Agent Motivation

How to Identify Which Call Center Incentives Are Right for Your Agents

When it comes to setting priorities for the call center, it’s important to keep rewarding and recognizing your customer service agents top of mind. After all, call center incentives aren’t just a “nice to have.” 

Research shows there’s a strong connection between agent engagement and agent performance, with engaged employees less likely to quit and more likely to be more productive, report overall wellbeing, and be active participants within the company. That engagement in turn can result in positive customer outcomes. It should come as no surprise that loyal agents help drive customer loyalty. In short, strong employee engagement is a competitive advantage, one that can yield higher customer satisfaction scores, lower agent turnover rates, and greater profits. 

5 Types of Call Center Incentives and How to Decide When to Use Each

#1: Offer Special Experiences 

When to use this call center incentive and why it’s effective: When you’re searching for a unique way to show you appreciate your employees, special experiences can be more memorable than financial rewards, making them a compelling incentive, especially if there are budgetary considerations at play. 

Considering offering this type of incentive? Here are some ideas:

  • Treat individual top performers or the team to a meal
  • Give agents the chance to earn work-from-home days if they’re not already fully remote
  • Host a team-wide celebration

#2: Give Bonuses and Cash Rewards 

When to use this call center incentive and why it’s effective: If your company’s sales team has the chance to earn commissions and spot bonuses, providing your customer experience team with the same opportunity is a natural way to recognize how their efforts impact the organization’s financial bottom line when it comes to driving long-term customer satisfaction and lifetime value. 

Considering offering this type of incentive? Here are some ideas:

  • Make spot bonuses available
  • Provide performance bonuses
  • Give out gift cards
  • Offer up company products or swag

#3: Personalize the Reward for the Individual Agent

When to use this call center incentive and why it’s effective: Want to increase agent engagement? As with special experiences, offering personalized rewards can be more memorable and more compelling, especially when you’re able to demonstrate that you’ve taken the time to get to know your colleagues at the 1:1 level. 

Considering offering this type of incentive? Here are some ideas:

  • Deliver hand-written thank you cards
  • Select gift cards for each team member’s favorite store
  • Offer extra time off around a colleague’s birthday or milestone event, such as a wedding or move

#4: Recognize Agents When It Matters

When to use this call center incentive and why it’s effective: Recognizing agents in the moment after they’ve received positive customer feedback is an easy way to encourage them to keep improving customer experiences. Doing so can be even more powerful in a public forum—for instance, in a company-wide email or meeting—especially if that recognition comes from leadership, such as a department head or even the CEO.

Considering offering this type of incentive? Here are some ideas:

  • Give agent shoutouts via your brand’s social media accounts, via your company’s Slack, in company meetings, or in your organization’s internal email newsletter
  • Use customer service team leaderboards to recognize top performers

#5: Provide Career Growth Opportunities

When to use this call center incentive and why it’s effective: Sometimes the best way to reward your people is by recognizing their potential and giving them the chance to advance and expand their skills, either within their function or in an area of interest outside of their current responsibilities. 

Considering offering this type of incentive? Here are some ideas:

  • Set up 1:1 meetings with the agent and a company leader or role model
  • Let agents take on new projects 
  • Assign agents a mentor or give them the chance to become a mentor to new hires 
  • Provide ongoing learning and development opportunities

Take Things to the Next Level by Creating a Call Center Incentives Program

Get your copy of the Stella Connect Guide to Building a Rewards & Recognition Program for the exact steps to take to structure a standout program designed to drive agent performance with real-world examples of what works from Stella Connect clients like Moen, Earnin, Brooklinen, and more.