Goal setting and self-improvement often go hand-in-hand, and nowhere is this more true than in the world of business and retail. Executives and managers understand that by setting goals both as an organization, specifically as departments and teams, a company is able to move in a measurable and targeted way, and even be able to make projections and pivots in the direction they want to grow.
Developing clear and structured goals using the S.M.A.R.T strategy will help provide direction, focus, and help prioritize your call center team’s time and energy. And, in departments as busy and bustling as customer service, having an agreed upon set of milestones to guide productivity will be a breath of fresh air for in any company.
Here are some keys ways to work together as a team to create practical, yet ambitious goals that will take you call center to the next level.
The Importance of Team Goal Setting
In order to work together to set effective goals for your call center, it’s critical to stress the importance and benefits that the activity will have for everyone involved.
Establishing clear, structured goals before starting a challenge helps provide clarity and vision, while letting people take appropriate and efficient action. This can make tasks easier in the long run because you’ve mapped out your course ahead of time, and can anticipate any obstacles that might arise during the process. In that sense, goals act somewhat like the “lighthouse” over a project, quarter, or year. They help us see the direction that we’re trying to go in, and effectively light the path to help us get there.
Lastly, because the determined goals are put together by the whole team everyone has a defined milestone they’re trying to reach. This can really help to unify individual team members, and encourage collaboration in a supportive environment.
SMART Goals Setting Strategies
The S.M.A.R.T goal setting framework is an incredible outline to ensure that you’re developing goals in a practical and meaningful way. Here’s how to create S.M.A.R.T goals:
S – Specific
This is where you ask yourself and your team the who, what, where, when, and why questions. In order for a goal to really make sense, you have to be as specific as possible.
Example: Reduce customer call return times to increase customer satisfaction and retention
M – Measurable
Which metrics will you use to reach your goal? How will you capture those metrics? What numbers or figures are you aiming for? These are the questions you’d answer when determining how you’ll know whether you’re making progress towards your goal and if you reached it or not.
Example: Reduce customer call return times by 25% to increase customer satisfaction and retention by tracking time between each
call, and emailing customer surveys every quarter.
A – Attainable
Is this goal achievable? It’s important to ask individuals and team members this question to gauge how they’re approaching the goal, and perhaps what apprehensions they have about it. What tools, resources, or skills does the team need to acquire or increase in order to make the goal a reality?
Example: Managers and team leads will track weekly progress of call return times on a board, and inquire about any resources they can provide customer service reps to ease call loads.
R – Relevant
Ask your team how the goal pertains to the mission of their department and the company at large? How will this benefit its customers? How will this improve employees’ workflows and corporate culture?
Example: Lower call return times will lead to greater customer satisfaction and retention, which will lead to increased sales, referrals, and revenues for the company.
T – Timely
Lastly, the team must be specific about the timeline for the goal. When do they realistically hope to reach the milestone they’ve set, and are there ways to speed up or even slow down the process? Being specific about the window or time required helps to work backwards and create schedules and baby steps to reach the big goal.
Example: Reduce customer call return times by 25% over the span of 12 consecutive months from January to December.
In addition to having very specific timelines for each goal, it’s also important to consider having both long-term and short-term goals. There’s something motivating about reaching smaller, more imminent goals. In fact, breaking longer-term goals into smaller, more bite-size pieces will help your team make and track progress easier, and they will motivate them as they see the impact they’re having on the bigger goal.
Share Goals to Foster Collaboration and Accountability
Once you’ve established your collective goals, displaying them in a common area of your building or floor reminds team members of the goals they established, the benchmarks they’re aiming for, and the steps they need to take to get there. Also, walking by the displayed goals regularly can help people stayed motivated, accountable, and maybe even foster some healthy competition.
This is a great way to engage the team to post their goals in creative ways. Whether that’s through individual sticky notes, a large bar chart, or even an illustration, not only can this be a colorful addition to the office space, but also a way for team members to see what others put as their goals. Now the team can celebrate achievements and wins, which will help to foster collaboration.
Goal setting is a great exercise towards improving the culture and processes of any company. Doing so in a strategic, intentional, and effective manner is great for individuals, customer service teams, and even managers and executives to drive business and customer satisfaction forward in a meaningful way.
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