3 Ways To Keep Your Phone Reps Motivated During The Holiday Season

Customer service operator on Christmas back with present
We only have a week left in November. Unbelievably, the holiday season is practically here! In the business world, the holiday season is already here, as stores all over Canada are welcoming larger numbers of customers every day. This will be especially true in a couple of days when Black Friday takes over the nation. The needs of shoppers to get their hands on highly-sought after items at significantly reduced prices are never greater than on this day.

Your customer service representatives will likely be experiencing an increase in call volume as well. Whether their job is to make outgoing calls or to take incoming calls, the next several weeks will be among their busiest of the year. Is there a reason to have them step up their customer service skills during the holiday season? You bet there is! Arguably, there’s no better time to keep your team of phone agents motivated than right now.

Here are three ways to keep your phone reps motivated during the holiday season:

1. Encourage teamwork. As a business owner and/or call centre manager, it is your job to lead. But you won’t always be available throughout the entire work day to provide leadership to your team. It’s important, therefore, to encourage the leaders on your staff to be there for its other members when help is needed. Developing and nurturing a team comprised of individuals who feel that they can depend on each other will help for their interactions with your customers to be a lot stronger.

According to Shauna Geraghty on TalkDesk.com, this is especially true during the holidays. “Sometimes, resolving customer support issues over the holidays requires a team approach,” she writes, “When agents need a little help from their colleagues, encourage them to use call conferencing and warm transfers. Doing so will ensure that holiday callers aren’t blindly transferred from agent to agent and will reduce call duration – both of which will increase customer satisfaction.”

2. Have team meetings in the morning. Beginning each work day with a team meeting should be commonplace in your call centre. But during the busy holiday season, it will be especially important to inject some holiday cheer into your phone agents each morning. Not only will they need the additional motivation to get through their busy days, but you’ll want them to pass along that cheer to your callers in order to secure customer satisfaction.

On his customer service blog, customer service expert, Shep Hyken champions the practice of morning meetings during the holiday season. “If ever there was a time for a team meeting before you opened every day, this is the time,” he insists, “Get employees excited about the prospect of breaking sales numbers, but delivering great service along the way. Talk about what happened the day before and plan to repeat the good and avoid the bad.”

3. Offer regular feedback. As mentioned earlier, your team needs you. When you offer encouraging words of support, it can go a long way in keeping your team motivated even throughout the busiest work days of the year. However, you’ll also need to provide constructive criticism when necessary to strengthen the team in areas where they need help. At SIClytics, we offer the perfect tools to help you to provide feedback!

Our Live Call Monitoring services allow you to instantly listen in to live calls, giving you the option to either whisper information to your phone agents without the other parties hearing or barge into the live calls to take them over when they need to be escalated. For more information about our Live Call Monitoring services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-877-374-6003 or email us at sales@SIClytics.com.

3 Ways To Treat Your Employees To Ensure Ongoing Success

Business presentation on laptop computer
With Halloween coming up in a few short days, the idea of “treats” is on the minds of many. And while you may have already decorated your office space with Halloween-themed decor and offered candies and chocolates to your employees, there is another type of “treat” that would benefit your business a lot better. It’s the way you treat your employees all year round that makes for a happy and productive staff!

So, as Halloween approaches, we figured it would be a good idea to remind you of the various ways that you can treat your employees to ensure your company’s ongoing success.

Here are three:

1. Show genuine concern for their professional and personal needs. It should never be lost on you that your employees are human beings. That means that they have feelings. It also means that they have both professional and personal issues that may require some assistance in handling. Now, it’s not your job to be a therapist. But a concerned and engaged business owner can do quite a lot to ensure that his/her employees are performing well on the job.

On Chron.com, Rick Suttle stresses the need for employers to take time to listen to their employees regarding their concerns. “Discuss various issues with each employee individually, such as conflicts they may have with you or other employees,” he advises, “Rectify conflicts right away by coming up with viable solutions. Use a mediator or arbitrator, if necessary, to handle conflicts out of your control.”

2. Regularly express your appreciation and gratitude. Reiterating the point that your employees are people, it’s important to never forget that they deserve credit for their accomplishments. Publicly acknowledging jobs well done is an excellent way to motivate, not just the high-performing employees, but their co-workers who will be encouraged to achieve the same accolades.

