Everyone wants their voice to be heard, to have their opinions considered, and their values respected. Any successful call center (or company, for that matter) knows the value of doing that for their clients. However, in our organization, the people we try to impress the most are our employees.
This might ruffle a few feathers, but we strongly believe that our secret ingredient to great customer service and employee retention is to honour the decisions and opinions of our colleagues.
It’s much easier to sympathize with someone when you feel like you can give them an honest answer. Keeping a cool head during a crisis is more natural when you know that you have the skills, knowledge and support to really help someone.
Whenever possible, give your teammates the opportunities to control their destinies. Whether it’s something small like specifying when they’d prefer to take their first break of the day, or a major decision, like how to improve service for a client. After all, they take the calls; they have firsthand experience in the matter.
Ask their opinions often; engage them as equals, whether it’s through a quick chat or a company-wide survey. While we may not be able to implement everything that’s asked of us, being transparent about it (and why) will let employees know that it was a tough decision, and not an offhand dismissal.
A terrific idea is allowing your staff the opportunity to organize social activities, such as a group dinner or bowling excursion. Even better, work with your crewmates towards an activity that will fund a good cause (marathons, food drives, simple donation jars, etc), and let them pick the charity. Confidence comes from making important decisions AND giving to a good cause.
In the end, these folks were hired because their employers saw the potential in them, and knew they could put faith in their judgment when needed. When an employer/manager trusts and respects their team, they will reciprocate in full. That’s not a business tip, that’s a complete life lesson.
This entry is dedicated to the management at Answer Plus, who empowered this intrepid blogger by entrusting him with the task of speaking to you openly and honestly, fine readers, on their behalf, and on behalf of all of us here, who are committed and passionate about what we do. Thank you.