How You Treat Your Answering Service Staff Matters More
April 6, 2017
In the post “What You Call Your Answering Service Staff Matters a Great Deal” we ran through a list of possible names to call your answering service staff. These include operator, telephone receptionist, telephone secretary, agent, telephone service rep, TSR, customer service rep, CSR, customer service agent, and expert.
While each name has its own implications, along with accompanying strengths and weaknesses, in the big picture it doesn’t really matter what you call your staff. What matters more is how you regard them.
The perfect label means nothing if you treat them poorly, yet if you surround them with excellence their title becomes incidental. Don’t spend a lot of time devising the perfect label. Instead, invest in what they’ll actually appreciate.
Consider these organizational traits that matter most to your staff:
Thorough Training: Staff expected to provide quality service deserves quality training so they can learn how. Providing thorough instruction, both initially and incrementally, demonstrates respect, while minimal training—or no real training to speak of—sends a strong message that you don’t really care.
Competitive Pay: Working at an answering service is hard. Many people can’t handle the pace of the calls or the intense need to focus for more than a couple hours. This means that it takes a special person to excel in an answering service environment. And when you find those people, they deserve compensation commiserate with the expectations. Pay them competitively or even a bit more.
Good Working Conditions: When it comes to your operations room, good lighting is essential. Stable, high-end computers and technology tools are essential. Provide ergonomic workstations. Make sure everything functions as intended. The operations room should be neat, organized, and professional. The break room should be clean and inviting. Offer any amenities you can. Your staff deserves it.
Constructive Feedback: Giving arbitrary annual raises not tied to performance discourages the best staff and has the opposite effect on lower performers. Today’s professional information worker deserves frequent feedback that is both constructive and helpful. Let them know what they do well, and they’ll do it better. Guide them in discovering how they can improve, and they will.
Provide Skilled Management: Just as front line staff deserves thorough training to help them perform their jobs with excellence, so to with management. Supervisors, trainers, and managers also benefit from relevant instruction, in both initial education and advanced techniques. Employees who feel support from their bosses perform better and with greater confidence.
Positive Work Environment: All of these traits come together to provide a positive work environment. When staff enjoys their work setting, they’ll look forward to coming into work, they’ll be happier while they’re there, and they’ll give better service to their clients.
A positive work environment produces an upbeat atmosphere and quality interactions with clients, coworkers, and employers. And none of this hinges on the label you give them, just as long as you say it with respect and produce the actions to back it up.
Janet Livingston is the president of Call Center Sales Pro, a premier call center consultancy, whose team possesses decades of telephone answering service and call center experience. Contact Janet at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-901-7706.
www.Fuzionme.com CCSP Fuzion data portal provides ultimate 1-stop management resource for healthcare call center supervisors and managers Call center ...
Answering Service Case Study: Insurance Agent Loses with Answering Machine
By Peter DeHaan As an independent insurance agent, Jack Kippling had been in the industry most of his career. To grow his clientele he would buy maili...
Answering Service Case Study: Restoration Service Saves the Day—and the House
By Peter DeHaan Michael and Susan Carbine had spent the last six months doing a meticulous remodel of their beloved home. Their kitchen was last, and ...
Answering Service Case Study: Security Solutions for Security Guards
By Peter DeHaan Gerard Hoover sighed. His new security guard monitoring system wasn’t working as well as he hoped. With his staff of guards scattere...
Answering Service Case Study: Attorney Seeks Maximum Impact for Minimal Cost
By Peter DeHaan Dustin Murphy was stepping into his future, with law school behind him and his new practice before him. He needed to make the most of ...
Answering Service Case Study: The Dental Difference
By Peter DeHaan Terry Tyler loved caramel. But as he chomped on the sweet goodness of his mouthwatering treat, something bad happened, something reall...
Answering Service Case Study: Restoration Service Shines While Insurance Agent Falters
By Peter DeHaan With rain pouring down, Jerry Tresman and his wife, Mindy, looked in horror at the water rushing into the basement crock that held the...
Answering Service Case Study: Cleaning Up With Advertising
By Peter DeHaan Jerry Pelzer started Commercial Cleaning and Restoration Services as a one-man company, so he was seldom in the office when the phone ...