Motivation is the key to accelerating whatever it is you’re looking to improve or optimize. But, motivation doesn’t necessarily come naturally to most people. Whether it’s a personal or professional goal, like trying to lose weight, organize your garage, or exceed sales targets, motivation is a tough nut to crack.
Luckily there are certain “hacks” that can not only help individuals get motivated, but entire teams; especially call center customer service teams since they’re pivotal in establishing and maintaining customer satisfaction. Like any department, the more motivated a customer service team is, the more likely they are to exceed expectations, and make a positive impact on customers, colleagues, and the company at large.
Here are some effective, and fun ways to motivate your call center.
Don’t Hate, Appreciate! It Goes a Long Way
Unsurprisingly, one survey found that of the 2000 respondents, 81% said that they felt motivated to work harder and better when they felt appreciated. In fact, appreciation was cited more than twice as often as any other answer (it was even rated higher than more money). Aside from professional settings and workplaces, this is also a common answer when it comes to the success and longevity of personal relationships. Humans enjoy feeling valued as individuals and as productive members of a team or organization, and the result is a higher sense of motivation and efficiency.
One of the easiest and most meaningful ways that a call center team manager can show appreciation towards the customer service department is to emphasize the importance of their role within the organization. Positions such as customer service representatives, particularly at call centers, are often considered to be entry level, or low-skilled positions. However, any effective call center team manager knows that this is absolutely not the case. The level of expertise that goes into managing an array of customer inquiries and personalities is exponential. Additionally, customer service reps and teams have to maintain a calm demeanor, be organized, efficient, and possess a great deal of product and company knowledge to deliver optimal customer satisfaction. Acknowledging and stressing the various important aspects that go into customer service roles will help call center employees feel seen, valued, encouraged and motivated to be the best they can be.
Foster Friendly Competition Through Creativity
Watch any sports event on the planet, from pee wee softball to elite professional football players and athletes are motivated by the competition they are facing right there on the field, rink, court, or diamond. When orchestrated in a productive and effective manner, competition can be a great force to drive further motivation and innovation. The same is true within any call center or workplace. However, the caveat here, is that customer service team members’ need to buy into the stakes that are involved within the competition. This cannot simply be some benign quota that management is requiring their employees to meet. Customer service reps need to be able to participate in and set the tone for the competition – managers should simply set the stage to make it happen.
For example, one of the best ways to get team members to buy into a customer service department’s goals and vision is by encouraging them to be creative – a culture where employees are encouraged to actively put ideas forward and to think outside the box. This creative energy will naturally develop into healthy competition among other teams and individuals, which will spark further innovation, ideas, and initiatives – this will in-turn improve customer service and satisfaction, and help a company’s business grow.
Empower Teams to Make Their Own Decisions
We’re often far more motivated about anything when we have a sense of ownership in the idea. I’m far less likely to want to lose weight if I feel like someone else is forcing me, versus wanting it for myself. When it comes to customer service teams, make sure reps are encouraged and empowered to not only have a say when it comes to decisions coming from management, but also to contribute their own ideas and then run with them.
For example, if a call center rep creates a special discount offer that they believe will help drive continued loyalty, or if they develop a referral program, give them the creative space to take initiative and try new things within their current role.
By empowering your customer service reps you will get them more engaged and motivated. And, if you want to motivate and encourage them further, get involved! Managers and supervisors should get their hands dirty by implementing some of the initiatives started by customer service reps. Not only will this provide you with deeper insights into programs and processes, but it will allow your team members to see that you value their input, which will only make them feel more appreciated and motivated for the future.
By appreciating customer service team members, giving them the freedom and flexibility to get creative and contribute their own ideas, and by getting involved in their initiatives, you’ll have call center teams that will be motivated to deliver the very best in customer service. The growing sales and customer satisfaction numbers are sure to reflect that.