A world-class communication culture is the prominent way to create efficient call center operations. At its peak, it makes your call center stand out in front all the rest and exceed all imaginable performance standards. Agent feelings and desires are perhaps the most forgotten aspect of call center management.
Building on those premises, one can begin to build a positive communication culture with recognition that communication culture and agent performance are by-product of employee emotions. The way we communicate is a by-product of how we want to communicate at any particular time. Emotions play a supreme role in creating that base. Managers are often thrilled over a week of excellent call handling, or a month of solid sales production. Besides facts and figures, call center communication is developed from and presented through our emotions, thank-you messages, award certificates, motivational speeches, etc.
Customer service and call center agents strive on emotions to help them succeed every day. Agents become motivated based on how they recognize and utilize their emotions and how they receive emotional vibes from supervisors. In addition, management motivates agents based on their own ability to understand their own emotions, not always based purely on data findings.
As a consultant, if I had a dollar for each time a supervisor or team member communicated to me utilizing their emotions first, I would be a millionaire. If I had a resume for every call center agent who used emotions to explain why they are disappointed at work, I could start my own recruiting service nationwide. If I could sell one book for each senior executive or manager who lost control of their emotions and mouthed off in a meeting without thinking first, I will have sold enough books to be in the best seller list on Amazon.
Losing control of one’s emotions can damage superior communication culture between operations, management, and agents. Using emotions without recognizing that emotions are commanding the performance can also set call center culture back if actions are taken purely based on those emotions. Of course, emotions are not always detrimental to communication culture. We can take an example from professional athletics to understand how emotions challenge and impact communication culture in the call center. In professional athletics, emotions encompass a huge part of the playing experience. Players channel their positive emotions to give them second efforts on the court.
Emotions impact everything in the call center. For the call center to function efficiently, it must be understood first as an emotional medium. A call center manager, who recognizes how emotions can create and dictate successful performance can then reward agents through efforts such as verbal congratulations, prizes, and department recognition.
In essence, the manager who understands how to use emotions to his/her advantage has the unique ability to make a positive for one day turn into a positive for many days. The manager can create opportunities for his employees and department. When an employee is emotionally unhappy with something at home, they have the flexibility and ability to escape from the situation – such escape works to regain the positive emotions that bring success. Agents can have the same opportunities at work. Supervisors and managers are in a position that require them to be intuitive about emotions and their impact on call center agents.
By Sophia Sanchez, SPHR
Principal Consultant – Develop For Results International
Author of “The Development Alternative: Powerful Strategies for unparalleled Business Results”
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