Marketing Blog & News

How to Drive Up Call Center Retention

We’ve all read this title before and, as an HR or call center professional, been invited to webinars and conference calls to discuss this very important, very elusive goal.

What I aim to do here is to give you true, actionable items that will make a positive impact on your business.

Of course, before I get into the fun ideas that we have used, I do want to mention that it does take more than a list of activities to create a fun, trusting environment for your call center agents. And as an HR professional, you can’t do it all yourself. Feel free to delegate activities, and really get your leadership team’s buy-in; not just their compliance. Without them, these ideas are ‘something HR is doing’ and the most helpful thing to do is to create that true team atmosphere. You need an important element to do that: Your Team! So get them excited!

You will also need your team’s assistance to ensure you are recognizing and rewarding the right behaviors. No one is closer to your agents than your supervisors. The idea here is to ensure that they are giving input and that you are rewarding the agents for actually helping the business thrive. They can help you with metrics that are important- calls made/taken in, conversion, quality of work, attendance, and overall attitude towards the company, which is very important. The last thing you’d want to do is reward someone who constantly complains, as that can derail everything you’re trying to accomplish.

Now that we have those basics in mind, here are some actionable, fun things you can do for your team.

Fun Incentives:

We’ve found tremendous success when there are continuous daily/weekly/monthly incentives and recognitions running simultaneously vs. having only a handful “grand” prizes at the end of a quarter.

Here are a handful of examples that we use every week…

Spin a wheel to get a gift card or cash prize. Agents have the opportunity to spin when they achieve specific pre-defined metrics on a daily basis. This provides instant gratification and recognition for an achievement.

Get a reserved parking spot. A low cost and well sought after recognition (who doesn’t want a Rock Star parking space?). At our call center, metrics depend on lead production, quality, attendance and overall attitude. We take all important metrics and objectives into account and our call center productivity manager selects the parking spot winners, each week.

Play Bingo! We’ve created a bingo game, full of both fun (silly!) and call center relevant items. Some ideas we’ve used include: bring in 3 cans to donate to a shelter, take a selfie with a supervisor, qualify a 2nd or 3rd lead of the day, achieve weekly perfect attendance, talk to a person with a ‘celebrity’ name (Michael Jackson), etc.

Stars of the month: Our supervisors select 3-4 agents each month for special company-wide recognition – we promote a variety of different achievements, including ‘most improved.’

This leads me to….

Personalized Recognition: A fun, easy way to get to know your team and to personalize their recognition gifts is to find out exactly what they like. We have a ‘Recognition Sheet’ that all employees fill out. Some of the things we include are their favorite snacks, tee shirt size, favorite color, candle scent and restaurant, along with how they most like to be recognized. My advice is to make it multiple-choice so you can easily buy items in bulk and don’t have someone requesting something that is very hard to find.

Big team lunches: A great way to unify your big teams and build relationships. I would advise that you have your leadership team join as well.

Celebrate tenured employees: Work anniversaries are a great place to start. Be sure to provide special branded gifts, as employees hit milestones. These are the agents that you really want to have an impact on because they will be the ones who impact the environment on your call center floor. Keep them happy and ensure that they are praising your teams’ efforts to create the family environment on the call center floor.

I hope that you have found this information helpful! Whatever you choose to do with these ideas, be sure that it makes the employees feel valued while encouraging them to grow the business and benefit the company. Communication is also key, so keep your team informed of these fun activities by email, utilizing any intranet websites that employees have access to or even displaying them on closed circuit televisions.

If you’re overwhelmed, feel free to outsource your call center needs to TeleNet. We have an amazing team here!