Jo-Anne Flack’s report regarding the recruitment of telephone operators (MW February 10) made some good points. However, I think the crux of it is that telephone operators are no different to people working in other professions. Left to their own devices, some are good, some bad and some indifferent. Telephone operators need to be motivated and kept informed, but the difference is that if they do not perform well they can seriously damage the brand they represent.
Training, leadership and teamwork are the attributes that create good call centre service, and offering staff a variety of accounts and products maintains interest. It is essential that team leaders are not over-burdened with responsibility or over-large teams. It is also important to ensure they are not made to work on the phones themselves, but allowed to prioritise their time supervising, coaching, maintaining a rolling training programme and regularly liaising with the client services team.
Team leaders should take responsibility for ensuring product knowledge within the team (manuals and quizzes help), and encourage teams to brand work areas with client merchandise wherever feasible. This motivates staff, creates a team spirit and complements client training, which should focus equally on the branding. It also creates healthy competition between teams, which encourages better performance.
Finally, it is important that telephone operators are updated about their performance, the team they work in and the campaign they work on.
Involvement and relevant feedback is often the key to job satisfaction.
Omega Marketing Services