03 July 2014
Tips for Online Chat Software - Motivate with Performance Management
Everyone is familiar with the “calls may be recorded for training purposes” disclaimer and online chat software services should be scrutinised just as closely as phone channels. Using the built-in report functionality to print out information about the number of chats handled, chats missed, post-chat feedback and other details is useful information for training purposes and for senior decision makers. But getting your operators to be just as enthusiastic about improving quality is often a challenge, that’s why it’s important to make performance management something that is fun and enjoyable for everyone.
A well thought out performance management programme doesn’t just improve your company’s interaction with customers, it also builds team morale and identifies strengths and weaknesses. Unlike call centres, where you have to listen in and score each call (either in real-time or through recordings), online chat software plays right into performance management by providing text dialogues that are much easier to review. Having full dialogue available means there is no disputing what was said by either party.
Consider using this to your full advantage by coaching your operators on their tone, timing, accuracy, professionalism, investigation and closing skills. Constructive criticism through chat is faster and easier with very little room for misinterpretation. Why not come up with a multifaceted system for scoring operator performance?
Create a grid that lists all the elements that are important for an efficient and customer-friendly operator
Include the basics, like greeting and closing, as well as more subjective properties like tone-of-voice. Assign a weighting to each of these aspects so that the total comes to a 100. This is a popular total that will increase the likelihood of your agent’s buying into this concept of scoring.
Next, choose the number of chats you will review for each agent as well as how frequently you will perform the review
The size of your team will vary how often you can do this, but aim to review at least 5 chats per operator per week. Take advantage of your online chat software by digging into chat histories and making notes against important chats. Remember that the point of this isn’t to catch your operator’s out, but rather to reward them for their strengths and encourage them to work on their weaknesses.
With this in mind, create some sort of reward system whereby a certain level of achievement is recognised. Only rewarding one top performing operator could damage moral for the rest of the team. Keep the rewards fun and inexpensive so that they remain a gesture more than anything else, mugs, sweet treats and coupons are all suitable examples. If you have the resources available and operators seem positive about the review structure, consider taking the rewards one step further with a weekly, monthly or quarterly reward, like a paid lunch.
Whatever review system you choose, make sure your agents understand it
There’s nothing more frustrating than getting a low score and not understanding why. Ask your operators for their input when drafting up the review process for a completely fair and transparent system. Most call centres recognise their top achievers, so why should this be any different with online chat software?
To make things even easier, the Click4Assistance Toolbox includes conversion tracking. This means you don’t need to manually check which customers chatted with an operator before converting; the software will tell you! Find out more about incentivising your chat operators with a creative performance management programme by contacting us today.