Our managers at Listenforce often hear dialogue like this:
“Joe, thank you for the great feedback! You helped me learn how to improve my management potential and be identified by top executives for the value I bring to the company.”
Employees want feedback.
They want an honest evaluation of their performance to help them improve their work.
- 63% of Gen Z said they want to hear timely, constructive performance feedback throughout the year.
- 27% of workers strongly agree that the feedback they currently receive helps them do their work better.
- 68% of employees who receive accurate and consistent feedback feel fulfilled in their jobs. (Source)
Working in a call center can be a challenging job. Agents spend hours on the phone with customers. In such a fast-paced environment, there’s always a place for performance improvement. Providing call center agents with valuable feedback based on data collected from call monitoring sessions can have a significant impact on agent productivity. It is important that call center managers know how to give feedback effectively.
But giving feedback, no matter good or bad can be a difficult job. Here are a few simple tips for giving feedback in an effective, non-confrontational way that truly helps agents grow.
Quality Feedback in Call Center
#1 Start With the Positive
Always begin with positive feedback. It’s doubtful that you’ll be able to motivate your agent by a continuous flow of negative feedback.
Remember, positive feedback is equally important as constructive criticism. When giving feedback, managers usually tend to concentrate on the negative part, while their positive comments are very common. Remember that telling your agent you’re very impressed with their work isn’t always sufficient.
For example, “John, your tone of voice here and your honest apology on behalf of the organization certainly set the customer at ease. We will use this call in future training sessions.”
Providing appreciation first builds a positive environment, and it helps agents to handle constructive criticism better. Note how the feedback is specific. More on that later.
#2 Provide Timely Feedback
For feedback to be productive and to make an influence on the representative, it needs to be immediate.
For example, when you hear an agent making a mistake during a call, you should immediately suggest to your representative about how he could have handled the call in a different, more effective manner. This will increase the chances that a similar mistake won’t be repeated in future calls.
Similarly, if you find an agent doing something extraordinary during a call, you should provide instant feedback even if it’s in the form of a thumbs up to encourage the behavior.
Don’t restrict giving feedback to a special occasion such as an annual performance review. Rather, make it a regular practice to motivate your agents to develop every day.
#3 Be Specific
When giving your feedback, always make sure to be specific and crystal-clear. Making generic comments during an assessment, whether good or bad, isn’t effective, if it’s unclear, your agent may be confused about what they did exceptionally or badly.
Use specific examples as a necessary part of your agent feedback. Call centers usually record their calls for training purposes, don’t miss out on this great opportunity to use recorded calls during a feedback session. By reviewing calls together with your representative, s/he can get an accurate example of what is and what is not acceptable during a customer call.
For example, instead of telling your agents to bring their calls to a faster resolution, tell them that they need to complete their calls within a particular number of minutes on average.
#4 Keep It Private
It’s never a good idea to give negative call center quality feedback, in front of an agent’s co-workers. It not only embarrasses them and makes them feel sad, but this will also worsen the situation if they become upset.
An exceptional manager knows that negative feedback should be private and managed sensitively.
A one-on-one meeting is an ideal opportunity to share your concerns with your agents without making them feel embarrassed or discouraged before the rest of their team.
#5 Observe the Way You Communicate
The main purpose of giving feedback to your agent is to help her enhance her skills. But are you sure you are getting your motivations clear?
If you’re not careful, the way you deliver feedback can be misleading. Always observe the way you give feedback, and make sure you don’t make your agents feel awkward.
For example, during a feedback session with your agents, constantly pay special attention to the tone of your voice. If you seem too strict or intimidating, then the representative may understand your words as completely negative feedback, without any constructive criticism.
#6 Involve Your Agents
Your agents have their own ideas and views on working in your call center. They are the core source and deliver vital work daily.
While you should give feedback on a regular basis to manage your workforce’s progress, you must encourage employees’ feedback too. This is a vital part of knowing how to give quality feedback in your call center.
Once you get feedback from your representatives, then assure you take action on it. This contributes to a healthy workplace and will make you a more valued call center supervisor.
Providing feedback to your agents is a difficult task. However, by following these simple tactics on how to give quality feedback in call center, you will have a more motivated and focused team.