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If you want to have a highly effective call center, then you must remember that everything, and I do mean everything boils down to customer service.

You are not in the business of sales or marketing, you are in the business of customer service. Period.

And with that in mind, it’s important that you learn how to build a company culture that reflects this reality.

Call centers are one of the most notoriously difficult companies in which to create a culture of customer service, and with good reason.

However, if you follow the tips I am about to lay out, you will be able to quickly and effectively create a corporate culture of customer service that will allow you and your business to thrive.

1. Create a FUN Environment

Look, Customer service and call center sales positions can suck. There’s really no other way to put it.

They work long hours, often have to deal with challenging clients, and are typically under constant threats from management.

And in my personal experience I have seen the difference that the environment can play on agents performance, and let me tell you… It’s visceral.

I firmly believe that it is up to you as the manager or call center owner to effectively create a positive and fun environment for your employees to work in.

Regardless of the type of call center you run, there should be a palpable positive energy in the room. You should have contests running, high-energy high fives, and fun games being played at all times.

If you do it properly, call centers can actually be a phenomenally fun place to work. And when your employees hop on the phone in a great mood with a positive attitude, their levels of customer service with be through the roof.

2. Invest in Your Associates 

The way that you reprimand underperforming employees says a lot about both your ability as a leader and the quality of your call center’s culture.

In my experience, most call centers are far too quick to hand out “Write-ups” and far too slow to offer positive reinforcement.

I propose that you adopt the opposite approach.

Whenever one of your agents does something well, e.g. a great sale, high-quality scores, or a great monitoring session, go ALL OUT! I am talking high-fives, dessert, a free round of drinks after work, or some other form of special recognition.

Make them feel like a superstar and they will be likely to repeat their performance and encourage their peers to do the same thing.

And when they mess up (and oh yes, your agents will mess up) invest in them. Don’t demean them.

If you have an agent who is consistently underperforming, your first line of action should always be to sit them down, talk with them and see how you can support them. Offer extra training, on call mentoring, and special attention.

There is a time and a place for write-ups, but it should be reserved for employees who show a consistently irreverent and unenthused attitude, not employees who are making honest and avoidable mistakes.

Remember, firing is easy. Training and retaining superstars is the mark of a true leader.

3. Allow for Advancement

Most people have an internal drive to succeed at high levels. And while not everyone in your team will be able to make it into a managerial position, you should smooth the runway for those superstars who are willing to go the extra mile.

Be sure to create a simple and easy to understand incentive and promotion plan for your employees. Whether this means increased pay, improved work amenities, or a position as team leader.

Take time each week to sit down with the members of your team and talk about their goals and how you can help them achieve them.