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How to Tell When Your Call Center Agents are Engaged

Kinga Edwards
How to Tell When Your Call Center Agents are Engaged

The question of how to tell if your call center agents are engaged is one that many companies ask themselves. There's no way to be sure without some sort of engagement measurement, but there are subtle signs you can look for. If you're not familiar with what engagement means in the workplace, it has a lot more to do with psychological and emotional involvement than simply being present at work or showing up on time. Engagement is about feeling connected and invested in the company and its goals, liking what we do every day, and looking forward to coming into work each morning. Today, we'll talk on how to tell when - and whether - your agents are really engaged.

1. Look for non-verbal cues that agents are engaged

Look for non-verbal cues that agents are engaged. Engaged call center agents have lots of energy, show enthusiasm through their body language and tone of voice, and work together to solve customers' problems without complaining or getting frustrated with each other. If you see these things in your team members on a regular basis, it's likely they're highly engaged at work - but what about the people who aren't? Here are some more signs that tell you if your employees are actually invested in the job:

- Agents who are engaged will take an interest in each other's success

- Engaged agents feel like they're part of the company and what it stands for, even if a customer is rude or tries to go over their heads. They'll use phrases that show how invested they are, such as "We have a reputation..." rather than just saying "I've been here for five years".

- A lack of engagement might be noticeable from your employees' body language - slouching, arms crossed tightly across chests, not making eye contact with customers or co-workers. In contrast, actively engaged call center reps stand tall and smile warmly when speaking to clients on the phone. Otherwise disengaged agents appear bored or listless - a subtle but distinct difference from a truly invested agent.

When you notice the signs of high engagement on your team, be sure to recognize it and encourage even more positive interactions between agents at work. When everyone is engaged in their jobs, productivity goes up, which results in happier customers and higher sales for your business! If there's one thing I've learned about hiring new employees that also applies to encouraging engagement among existing staff members, it's this: hire people who are passionate about what they do. Employees with passion will have more energy for performing better - plus being able to pick out those with potential from an interview process becomes much easier if someone has a real drive behind them!

2. Ensure agents have a clear understanding of their role and responsibilities

Ensure agents have a clear understanding of their role and responsibilities. Engaged employees always know what's expected of them, which means they never feel lost or confused about the work at hand. If you suspect your workforce is under-engaged but don't know why, make an effort to find out if there are any common complaints among your team members - for instance, do some notice that other staff members aren't doing tasks they're responsible for? These sorts of problems can be solved quickly by having everyone sit down together and hash things out in a civilized way.

The first step to solving disengagement issues within your call center team should start with clarifying roles! First off, tell each member exactly how much time it takes to perform every task, and how much time they should spend on each client. You can even break this down into certain percentages - for instance, you might set up the expectation that 80% of an agent's time is spent dealing with customers one-on-one while 20% goes to researching solutions or troubleshooting issues. By clearly establishing these guidelines for what constitutes a job well done, you'll be able to identify any issues much faster and give your team members a clear understanding of what they're supposed to do.

When everyone is on the same page about their responsibilities and how long it takes them to complete each task, there's no room for misunderstandings or disagreements.

3. Encourage agents to take ownership of customer issues, not just jumping in when necessary

When your staff takes ownership of the problems they're assigned to work on, you'll find that customer complaint are resolved much more quickly. Agents who aren't engaged will tend to take a step back and wait for someone else (such as their supervisor) to solve issues - which leaves many customers feeling frustrated because it's clear no one is taking responsibility.

By contrast, truly engaged agents take initiative and go the extra mile to resolve complaints. They also know when it's appropriate for them to step in and help a colleague who is struggling with particularly complex issues instead of waiting around for someone else to come along and fix things. This sort of teamwork leads directly to better customer service scores - which means happier clients and more sales for your company!

The best way to develop this sort of ownership mentality is by encouraging agents to work together. Make sure that you're assigning tasks in a manner that encourages team members to collaborate, rather than merely divide up responsibilities between themselves. For instance, if an agent has difficulty solving customer problems on their own, try to pair them up with another team member who is better at research and troubleshooting. If you do this, call center agents will work together to resolve issues, rather than simply sending customer complaints up the ladder to be solved by someone else.

4. Create an environment where employees feel comfortable taking risks and experimenting with new ideas

Happy employees tend to be more engaged because they know that their opinions and ideas are valued by those around them! In a call center environment, this can mean the difference between an agent trying out new workflows or sticking with stale old techniques - so it's the sort of thing that can have a big impact on your team's overall productivity.

As an example, consider this: if you want to encourage more risk-taking and out-of-the-box thinking among call center agents, why not allow them to try working from home once in a while? You might be surprised by how much it boosts their motivation if they're given the freedom to work in a manner that feels more natural.

It's important not to create an environment where employees feel like they'll be punished for trying something new, of course! Instead, you should try to encourage risk-taking by publicly recognizing your team members when they come up with ideas or suggestions that prove valuable.

You may also want to provide your employees with the best tools around: CloudTalk is a cloud call center management tool to boost your call center performance. 

5. Offer incentives for high performance without creating competition between teams or individuals

Incentives are a great way to keep your agents engaged, because they help people feel more appreciated for the work they do.

However, you want to make sure that any incentives offered don't create competition between employees or teams - otherwise, it can have a negative impact on morale. To encourage productivity without creating internal struggles over resources and recognition, try to offer incentives that are based on individual or group performance rather than team-specific goals.

Incentives don't have to be expensive either - they can include anything from a company picnic with the family after a particularly productive quarter to a bonus program for employees who go above and beyond in their duties. You might even consider creating an incentives program that allows employees to nominate their peers for special recognition when they go out of their way to help solve customer problems or improve the call center in some other fashion.

By creating this sort of positive feedback loop, you can ensure that your entire team will be engaged and productive - which means more sales and happy customers!

Kinga Edwards
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