“A whole person does the job, not just half,” says Wendy Lea on Inc.com, “When you see your employees as whole people, they feel appreciated and supported. They’re filled with more potential motivation to excel rather than just doing the basics of what’s expected. Personal experiences lend perspective that encourages extraordinary contribution. I’ve seen first-hand how this extra ‘head room’ helps employees perform at levels beyond what anyone thought was possible.”

3. Be an open and approachable communicator. Employees need to feel supported in their roles. It’s important that you present yourself as someone who is genuinely interested in seeing them succeed. Making yourself available for feedback sessions and showing that you are willing to answer questions at any time will put your employees’ minds at ease. It’s a lot easier to do a job when you know that help is nearby.

Suttle agrees that you should communicate with your employees regularly. “Keep them informed of the latest updates and encourage them to keep you apprised of their progress on certain projects,” he recommends, “Compliment your employees when they do something exceptional. Buffer any criticisms with positive comments, especially when doing annual performance reviews.”

At SIClytics, we are big believers in providing employees with regular feedback. We offer Live Call Monitoring services that allow you to offer feedback to your phone agents in very innovative ways. The service lets you listen in to calls live and as they happen and also enables you to whisper information to your agents without being heard by the other parties. This helps to improve both employee performance and employee morale!

For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-877-374-6003 or email us at sales@SIClytics.com.

The Importance Of Boosting Employee Morale

Image of business partners making pile of hands at meeting

It’s a very interesting time of year. Autumn is officially here and the fourth quarter begins in under a week. For most business owners across Canada, much is being done to entice customers to make purchases from them. Especially with the upcoming holiday season, there is an expectation that business is about to pick up. It’s important to note, however, that no business owner should simply assume that a sales boost is coming.

Efforts must be placed on making the public aware of the special deals, discounts and events taking place at any business. And while there is a wide variety of advertising avenues that entrepreneurs can take, there is a very important step that should never be overlooked when it comes to bettering a business. And that would be to ensure that your employees are happy. A happy staff, as is often said, is a productive staff!

“Your employees’ morale may need a boost,” states Marcus Erb on Entrepreneur.com, “After all, low morale can lead to poor cooperation, low productivity and increased turnover — and ultimately hinder a business from reaching its goals. Since employee morale can quickly build or break a company’s success, effective leaders often keep a close eye on it and enlist simple and creative approaches to strengthen it.”

Why is it so important to make your employees happy? Well, they are human, after all. And when people are in good moods, they simply perform their daily duties better. Most workers take great pride in the jobs they do. So, as a business owner or manager, when you acknowledge the jobs well done of your staff members, it can go a long way in securing their hard work and dedication for the long term.

What else can you do to ensure that your staff is kept happy? Take a genuine interest in their personal lives. No one is saying that you need to become best buds with everyone who works for you. In fact, it’s probably something we’d advise against. However, there is no harm in getting to know your team members so that you can acknowledge the things in their lives that are important to them.

This will mean a lot to them. Sometimes, it’s the little things that have the biggest impacts. On Forbes.com, Cheryl Conner provides some ideal examples. “Recognize every single employee’s birthday,” she advises, “Send gifts for new babies and weddings. Be involved in employees’ lives to let them feel loved and valued not only as employees, but also as family members and as human beings.”

How important is providing employee feedback? In case it isn’t obvious by now, it’s incredibly important to impart feedback on to your employees. Believe it or not, your negative feedback (read: constructive criticism) can have as much of a positive impact as your positive feedback. It all depends on how you provide it. If you let your team members know how much they mean to the team and that you wish only for them to succeed, you’ll be doing a lot to boost their moods.

Not to mention, you’ll be elevating their overall performances. At SIClytics, we offer Live Call Monitoring services that allow you to provide feedback in ways that were once unheard of. With them, you can instantly listen in to calls live and as they happen. As well, you may whisper information to your phone agents to help them along in their calls without being heard by the other parties. This helps to improve employee performance while boosting their confidence!

For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-877-374-6003 or email us at sales@SIClytics.com.

The Importance Of Having A Strong Call Centre Manager

Positive customer support team working in call centre

All teams need leaders. Coaches, managers and captains are all called upon to rally their troops in order to provide the best results possible. Most often, you simply can’t rely on the skills and talents of the members of your team. You need a strong leader who is capable of motivating each of the team members in order to inspire their best performances. This is why your call centre needs a strong manager.

