Recognition is crucial for engaging and motivating agents in a call center. On a given day, agents encounter angry customers, technical difficulties, and everything in between. The fast-paced and seemingly thankless work of the call center can take a toll on agent morale and, as a result, performance.
Simple acts of recognition can go a long way in boosting agent morale. Here are 18 easy ways to thank your agents for all their hard work.
1. Public Praise
A simple shoutout on your team’s primary communication platform can go a long way in boosting agent morale after a positive interaction. With modern technology, it’s easier than ever to automate this process. Customer feedback platforms like Stella Connect integrate directly with your Slack platform to push positive feedback into team channels for everyone to see.
While gold stars and employee of the month plaques may not feel quite right for your team’s culture, the sentiment still resonates. Give agents a physical reminder of their achievements, whether it’s a rotating trophy, a balloon, a spot on the wall of fame, or a funny hat bestowed on the top-performing or most improved employee each week.
3. Leadership Acknowledgement
Call centers can sometimes feel far removed from the larger business. Highlight agent achievements for your leadership team to ensure agents are recognized throughout the org. Consider sending a weekly roundup of contact center highlights to leaders outside of the CX department and encourage them to publicly or privately acknowledge instances of outstanding agent performance.
4. Branded Swag
Delight your agents and promote your brand by rewarding your agents with branded swag. Everyone loves free swag, but this also helps build brand loyalty with agents who act as the face of your organization.
5. Team-Wide Celebration
While a little healthy competition is good, it’s also important to remind your agents that they’re all on the same team. Get agents to rally behind one another by rewarding the entire team for achieving a shared goal. For example, if everyone is able to go a week without receiving two stars or less, the entire team gets a pizza party. This will motivate everyone to work harder and encourage one another.
6. Handwritten Notes
A simple handwritten note goes a long way in this increasingly digital world. Whether it’s a short uplifting post-it note left on an agent’s desk or a detailed thank-you card, make time to give written acknowledgment to your agents. It’s also a great way to support agents having a tough week. Leave a note with words of encouragement to help them bounce back from a challenge.
7. Digital Gift Cards
Depending on your budget, consider sending small gift cards to agents who are doing a great job or need a pick-me-up. Sites like Tango Card make it easy to slip a little token of appreciation into your agent’s inbox, which is a welcome surprise amid the usual barrage of tickets.
Your agents are more than their job description, and it’s important to nurture their interests outside of work. Pay attention to agent interests and hobbies, and find ways to weave this into recognition. Whether it’s simply referencing a favorite activity or actually incorporating it into a physical reward, humanizing your team goes a long way in making agents feel valued.
9. Unique Accomplishments
When it comes to leaderboards and recognition, you tend to see the same handful of agents at the top. Think outside the box and look for other ways to acknowledge agents for their different strengths and accomplishments, such as most-improved, most upsells, big milestones (ie anniversaries), or other goals that matter to your call center.
Let customers inform your rewards strategy. Learn how Stella Connect seamlessly incorporates rewards into the customer feedback process.
10. Free Lunch
Spend an hour with your agent by treating him or her to lunch. It doesn’t have to be expensive, but it goes a long way to get them outside of the call center and spend quality time getting to know them as a team leader.
11. 1:1 with a Company Rolemodel
Some agents foresee a long career in customer service, while others see it as a jumping-off point to learn about other aspects of a business. Reward performance by creating opportunities for agents to meet with their role models in the company to learn more about pursuing that career path. This will drive agent motivation and show you truly care about their future success.
12. Mentorship Opportunity
When you do a great job, it’s extremely rewarding to be considered a subject matter expert. Once agents reach a certain level of achievement, reward them by giving them the opportunity to act as a mentor for other agents or new employees.
13. Peer Appreciation
Create a culture of collaboration by encouraging agents to acknowledge peers for their accomplishments. Whether it’s a shoutout on Slack, recognition in a people management platform like Lattice, or something unique to your team, encourage agents to lift each other up.
14. Learning and Development Opportunity
Reward motivated agents with the opportunity to enhance their skill set, either within the function of customer service or in an area outside of their core responsibilities. This not only shows agents that you care about their personal development, but also gives them a new perspective to bring to their daily duties.
15. Social Media Shoutout
Social media is a key aspect of employer brand, so work with your marketing team to feature agents doing great work. Profile an agent on your company’s social media accounts to showcase their contribution and make them feel good about all their hard work. Take it one step further and encourage happy customers to give agents a shoutout on social media.
16. Meeting Kudos
Dedicate the first 5-10 minutes of every team meeting to sharing kudos. Before jumping into the main agenda, set aside a short period of time for an open forum session where agents and team leaders can share thanks and shout out their peers.
17. Work From Home Days
Depending on your business model, incentivize agents with work from home days. If you don’t already have a flexible business model, it can be hugely rewarding for agents to have the opportunity to field tickets from the comfort of their home.
18. New Opportunities
Give the gift of a new project. Allow agents to dedicate a percentage of their time to a project outside the scope of their normal work. This project could directly relate to the customer service function, touch another area of the business, or even be a personal passion project.
You don’t need a large or complex rewards program to show agents that they’re valued by the company. Find moments throughout the day to highlight agent achievements, call out top performers, and put these tips into practice.