Ask Kathy: Job Diversification for Call Center Agents

By Kathy Sisk

An agent’s job diversity is as important as his or her salary. Job quality that meets the employee’s personal level of satisfaction is vital for long-term commitment. Advancing qualified agents gives recognition to those who deserve it, and offering advancement opportunities can achieve higher levels of job satisfaction. But not everyone wants advancement or is qualified.

So how can you create advancement within your agents’ current positions? By increasing their responsibilities and diversifying their jobs. Here are some ideas:

  • Allow agents to conduct public relations with an existing client.
  • Have agents contact previous clients and ask them questions to determine how well the company has performed.
  • Offer clear objectives on something new they can spend designated time on.
  • Let agents contact clients and ask for referrals or upsell an identified product or service.
  • Place the agents into the QA department to monitor and evaluate other agents, and then discuss their findings and how they would handle the calls differently. This will help validate if they are ready for more challenging tasks, but it’s also an excellent training tool to help them perform better.

These achieve several important benefits. First, offering agents a different task, one of value to the company, will help them feel important and trusted. The company also ensures an active relationship with its clients by letting clients know the company is thinking about them.

When a company offers rewarding opportunities and increases agent motivation, burnout is reduced. This also improves employee attitudes and provides a positive reflection on customers.

There are endless opportunities for agents to have more challenging roles and help pave the way to stimulate new career opportunities within their company. This is especially important for a company who wants to provide its staff with clear direction and achievable goals. In turn, your agents become more dedicated, and the company increases the retention rate among its most loyal and capable employees.

However, when a company quenches its agents’ drive by a lack of interest, support, or potential advancement, it is essentially encouraging them to seek advancement elsewhere—perhaps with the company’s competition!

Kathy Sisk is founder and president of Kathy Sisk Enterprises Inc. and is a trainer and consultant, contributing thirty-five years of expertise to the telemarketing, sales, and customer service industries.

[From Connection Magazine May/Jun 2014]