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 email@example.com or 800-901-7706.
Should You Offer a Free Trial When Selling Answering Service?
Some answering services offer a free trial to new clients. Others do not. Both camps are adamant about their reasons for making this decision. While t...
Sales Support Pays Off Huge for Quality-Minded Answering Service
Supplementing internal sales and marketing with third party sales support is a winning strategy Cunningham Communications, founded in 1989, worked har...
Why You Might Benefit from Having a Multilocation Corporate Call Center
By strict definition a call center is a centralized place where calls are answered. However, technology now allows this fixed characterization to expa...
HIPAA Applies to Your Outsourcing Call Center, Too
As mentioned in “Five Things to Check Before Outsourcing Your Healthcare Calls,” it’s critical to hire a call center that complies with HIPA...
Fast-Track Lead Processing to Maximize Sales Outcomes
It takes time to process sales leads, which decreases close rates In looking at lead response times, we already know that the faster the lead response...
Call Center Sales Pro Taps Pete Gilhooly as Director of Hospital Call Centers
Pete Gilhooly, Telecom veteran with fifteen years’ experience in healthcare vertical joins Call Center Sales Pro FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 20,...
The Three Critical Metrics for Lead Response
Keep Total Lead Qualification Time Low to Maximize Results We’ve discussed how low lead response times affect the likelihood of being able to eventu...
A Slow Lead Response Produces Low Lead Qualification Rates
Maximize lead qualification rates by responding to inquiries fast A common complaint among salespeople is not having enough quality leads. They might ...