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Teaching employees new skills with incentive programs

Call center incentive programs can encourage employees to develop the skills needed to professionally handle issues through new channels.

Social media is altering the way that companies are interacting with customers. A survey by Zendesk found that 78 percent of consumers felt the channel will be the future of customer service. People now expect their questions to be answered quickly through live chat programs, instant messages or even Twitter and Facebook.

These high consumer expectations make proper training of employees extremely important. The quality of service provided through social media channels can even impact sales, as 50 percent of survey respondents stated that unanswered questions or complaints would prevent them from making a purchase.

"It's simple: customers want to call, not wait too long, get someone on the phone who can help, and get done with the business at hand," Peggy Carlaw, vice president of Impact Learning Systems, told Destination CRM. "And they want the first-line reps to be able to handle their issues without having to refer to their supervisors."

Call center incentive programs can encourage employees to develop the skills needed to professionally handle issues through new channels. Rewarding workers for taking classes, attending training sessions and taking an active role in their professional development can create an office culture where employees are excited about adopting new procedures and technology.

Even as staff members are learning new technology, businesses can improve performance by offering examples of great service. Providing the right rewards to workers who deliver exceptional customer service can increase office morale and enthusiasm. Call center incentive programs that enable staff members to receive points toward the items of their choice ensure that all workers are able to earn something they desire.

Large merchandise items, like televisions or computers, tend to have a longer-lasting impact than cash rewards. As employees use the products, they are reminded of their accomplishments, which helps build pride in their work and increases their willingness to take on new challenges.

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