IDEA #5 – Process versus People.
Process versus People. This simply means to focus primarily on your processes rather than on your employees when it comes to improving results. I am not suggesting ignoring people’s performance but merely switching the emphasis on processes. Furthermore you must realize that your results come from the strengths and weaknesses of your processes as much as the strengths and weaknesses of your people.
Productivity – can’t live with it, can’t live without it.
When it comes to productivity measurements within a call center environment, we are all but too familiar with the AHT (average handling time) indicator. Basically, it refers to the total time spent talking with a customer plus the total time in post-call processing divided by the number of calls answered.
Lately many call centers have decided not to hold agents accountable to this measurement to create a better environment while aiming for better call quality. Other call center managers put too much emphasis on productivity as they try to improve the service levels and prevent productivity cost from rising.
I suggest that there is a balance that can be achieved – there is no need to “throw the baby out with the bath water”. There is a way to hold agents accountable for productivity without sacrificing quality and maintaining a positive environment.
“Accountability breeds response-ability.” – Stephen Covey
On the previous blog I covered how to set clear expectations and establish effective historical schedule adherence goals. I will now provide a suggestion on how to create accountability within a historical schedule adherence framework.
IDEA # 3
Reminder: This series of blogs was intended to provide suggestions on how to create a motivated workforce within a call center environment.
The key is to create empowerment within your workforce. To ensure agents feel empowered they must not only be responsible to achieve their goals but they must also have the authority to achieve them. This authority takes the form of the flexibility to make decisions on how to manage their schedules during the day. Your clear communication of expectations will govern each agent’s decision-making process.
“Time is on your side.” Jerry Ragovoy
In my previous topic I suggested an emphasis towards Historical Schedule Adherence instead of Real-Time Schedule Adherence. I also suggested how to implement with success by the following three steps.
- Set clear expectations.
- Hold them accountable.
- Follow through.
IDEA #2 – Establish effective Historical Schedule Adherence Goals
“If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.” Anthony Robbins
Creating a cost efficient and truly motivated workforce in a call center environment is always a challenge. Employees are literally “chained” to their phones and feel pushed and pulled by one metric or another. Employees can quickly become disheartened.
For the next few weeks I will share 5 great ideas that will help you to rejuvenate and motivate your employees to deliver their goals effectively and efficiently with a smile on their faces.
“When you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there.” Charles Lutwidge Dodgson
Most of you have some kind of reporting tool, some tools even work relatively well, but the odds are you are all victims of the same problem: Your business evolves faster than your reports.
For over 20 years, I have witnessed call centers struggle trying to obtain critical insight necessary to guide their decisions. Invariably, they have been willing to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to create reports to retrieve the data that might provide them with a sense of direction. Doubtless, they have cemented the careers of countless IT department heads trying to develop yet another crucial report.
But what makes this so frustrating is that when they finally receive the report they have been waiting for, it no longer quite applies to their current context. Many companies are nevertheless successful, but they inevitably leave some “cash on the table”, and often that cash represents hundreds of thousands even millions of dollars. Why?