A well-planned, well-executed performance campaign has the power to transform your call center or customer service department.
Why? Because performance relates to all the key aspects of your team’s work, from productivity to the quality of customer experience. Everything in your call center or customer service department must be focused on delivering the best possible level of service in each interaction, no matter how minor the customer’s problem may be.
No business can afford to be complacent about its performance when consumers have more choice than ever, and half have jumped from one brand to another because of poor experiences.
But as part of a management team, you have a responsibility to make sure all data gathered as part of your performance campaign is communicated to staff as carefully, sensitively and effectively as possible. This is vital not only to avoid interpersonal problems, but to ensure everyone involved knows what actions to take to improve results.
The Role of Data and Evidence in Providing Feedback
As part of your performance campaign, you’ll be required to deliver feedback to agents to help them provide customer service of a higher standard. A survey shows 65 percent of employees want more feedback than they receive currently, but this can be a complex (even daunting) process if it’s new to you.
The last thing you want to do is offend an employee only to find they walk out on you, set out to sabotage the business or even — and it’s a small risk — become aggressive. This is why performance results must be communicated with respect and positivity, either in person or via communication tools.
Focus on what agents did right and what the performance results revealed about their strongest capabilities. Get them on side before moving onto those areas demanding improvement, with a constructive approach.
Reports are an ideal aid to show agents hard data related to their work: they’ll find denying mistakes or a slump in their productivity harder (or impossible) to deny when there’s proof. Other evidence you can depend on include call recordings, live chat transcripts and emails from your targeted audience, all of which help the agent review their own work in a new context.
Understanding How Performance Results Affect Employees at Different Levels
Your performance campaign will offer different insights into your workforce’s strengths and weaknesses. Certain results impact employees at one level more than another.
For example, Customer Satisfaction Scores and Net Promoter Scores are related directly to the quality of service an agent provides in an interaction. This may be affected by various factors, such as their tone of voice or lack of sympathy.
In this case, that’s down to the agent’s attitude and work ethic. But if low scores relate more to the amount of time the customer was left on hold, a company policy preventing them getting the outcome they want or the agent’s inability to access information from a previous interaction, that highlights issues beyond the agent’s control.
Your performance campaign could reveal the resources (such as communication tools) available to agents and team leaders is woefully inadequate, making their jobs harder instead of easier. In this case, yourself and other managers would have to consider implementing a new system that allows for more efficient performance.
The same is true of poor productivity, low morale or understaffing problems raised by your performance campaign. You have to recognize who certain results apply to, and what changes are necessary for improvement. That calls for a careful, considered analysis of performance results.
Failing to act on the data you gather from your campaign will only bring further issues down the line — especially if your customers get tired of a poor experience and look elsewhere. A performance campaign will help you establish a more targeted audience too, enabling you to engage with your most valuable customers more effectively.
Taking Action and Following up on Performance Strategies
Evaluating information gleaned during your performance campaign takes time and effort. And so does deciding which actions must be taken, how they must be taken and by whom.
Some problems may relate to your entire team. If data suggests breakdowns in communication contribute to mistakes, then it’s pretty clear that a new approach to sharing information and collaborating should help solve the problem. Investing in reliable communication tools would be a good start, at least.
But others are harder to take care of. If agents are leaving customers on hold for too long, or simply don’t have the time to respond to emails, then taking corrective action becomes a little harder.
Your solutions may be to hire more staff to get through the backlog faster, invest in software which automates tasks that don’t require the agent’s direct input or even assigning employees to specific areas of service instead.
Whatever improvement actions you decide to take, you can’t just trust it to work and never evaluate it in the future. You have to follow up on changes within your call center or customer service department, to determine how successful they are. If they’re leading to the desired outcome, that’s fantastic.
But if not, then you need to consider alternatives. Go back to the performance campaign data that inspired the actions in the first place. What other options can you think of that might make a positive impact?
Invite agents, team leaders, managers and QA analysts to contribute their own ideas via inclusive communication tools. You never know who might have the solution you’re looking for.
A performance campaign is a must for any call center or customer service department, no matter how well you think your team may be doing.
Evaluating your customer interactions, productivity, organization, workload management and more will highlight problems that may have been missed for too long. It’s vital you don’t panic if your performance appears to be far, far worse than you imagined — keep calm, review the data and identify the solutions you can take to put things right and satisfy your targeted audience.
And remember: working on improving performance presents the ideal opportunity for your team to pull together and progress, not break apart. That’s why you have to take a professional, organized approach to communicating results to employees at all levels (agents, team leaders, managers, admins etc.). Focus on empowering your workforce with critical data and driving them on to be better, rather than criticising them harshly.
When your performance campaign is complete, your business could be bigger, better and more successful than ever before.
What do you consider the most important steps in putting together an effective performance campaign? How do you deliver feedback to your employees in a positive way, without causing any resentment or offense? Let us know!