Put the Right Person in the Right Seat
People perform better when they enjoy their jobs. Consider how hard it is to change yourself and you'll understand what little chance you have to change others. There are reasons that tenured call center reps enjoy their jobs. More than likely, their behaviors are accurately matched to their job demands. Studies show that when the opposite is true, representatives stay less than 18 months in their jobs.
Think of how often call centers hire customer service reps to take incoming calls, and then months later expect these same reps to change their behaviors and make outbound sales calls. Top-performing customer service reps demonstrate behaviors that are supportive, persuasive, patient and concerned about getting the right outcome for the customer. Asking these same reps to make outbound calls and, as such, to be measured against a sales goal requires the reps to change their behaviors. Outbound sales calls require that reps perform with assertiveness, take risks, work at a faster pace and be creative—behaviors that are outside the comfort zone of a customer service rep. The end result: frustrated reps and lackluster sales.
What about the "blended sale"? This requires still another set of behaviors that can coach customers through a softer sale and make them feel as if they've been handled with gloves.
Looking at the "whole" person allows management to understand each rep's behaviors, how to coach her, what drives her, what motivates her, and understand what makes her tick—which helps match the person to the call center job.
Think About How You Hire the "Whole" Person
The process of building a high-performing team goes beyond assembling a group of reps based on skill. There are four building blocks of equal importance, that must be followed in sequential order:
Building Block # 1: Management must define each specific role—i.e., customer service, inbound sales, outbound product sales—and how it impacts the business. Of each role, management must ask: Is it tied to leadership and driving strategic sales? How does that role support the creation of high-performance teams to drive customer satisfaction? In the call center industry, customer satisfaction is the big metric.