Stop Talking and Start Walking: Demonstrating the Behaviors You Want from Agents

Some people talk a lot. Some not so much.  I’ve seen research that says the number of words spoken by a person ranges from 6,000 to 10,000 words per day.

As Contact Center leaders we are probably keeping pace with the high side of this speech range.  We are communicating frequently with our agents, supervisors, support staff, co-workers, customers and the C-suite.

I love to watch how the front line leaders and managers interact and communicate with their agents and support staff. As I continue to work in the center, I occasionally observe center leaders demonstrating many of the bad habits that they tell me their agents are displaying. There is a lot of, “do as I say, not as I do” happening.

As leaders we should be heavily focused on coaching and mentoring with our staff.  This does not mean that coaching only happens in a closed-door session or during side-by-side training.  It means that by our very behaviors and attitudes in our every day activities, we are shaping the behaviors and attitudes of our teams.  They are watching and learning constantly from us and from others around them.

Here are a few of the opportunities we have to inspire our agents:

  • How do you enter the center?  Smiling or complaining about how tired you are and how you wish you were at home.
  • How do you handle a difficult caller?  Mocking the caller, bad mouthing the customers or demonstrating the importance of every customer, even the ones that aren’t so nice.
  • Do you talk about importance of wait times and just yell “call in queue” when you notice a backup?  Do you also roll up your sleeves and help by answering a few of those calls and thank the agents for their hard work?
  • Do you talk about how important coaching is and then think of every excuse to NOT do it or set a time to coach and then cancel repeatedly on agents needing help?
  • Do you talk to your supervisors about how important it is to have well-trained agents and then never spend the time or money to allow it to happen?
  • Do you talk about the importance of team-work for customer success and then bad mouth the other teams or departments in your company in front of agents or customers?
  • Are you talking to your team about how focused you are on engaging employees and improving attrition and the next day remove a bonus for an agent for a minor error that was easily fixed?
  • Do you talk about the popcorn parties and fun things you will do to make agents happy and never ask THEM what really DOES make them happy and interested in staying on the job?

Help your team to learn the best behaviors and customer first philosophy by living and demonstrating those behaviors everyday!

 

About the author

Since 1983, Melissa has partnered with Contact Centers and Retail Teams to help them develop strategies, operational processes and skills to successfully blend People, Process and Technology for Customer Experience success.

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