Using metrics to motivate contact center agents

Posted: 01/27/2020 - 05:36 | EnquiryLab
contact center agent

The metrics that your call center generates are important for several reasons.  They give you an insightful snapshot of the volumes and challenges your call center is facing in the moment, allowing you to understand real-time performance and to adjust strategies on the fly.  The metrics also provide a historical view of information which can help you anticipate and plan for future changes in volume.  You can use individual metrics to understand if your center is meeting specific performance goals, and you can even collate different metrics to evaluate bigger goals such as customer experience.  These are all critical uses of your call center data, but you can also apply your data as a way to motivate your contact center agents.  

The simple act of sharing data with agents is helpful for them to feel engaged and understand performance at a variety of levels:  individual, shift or group, and the overall contact center. Particularly if agents can view metrics on a wallboard or their desktop screen, they can correlate their actions with the real-time fluctuations of the call center data.  Without access to this information, it can feel like they are working in a void with no idea what’s happening in the big picture.

However, while sharing data with agents is helpful, you can go a step further and develop a plan to use those metrics as part of a performance-based reward system.  Sometimes called gamification, a system like this provides a concrete benchmark for success and ties that success to some sort of prize.  

To implement a system like this, you first need to develop a plan that covers who is participating, what will be measured the thresholds for success, when the measurement period will be, and how you will reward success. 

Who is participating?  Will you assess agents individually, by shift or group, or as a whole center?  You can choose just one method, or you can offer a combination of challenges for agents.  If you find success with a reward system, a rotating system of challenges can be successful:  some quarters are individual, while others are based on a larger group.

What will be measured?  You’ll need identify the specific metrics you will use.  Will you use one metric, or a combination?  Again, you can offer a rotating system where you set different goals each period, whether it is over the span of a year, quarter, month, week, or even day!  

What are the thresholds for success?  The most challenging part of your reward system will likely be determining your factor of success.  If you want lots of your agents to reap rewards, you can set the bar slightly lower; if you want it to be more difficult, then you can aim higher.  The key is to not set your threshold so low as to be insulting or a joke, but not too high that it feels obtainable only to your highest performers.  To keep everyone, even your newest agents, involved, why not mix in some thresholds that are somewhat random (e.g., the 25th call of the week).

How will you reward success? This is the fun part!  What prizes will you offer?  You should tie the size or value of the reward to the scope of the challenge.  You could reward easier challenges that more people are likely to achieve with something like invites for a free lunch in the office.  Bigger challenges earn bigger rewards, and money is probably going to be your most popular option!  

Wallboards and desktop dashboards are a great way to share the status of your reward system.  You can have leaderboards that will update automatically based on metrics.  On desktop dashboards, you can even compare the top performers’ metrics with an individual’s specific metrics so they can see how they compare. 

When well thought-out and carefully implemented, a performance-based reward system is a good way to engage and motivate your contact center agents to strive toward specific contact center goals.  

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