In our last blog, we excitedly introduced our brand new Monitor & Whisper Control Panel! This great service – as you may have already read – provides call centre managers with the ability to listen in on the live calls taken by their employees. It not only allows for monitoring, but it also enables supervisors to “whisper” information to their reps during their live calls. The service greatly increases a company’s ability to provide excellent customer service.
This is what makes the service so great! It’s a tool that can be used on a regular basis to help phone agents learn while on the job. The more they learn, of course, the better at their jobs they will be. It’s important to be accepting of feedback. It’s one of the best possible ways to improve upon one’s skills. As a business owner or manager, your ability to provide helpful feedback can go a long way in helping your company to thrive.
Here are five ways to provide employee feedback effectively:
1. Know the personalities of your staff members. This is important. You’re just not going to be able to speak to each of your employees the same way. Some have thicker skin than others. Of course, you never want to come off as brash or rude. But, sometimes, you do need to provide your feedback quickly. Just make sure you’re using the appropriate tones and inflections for the appropriate employees. The purpose of your feedback is not to hurt anyone’s feelings.
2. Use the “sandwich” technique. For some of your more sensitive phone reps, the “sandwich” technique may be in order. This is when you provide negative feedback while offering kind words at the same time. Start with the positives (the first slice of bread), offer the constructive criticism (the meat in the middle) and then end with a positive statement (the second slice of bread). Yes – it’s a lot like “sugar coating”, but it’s a bit more effective.
For example, “I really liked the way you spoke to that client. You have a very friendly demeanour in your voice that works very well. It’s important, however, to provide our customers will all of the information they require, and I noticed that you left out an important point about the date your customer will receive his package. Keep that in mind for next time, because you’re doing a great job so far.”
3. Be specific. As noted in the example listed above, you’ll want to pinpoint the specific areas of concern that you may have with your employee. Your feedback should be unique for each person that receives it. Instead of saying something like “You need to be more polite”, offer feedback that clarifies exactly how your phone rep can do a better job in the area of politeness: “Be sure to say ‘thank you for calling, we appreciate your business’ the next time you end your call.”
4. Don’t put it off. Offering feedback – especially when it’s negative – isn’t exactly a call centre manager’s favourite thing to do. Don’t procrastinate though. Getting it out of the way is your best bet. It helps your employees to not get used to their ways of doing things that may not work. If you delay your feedback, it only serves to hurt the overall impression of your business as employee performance will likely not improve.
5. Offer personal insight. Nobody’s perfect. And that includes you! Don’t be afraid to offer personal stories about your own shortcomings to the employees you give feedback to. Let them know that you are also human and therefore, you’ve made mistakes. This helps to alleviate some potential tension and put the minds of your employees at more ease. Feedback that includes a bit of humour certainly can’t hurt.
For more information about our Monitor & Whisper Control Panel service, call 1-888-MELOTEL or use the “Live Chat Support” feature on our website!