Getting to Know You by ImpactLearning


									Getting to Know You
  Interacting with Agents Daily

    For More Information Contact:
  Impact Learning Systems International
             P.O. Box 14110
       San Luis Obispo, CA 93406

         Toll Free: 800.545.9003
          Voice: 805.781.3283
           Fax: 805.545.9075

 Getting to Know You
     Interacting with Agents Daily

              ontact center managers need to interact with their agents on a daily basis. While this
              statement may seem incredibly obvious to you, it’s possible that you interact—really
              interact—with your agents less often than you think. It’s not enough just to have cursory
     interactions with your agents as they’re out on the call floor plugging away. It’s not even enough
     just to greet them on their way in (although that is a good idea) or to approach them when you have
     a specific issue to discuss.

     Think about what the word interaction really means. The 10th edition of Merriam-Webster’s
     Collegiate Dictionary defines it as “mutual or reciprocal action or influence.” By meaningfully
     interacting with your agents, you’ll get to know them as individuals with unique talents, capacities,
     interests, and perspectives. You’ll be able to build a strong rapport with the people you manage,
     which in turn will help them to feel comfortable opening up to you. It also reminds agents that you
     are a part of the team, not someone who is above or beyond it.

     Interacting with your agents sets a tone of dialogue and open communication in the department. It
     shows that you’re active and involved in the everyday functions and events in your department.
     Building rapport creates a sense of team, energizes the environment, and lends agents your
     expertise. They can learn from you and you from them. The more you know the agents in your
     department, the more insight you’ll have into what makes them tick. This is valuable for managers.
     Following are some tips for interacting with your agents.

          Get to know your agents’ interests, backgrounds, and previous accomplishments.
          Remain approachable. Make sure agents feel comfortable coming to you.
          Think of your agents as internal customers and treat them with the same respect as you do
           external customers.
          Explain the reasons for decisions and procedures made by you or by upper management.
          Regularly share information about yourself with agents—but be sure to use very good
           judgment about what to share.
          Solicit feedback from agents.

     This last suggestion is not only one of the best ways to get information from your agents; it is also
     one of the simplest. Regularly asking your agents for their feedback gives you valuable information
     about what’s going on with them and with your customers. It provides an opportunity for you to
     learn information that might not otherwise come your way. It’s also a mechanism by which the
     agents help you help them.

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    Your frontline staff people are in direct communication with the customers of your contact center.
    By definition, this makes them experts, and as such they are great sources of information. But often
    that information won’t get back to you or to upper management unless you ask agents for it. You
    can also solicit feedback on any number of other subjects—how you’re doing, how they’re feeling,
    what ideas they have for change, and so forth. The idea behind this objective is simply to get your
    agents to talk to you regularly and comfortably. Asking your agents for their input also makes them
    feel empowered and lets them know that their opinions, thoughts, and feelings are valued.

For More Information
               Learn more about Customer Service Training and Consulting on our Customer Service
                Blog. Remember to subscribe to it via RSS or email so you’ll remain informed.
               Order a copy of our 296-page book, Managing & Motivating Contact Center Employees
                for even more tips improving morale and motivation.
               Stay up to date with our free monthly newsletter which brings you articles on current
                call center topics and upcoming events.

© 2010 Impact Learning Systems International                               2

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