If you are someone who is responsible for call centre staff, you know how challenging it is to consistently produce good results, especially against the backdrop of shrinking budgets and spiralling costs. Happy, motivated agents are crucial to producing positive outcomes, whether you are offering a service or delivering one. So what can you do to create and maintain a happy agent? We think introducing ONE manageable improvement to your call centre such as offering staff regular training & development opportunities and reviewing the incentives may just be the trick to boosting and maintaining consistent success. Here’s a few ideas you can inexpensively implement in your call centre today:

1.  Invest in your staff – Don’t be tempted to cut back on training & development for call centre staff, new and experienced during times of cutbacks. Offering a plan ensures staff are adequately trained to tackle their work and shows commitment in a time where job security is uncertain. Effective training need not be expensive and can often be provided in-house by talented managers or team leaders.

2. Review incentives – review they way in which you reward your talented staff and include ideas from agents – remember not one size fit’s all! For cash-strapped centres, effective rewards are not restricted to money – offering cheaper rewards such as a dress down day or extra time off can have the same effect as chocolates or gift vouchers.

3. Team Building – each call your contact centre makes or receives is just one part of a process that often requires more than one person to complete. Introducing and/or reviewing your team building activities can show staff how they depend on one another and visually demonstrate how producing a positive outcome is a team effort.

4. Listening to your agents –  people are often more receptive to change when they feel they are being listened to. Make it a regular habit to include your team when brainstorming new ideas or reviewing existing practices. You don’t always have to adopt every idea suggested by an agent but you may be surprised at what you discover; agents are on the front line of your business after all!

5. Effective Communication – As well as listening to your agents, it is important to communicate effectively with them; communication is a two-way principle which encourages dialogue and promotes respect for both parties. People often respond better when they have a clear idea of what is being expected of them so communicate your goals to your agents clearly and positively.

6. Promote a clean working environment – Introduce or review your policy for maintaining cleanliness in the office. Dirty carpets, poor ventilation and cluttered desks contribute to an unpleasant working environment which can encourage complaints, de-motivate your staff and add to a lack of pride about one’s work. Introducing simple things such as plants, insisting on clear desks and even fish tanks can transform the look and feel of the workplace.

7. Regular reviews sessions – review sessions can help staff feel more valued by giving them regular opportunity to discuss their work. It also helps identify gaps in training and provides a forum for any negative issues to be resolved quickly. Aim to conduct these reviews regularly so that your overall assessments are consistent.

8. Finally, remember to review your reviews! – Choose ideas that are suited to your call centre and check at regular intervals that they are producing the results you want. At the same time, if an idea is truly not working after a given amount of time, do not be afraid to change tactics after all, you know your call centre best.