What characteristics make up a strong call centre manager? Well, why don’t we begin with the traits that strong call centre managers shouldn’t have? Those who see themselves as enforcers with rights to hand down hard disciplinary action aren’t going to do very well in any working environment. While it may not be important for a call centre manager to “make friends” it is his/her job to be well-liked by his/her team members.

This is strictly because it inspires strong performances. Call centre managers who are friendly and approachable inspire staff members to perform at their best. You want someone running your team who team members feel comfortable talking to. That way, they will be encouraged to ask questions when they need help, serving only to better both the customer service practices and sales numbers of your company.

How important are people management skills? It couldn’t be more important! After all, the job of a call centre manager is to be able to motivate the best efforts out of a large group of people. Without the ability to be a people person, this cannot be possible. Furthermore, strong call centre managers need to be able to prevent and resolve conflicts that may occur between members of the team.

Being a good problem-solver is a huge component of people management – a trait all call centre managers need to have. This is of vital importance considering that many call centres hire staff members whose jobs it is to resolve disputes with customers. If you can’t help to quell conflict in the office, how can you expect your staff members to resolve issues had by their leads, customers and clients?

How important is the ability to provide helpful feedback? This is arguably the most important job of a call centre manager. Part of eliciting excellent performances is the ability to provide constructive criticism without damaging the emotional health of employees. A call centre manager must also know how to adequately monitor calls, using the technology provided to him/her by his/her company.

At SIClytics, we’re happy to be able to offer call centre managers incredible cloud-based services that assist them with monitoring their employees. Our easy-to-use Monitor Whisper service provides managers and supervisors with the ability to monitor calls live and as they happen. As well, they may also whisper feedback to their reps during those calls to improve performance on the spot. And the parties on the other lines won’t hear a thing!

For more information about SIClytics’ Monitor Whisper service, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-877-374-6003 or email us at sales@SIClytics.com.

The Importance Of Monitoring Employee Performance

Manager checking his colleagues works in office

Even though you may be the owner of your business, or even its office manager, the majority of the customers who interact with your business will not associate you with the brand. Instead, they view the phone representatives that they have direct contact with as the examples of what your business is all about. When you think about it, your phone reps are your business! They’re the ones communicating with your customers every day. Their roles couldn’t be more important.

Because of this, it’s imperative that you monitor their performance. Making sure that your customers are both being treated with respect and given accurate answers to questions is integral to your company’s overall success. As well, you need to monitor the sales skills of each of your phone reps to ensure that your targets are consistently being met. On Chron.com, Samuel Hamilton explains how monitoring can help to identify strengths and weaknesses on your team.

How can monitoring help you to identify strong and weak links on your team? “When you have the ability to properly gauge employee efficiency, identify the strong and weak employees, and compensate them appropriately, then your business will become more productive and therefore more successful,” he informs, “Employees become aware of their peers who consistently receive pay increases and promotions and they strive to follow in those peers’ footsteps.”

There are, of course, numerous ways to monitor your employees so that they are kept on their toes. Naturally, it’s wise to provide regular feedback by way of one-on-one meetings. Be sure to include both positive feedback and constructive criticism in your meetings. To keep employee morale high, it’s important to regularly acknowledge the jobs well done by your team members. There are many benefits to showing your staff that you value their efforts.

Of course, you’ll also want to point out any areas where there can be some improvement. This isn’t something that you should wait to do. The quicker you address particular performance issues, the quicker they will be improved. Obviously, this only helps your business to shine in the eyes of the customers who interact with it. Hamilton also points out that you should commit to quarterly and/or yearly reviews.

How can regularly-scheduled performance reviews benefit your company? “Performance measures ranging from annual reviews to quarterly quotas ensure that employees work hard and well or face a poor evaluation,” he believes, “Once evaluated, employees can be managed through encouragement to keep up the good work, or else they might be managed through further training and coaching.”

How can monitoring your employees save you money? It’s certainly not worth it to keep employees on your staff who are simply incapable of doing their jobs. In the hopefully-rare unfortunate cases when phone agents are consistently underperforming, the money you’re spending on their compensation would be better used elsewhere. Simply put, employee monitoring is necessary to ensure that all staff members are performing at their best.

