Improve TSR/CSR Performance In Your Contact/Call Center*

Motivate reps by inspiring passion, a spark, an edge. Equip them with the proper intangible tools required to do their jobs well. Here are ten ways to enable reps to maintain a high level of performance, and have a better time at work.

1. Use Incentives to make work fun and interesting. They can be inexpensive, such as free pizza or going home 2 hours early with pay.

2. Hold Contests for individual achievement and/or team achievement. They can be short term, longer term or both. The prize must be attractive to reps for its usefulness or status. It can, if properly done, even be your version of the Oscars!

3. Recognize Achievement. One study found that it was important to 91% of employees that, "I'm recognized for good work," but experienced by only 51%. This means that at least 40% of supervisors overlook this free, easy-to-use motivational tool.

Verbally congratulate TSR's on sales. If a CSR handles a difficult customer service situation well, voice your approval. Give out awards such as framed certificates, trophies or ribbons for high achievers. Let reps display these in their workstation or a department display case to build individual or departmental pride.

4. Create Written Performance Standards. We all want to do well in our jobs. That's difficult when expectations are murky. Interpretations can be taken as a personal attack, causing friction. Use clear, specific, realistic standards. These can be met so that everyone wins.

5. Conduct Regular Performance Evaluations. Evaluate rep performance regularly. Everyone wants to know how they are doing. An annual review would be much too infrequent for your outbound sales statistics or inbound service level - you manage these more than once a year. Your reps want to manage their performance more frequently than once a year, too!

6. Train. We all need the proper tools to do our jobs. In contact/call centers training is as important a tool as a telephone or computer. Would you expect an intern fresh from medical school to successfully perform open-heart surgery on you? Why expect untrained reps to successfully sell or service customers and prospects?

7. Conduct
Refresher Trainings. Training should never stop! Product knowledge, telephone skills, closes, customer service, technical questions - these all merit periodic refreshers, even for star reps. Pro sports teams and Olympic athletes practice the fundamentals. Professional and Olympic quality contact/call center reps do the same.

8. Provide Prompt Updates. Keep your reps up-to-date on product changes, announcements, your list, company and program. Your reps can only communicate information which they have available! Use e-mails, memos, meetings and trainings to get the word out.

9. Get an Occasional Shot in the Arm. Videotapes, audiotapes, outside trainers and rep allies can be the spice of your training program. They provide a shot in the arm with a new face or medium that makes it all fresh again. These can greatly enhance what you do on an ongoing basis.

10. Have a Program…Have a Plan, Work the Plan. Don't make motivation and training a temporary or annual occasion. Do it regularly to experience ongoing benefits in sales, productivity, fewer rep problems and lower turnover.

>Set modest goals to recoup the costs of your program. Improve sales and lower turnover in measurable amounts.

Remember, it is not the expense of your program that determines its effectiveness. Rather, it is how you create and implement it.

*These are general recommendations. Specific strategies and tactics should be based on a review of your needs, market and operation. For outside support, contact Lieber & Associates.