As a call centre manager, your team depends on you. Your employees don’t just look to you for leadership, they look to you for assistance as well. It’s one thing to tell your staff members what their job descriptions are. It’s another thing to guide them along the way to help them perform at their best. At the end of the day, your ability to provide helpful feedback will determine your success as a call centre manager. More importantly, it will define your company’s rate of growth.
Here are three effective ways to provide feedback to your phone agents:
1. Be specific.
When providing feedback, it’s important to pinpoint the areas where your employees can improve. Just the same, it’s important that you highlight the specific areas where they are doing well. So, instead of a “good job” or an “I expect better next time”, offer such words as “You handled that customer complaint very well. Continue to be attentive to client concerns” or “In future, please refrain from hanging up on the customer before he/she is finished talking.”
“Effective employee feedback is specific, not general,” agrees Susan M. Heathfield on TheBalanceCareers.com, “For example, say, ‘The report that you turned in yesterday was well-written, understandable, and made your points about the budget very effectively.’ Don’t say, ‘good report.’ One of the purposes of effective, constructive feedback is to let the individual know the specific behaviour that you’d like to see more of from him.”
2. Know the difference between sugar-coating and sandwiching.
This is a concept we’ve shared in the past and it definitely deserves repeating. There’s a difference between sugar-coating and sandwiching. Sugar-coating suggests that you’re not truly getting to the heart of the matter when delivering your constructive criticism. Sandwiching places constructive criticism between two comments of praise.
For example, “I’m happy to see your sales numbers improving. I do, however, want to let you know that your tone of voice could sound a lot more pleasant during your interactions with customers. Now keep up the good work!”
According to David Hassell on 15Five.com, “helping someone to improve should always be the goal of constructive criticism and going back over past mistakes in your closing comments will leave them with a negative impression of the meeting.”
3. Remember that time is of the essence.
Let’s suppose you’ve listened to a call taken by one of your phone agents and you’ve noticed some behaviours that need to be addressed. When do you think is the best time to provide feedback? If you allow even a few days to pass by, your advice won’t be as helpful as if you were to provide the feedback right away. With the call fresh in the phone agent’s mind, it’s advantageous to curb certain behaviours so that they are not soon repeated.
“Whether the feedback is positive or constructive, provide the information as closely tied to the event as possible,” advises Heathfield, “Effective feedback is well timed so that the employee can easily connect the feedback with his actions.”
At MeloTel, we’re proud to offer the ultimate call centre feedback tool! Monitor/Whisper Control Panel allows you to listen to phone calls live and as they happen without being detected. For more information about Monitor/Whisper Control Panel, please don’t hesitate to contact us at 1-888-MELOTEL or use the Live Chat feature on our website!