At SIClytics, we’re proud to offer call centre business owners and office managers our innovative cloud-based services that assist them with monitoring their employees. Our Monitor Whisper service provides users with the ability to listen to calls live as they happen. With it, they may also whisper feedback to their reps during those calls to improve performance on the spot!

For more information about SIClytics’ Monitor Whisper service, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-877-374-6003 or email us at sales@SIClytics.com.

How Can Our Monitor Whisper Service Improve Your Business?

picture of smiling female helpline operator with headphones

Throughout the history of the telemarketing industry, there has been a need to provide feedback to phone agents. Call centre managers have the tough daily jobs of making sure that each and every one of their phone representatives have the necessary tools to perform their jobs well. Giving feedback – both negative and positive – is needed to improve overall performance. But, in the past, this could only be done after listening to call recordings.

How has modern technology improved the way call centre managers provide feedback? SIClytics’ Monitor Whisper service provides call centre managers with the ability to listen to calls live and as they happen. That way, there’s no need to sit and wait for call recordings in order to monitor employee performance. This helps to provide opportunities to significantly improve customer satisfaction.

The “monitor” portion of this service refers to the fact that call centre managers may listen to both parties on the call without being detected. The “whisper” portion of this service refers to the fact that they also have the ability to drop in to the calls to coach their agents. They can whisper suggestions to their reps without the customers on the other lines hearing them. The service also allows managers to take over the calls, if necessary.

How does Monitor Whisper improve customer satisfaction? Well, let’s consider the fact that the service eliminates the need for call backs to be made in order to satisfy customer complaints. Instead of having a report made about the complaint during a call, the call can be taken over immediately to be handled by a supervisor. This prevents the potential for losing customers due to issues being mishandled.

In best case scenarios, however, escalation isn’t necessary. Instead, by having helpful advice whispered to the phone agent during the call, he/she will be better equipped to answer questions without even placing his caller on hold. It should probably go without saying that the less you make customers wait, the more satisfied with the customer service they will be. No one truly likes waiting. Avoiding unnecessary hold times will go a long way in making customers happy.

How does Monitor Whisper boost sales for your company? Well, they say that knowledge is power. And this is why it’s so important to implement strong training programs for your new hires. Naturally, the more information they have about the products and services you offer, the better equipped they will be to sell them to your leads. However, in the event that a phone agent gets stuck about the details of your offerings, it’s best that they get immediate assistance.

Monitor Whisper gives supervisors and managers the ability to provide answers to phone agents right away. It makes a big difference to a prospective client when he/she is speaking with a representative with ample product knowledge. Of course, with this awesome feature, a lead will never know that the agent speaking is being fed product information live while the call is taking place!

For more information about SIClytics’ Monitor Whisper service, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-877-374-6003 or email us at sales@SIClytics.com. And remember that if you’re not completely satisfied with our services, you have the option of cancelling them within 30 days for a full refund thanks to our 30-day money back guarantee!

5 Techniques To Offering Helpful Feedback To Your Employees

Close-up portrait of two handsome businessmen in suits having a coffee-break in office sitting at the table, with selective focus on one smiling businessman and another sitting back to the camera

Call centre managers, trainers and employers alike all have very important tasks on their hands each and every work day. They are tasks, however, that many business leaders don’t like all that much. Giving feedback can be hard to do. Some don’t like to provide it for fear of hurting feelings. Some simply hate the idea of wasting their time on employees who don’t seem to be able to perform their duties.

Neither should be a reason to avoid giving feedback. There are some techniques to offering it to your employees the right way. Here are five:

1. Strike while the iron’s hot. In other words, the second you see an opportunity to provide feedback, go ahead and do it. Arguably, there’s no better time to offer help than when a situation has occurred that requires assistance. When you let too much time pass – even a day – your memory will fade and the impact of your advice won’t be as strong. Providing feedback during critical moments is a great way to improve performance immediately.

2. Use the sandwich approach. If you’re afraid of bringing down employee morale, be sure to sandwich your negative feedback between two pieces of positive feedback. Here’s an example: “I really like the tone of voice you use on your calls. You make clear that you’re very friendly. However, I’d like you to try slowing down the pace of your speech so that you can be heard better. You’re putting in a great effort, keep it up!”

