By Jo-Ann Fussell
It’s hard to evaluate employees phone performance unless you get a response, either positive or negative, from a customer. That’s why Voice Link of Columbus, Inc. evaluates operators every week using a voice logging system.
The voice logger records the operators conversations with the caller. Sara, our personnel trainer, pulls 15 minutes of recordings on each operator and then they both listen to the calls that were handled. Sara evaluates their tone of voice, how they handled that account, if the phone number was repeated back to the caller, and if they asked the caller to spell their last name. Since we have been following this procedure, our clients have commented on how much our service has improved.
We also pull operator statistics out of our CadCom Answering Service equipment every day. We look at total logged-in time, in-rotation time, talk time, average hold time, number of messages taken compared to number of calls answered, and average ring time. We also look at whether operators showed up on time. Why am I looking at in-rotation time and logged-in time? I want to know how long my operators are in rotation and answering calls. If the employee is scheduled to work 8 hours, we require him/her to be in rotation at least 7 hours and 20 minutes. They are allowed a 30 minute lunch or dinner break and two 5 minute breaks.
When we first started looking at employee performance, we discovered that our operators were only averaging 5 to 6 hours in rotation; however, we paid them for 8 hours. Since we have been doing the evaluations every week, our employees are meeting our requirement.
I am a Certified Public Accountant and really enjoy cost accounting. When I started evaluating our employees, I found that some employees outperform others. It never fails that these employees are the ones who quit because you cannot afford to pay them as much as other companies. There are factories that actually pay their employees by production so why can’t we?
If an employee shows up to work on time and is in-rotation for most of their shift, answered a lot of calls and took messages, they should be paid more than the employee who was in rotation but let calls roll off their screen to another operator. It would be nice if each employee would start at a base rate. It would be up to them to determine how much they want to make per hour. For example:
- Base rate $5.50
- Show up to work on time .50 cents
- Met in-rotation time requirement .25 cents
- Met the per-message-to-call requirement .25 cents
- Tone of voice on the phone .50 cents
- Repeat phone number & spell the last name .25 cents
- Total paid for the week: $7.25
I feel this will let our employees know what we expect of them; it is up to them to determine how much they can make per hour.
If you are paying your employees by production, please contact Jo-Ann at 706-323-6733 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
[From Connection Magazine, November 1997]