I have worked in many different sales centers over the last 16 years. In each case, it was very easy to see, within minutes, if the center was successful even before hearing a single call from a sales representative.
Here are some vital questions you can ask yourself to determine how your Call Center stacks up:
• When you walk into a call center, do you hear and feel a real buzz in the room, or is it more akin to a library? Your business is sales, after all, and sales means energy.
• Do people greet you or make you feel they’re happy to have you there? Being positive can be contagious, and in sales there is enough rejection on the other end of the phone that you don’t need any more negativity in the center.
• Is the office clean and orderly, or are there piles of things lying around, papers on the floor, etc? From the time someone comes through your front door, into the lobby, and onto the sales floor, they should feel this is a workplace that will demand them to be at their best and not have to ask themselves, “Why am I working here?”
• Are the sales people focused and enjoying their jobs, or are they wandering around and complaining to their neighbors? Negativity in any form will come across the phones to your customers, so be aware of what your workers are doing between calls.
• What are your supervisors doing? Are they working side by side training their sales people, helping them to improve, or are they just “walking the floor”, acting as if their job is to just answer questions as they comes up. Your center will never reach it’s potential unless your supervisors are required to impact production through their training efforts every day.
• Where does your call center manager spend most of their day? Are they on the sales floor or behind a desk? Running a successful call center from behind a desk is impossible. A desk-bound manager tends to make decisions based on numbers alone without any idea of what is happening on the front lines. On the other hand, managers who are out on the sales floor are more effective at remedying problems and impacting performance.
• Does the call center manager continually train their supervisors, helping them improve, or do they just demand results? If your answer is the latter, you run the risk of your supervisors emulating this behavior when dealing with the front line sales people, which negatively impacts retention of good employees.
• How are you motivating your sales team? Are you using generic store-bought motivational posters, or are you utilizing tools you created on your own? Whether you post the names of your top sales people, your new employees, or results of ongoing sales contests on a dry erase board, or hang employee-of-the-week plaques on the call center’s walls, take the time to let your team know you appreciate their hard work in a more personal way.
In closing, we have seen great leaps in technology that can make an office more efficient and productive, but we must never forget that people really drive a center’s success. If you focus each day on creating a positive, clean, and orderly place for your employees where they feel that management is there to help them improve and feel appreciated, your call center will be far ahead of your competition.
Let me know your thoughts.