kids, doing chores, etc.) in their work environment.
The last tip on how to motivate remote call centre agents is that by increasing flexibility during this time, it can help alleviate unnecessary stress and inspire them to work where they feel most productive.
You can help your agents provide a better customer experience by being laxer with working time slots for your department.
With this, your team is free to choose the best time for them to start working, which can be when their kids are asleep or once they can concentrate more on work than chores.
Wrapping it up
Motivation doesn’t work overnight, and finding the right motivation tactic for all your agents can be tricky.
Organising just one team engagement activity for the rest of the year won’t be enough to boost their morale.
You have to spend time, energy, and consistency to get your customer support remote team excited about their work and motivated to perform better.
Make sure to keep your communication lines open, measure their performance regularly, and listen to them to keep up with the challenges of remote work setup.
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