Contact centres have a reputation for providing mundane or entry level work. In years gone by that may indeed have been the case, however, things have changed. The two reasons they’ve changed are unlikely to revert back any time soon because they are deep-rooted, global and industry wide.
Brand image and the contact centre
One of those reasons is to do with the complex area of brand image. How your brand touches your customer, or potential customer matters more now than it ever did. Most markets are to some extent saturated, so if you’re not providing great service, you’ll get found out pretty quickly. Contact centres and their staff sit at the heart of that customer experience. This means that how your staff feel, will impact how the customer feels. Reviews are playing their part. If we don’t like the way we’ve been treated, we’re empowered to tell the world. Power indeed, since reviews have become an intangible company asset, and brands can rise or fall on the back of them.
Contact centres are also becoming increasingly important to companies with the new lack of face to face contact. Since the pandemic, the way we work has adapted so more of us have become desk based and habits change. The way companies resource their teams will change too as we adapt to the new normal. Car sales have already seen a dramatic decline and this is expected to continue as fewer companies and consumers invest in cars. According to ABC News the pandemic might change the car business for good. “The Great Recession nearly brought the automotive industry to its knees. A decade later, carmakers are reckoning with a new threat: the novel coronavirus, an unforeseen force that has halted production, disrupted sales and caused financial pain to an industry that was able to bounce back from its nadir in 2008”.
So how do we get more from our phone based workers? In previous posts, we’ve looked at how Frederick Herzberg’s Two-Factor theory can be applied to boosting motivation in the workplace. His thoughts on the elements that motivate workers by their presence and those that de-motivate by their absence can be applied to companies around the country. And it could help managers in all industries to get the best out of their employees. However, as well as being relevant to motivation methods, Herzberg’s theory can be applied to the contact centre. By looking at the motivating factors and the hygiene factors he identifies in his theory, we can see how contact centre staff can gently motivate a customer to buy a product from their business instead of from a competitor, and how qualifiers can be used to help.
Hygiene factors in sales
In his motivation theory, Herzberg discusses the need for hygiene factors to be present in order to maintain a certain level of motivation. These hygiene factors are essential provisions that all employees should expect to benefit from when in the workplace. These include things like adequate pay, safe working conditions and fair treatment from supervisors. When you translate this theory to sales you can see that hygiene factors are essentially qualifiers – the features that buyers expect to be present in a product or service. Although the presence of these qualifiers won’t necessarily help to push decision makers into buying from your business, their absence could put customers off. Understanding these qualifiers can influence and motivate your potential buyers, and working this theory clearly into your sales strategy, could help your contact centres improve the results of their telemarketing campaigns.
Motivators in sales
Motivators complete Herzberg’s Two-Factor theory. It’s these extras that can help to motivate workers in your contact centres to push themselves that little bit harder. This ‘discretionary effort’ is infectious, so can help stimulate your whole team to become more productive and dedicated. Motivating factors include recognition of achievements, fulfilling and meaningful tasks and increased autonomy and independence in the workplace. In contact centres, these motivating factors can be directly compared with Order Winners. These little extras help to make a product or service more compelling for the decision maker and can easily swing a deal. If salespeople know how to use these Order Winners correctly, and how to combine them with qualifiers, they will make their calls more persuasive. The level of staff satisfaction in your contact centres make a huge difference to the experience your customers will get from your contact centres. As ever, happy staff make happy customers, so it’s worth taking the trouble to get those little extras right.