3. Encourage questions. One of the best ways for your employees to get the most out of the feedback you give them is for them to request it. Encourage your team members to ask questions about their own performances so that they can keep themselves on their proverbial toes. The more inquisitive they are about their job performances, the more likely they will be to improve upon them. Be sure to present yourself as open and approachable to foster such comfort.

4. Be crystal clear with expectations. To get the best performances from your staff members, they’ll need to know exactly what you’re looking for. In many cases, you’ll have to do more than simply say “you need to get your sales numbers up”. Instead, the communication of more specific expectations such as “I’m looking for you to increase your sales numbers by 15% this month” is necessary.

5. Remember that feedback is positive too! Don’t confuse the word “feedback” with “criticism”. Your employees need to know how well they’re doing even more than they need to know about what they could be doing better. Never hesitate to offer words of praise to employees who are performing exceptionally well. It can be argued that the more positive feedback you give, the more successful your team of workers will be. Happy staffs are productive staffs!

At SIClytics, we can help you to provide feedback to your team in ways that were once unheard of. We offer Live Call Monitoring services that allow you to instantly listen in and whisper feedback to your phone agents when they are on the phone with their customers. You can even “barge” into live calls as they’re happening. As well, our Live Call Feeds service allows you to visually monitor call activity as calls are happening!

For more information about these great services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-877-374-6003 or email us at sales@SIClytics.com.

5 Reasons Providing Employee Feedback Is So Important

Suited man talking to a young woman across a desk

Just how important is it for you to give your employees feedback? Well, let’s put it this way – it couldn’t be more important! Research has shown that employees are much more engaged in their work when they feel that their managers and supervisors appreciate their efforts. Feedback, of course, isn’t just about telling employees what they’re doing wrong. It’s also very much about praising jobs well done.

To provide your employees with adequate feedback, it’s important to be attentive to their strengths and weaknesses. Monitoring calls becomes a huge part of an office manager’s job, as it helps to pinpoint both strong points and areas of concern. Commending employees for their excellent work is every bit as important as assisting employees with the areas of their jobs that require improvement.

Here are five reasons providing employee feedback is so important:

1. Many employees don’t feel appreciated at work. According to Jeff Fermin of OfficeVibe.com, 39% of employees feel this way. That means that they are a lot more likely to not care about their overall work performance. Furthermore, your business is susceptible to a much higher turnover rate if its team members feel as if their contributions don’t matter. Be sure to offer your employees the kind of feedback that expresses your appreciation.

2. You will inspire higher rates of productivity in the office. Workers are a whopping 30 times more likely to be actively engaged at work when managers focus on their employees’ strengths, says Fermin. There’s nothing like some good old encouragement to motivate your team to improve upon the work they’ve done. And, arguably, there’s no better way to encourage your team than to highlight how excellent they’ve performed for you in the past.

3. Your employees want feedback. Don’t assume that your team members don’t want to hear from you. When you manage an office that incorporates a team setting, you can get stuck in the mind frame that it’s best to “leave well alone”. But it isn’t. Fermin reports that 65% of employees want more feedback than the amount that they’re currently getting. To keep your team members on track, offer regular sit-down sessions to let them know how they’re doing.

4. The majority of employees will slack off when they get no feedback. Offering no feedback is the equivalent of saying you don’t care. If your employees never hear from you – whether it’s for positive or negative feedback – why should they assume that anything they do is of any consequence? An overwhelming 98% of employees fail to be engaged when managers give little to no feedback, reveals Fermin.

5. Employees work harder when you appreciate them. It’s that simple. Show your team members that their efforts matter and they will give you more effort. Fermin reports that 69% of employees say that they would work harder if they felt their efforts were better recognized. The importance of giving employee feedback cannot be understated. Evidently, the more you give, the better your business will function!

At SIClytics, we offer Live Call Monitoring services that allow call centre mangers to instantly listen in, whisper feedback to their phone agents or even “barge” into the live calls as they’re happening. We also offer a Live Call Feeds service that allows you to visually monitor call activity as calls are happening. Both are excellent tools for providing your employees with adequate feedback.

For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-877-374-6003 or email us at sales@SIClytics.com.