After recently reading an article about call center work in Connections Magazine, I started thinking about the content in the prior submissions I’ve made in regards to screening candidates for the Marketing Communications Specialist position here at TeleNet. The primary point in both blogs was to give perspective on what the ideal candidate possesses in order for our company to select them to become a part of the team. It dawned on me that I have not yet included what we offer to our candidates in order to attract them to our company. In the Connections article, the writer recants an experience he had with an outbound cold calling agent that, in the end, helped him to renew his appreciation for the outbound telemarketing capacity. The net-net was that the agent liked doing her job because she felt rewarded for her efforts when she achieved a successful phone call. Equating that perspective to our center, I thought about all of the agents that we have working here and how many feel the same way she did.
In general, most of the people that accept the offer to work at TeleNet are driven by an intrinsic desire to be rewarded for their efforts. The proactive focus of dialing to get a decision-maker on the phone takes a persistent, motivated individual. And at the end of the day, if an agent has achieved his or her primary goals of completing conversations and uncovering quality data and information for our clients, the goals are met.
Because our philosophy is that agents are measured based on the effort they put forth, as well as the quality of their conversations and data collection (not paid per lead, which can create undesired behavior), our management team is challenged to make our agent daily work experience exciting and quality focused. A few activities that we have done include:
- Team Building – providing each campaign team the opportunity to “post” their daily quality-checked results creates a healthy team competition that can generate added success for a project.
- Simple Recognition – Giving a surprise gift to someone for a special achievement pays off in the long run. Recognition can be simple, for instance management treating an agent to his/her favorite lunch after generating a particularly impressive lead.
- Incentive Prizes – On our high production programs (i.e. data capture), a team of agents may be motivated to surpass their goals by offering a reward -such as a prepaid gas card. Of course, the winning agent work must pass our quality assurance check first!
There are many more. When it comes to hiring (and keeping) successful outbound agents, we must always keep in mind what drives them to apply in the first place, and then ensure we maintain their excitement and drive moving forward.