Customer Experience News & Trends

5 ways to motivate in the summer

The summer in itself is a distraction, making it harder for contact center leaders to motivate agents. But these ideas can help.

Rather than fight the lure of nice weather, vacation and outdoor activities, work with the summer season to motivate staff, says Chip Averwater, author of Retail Truths: The Unconventional Wisdom of Retailing.

Five ideas:

  • Make motivational requests. Rather than tell agents to “do this …,” remind them of what they’ve done well and ask them to continue to do it. Example, “Louise, you did a great job helping the new agent who struggled with software change. Would you be on the lookout for other agents who might need your expertise?”
  • Reward with responsibility. Give worthy agents the chance to step up to bigger responsibilities (and pay, if possible) while others are out. It’s usually an honor – as long as you take the burden of smaller tasks off their plate so they can succeed at the new assignment.
  • Be flexible. Do all you can to help agents take the time off they want to in the summer to enjoy family and fun. One way: Ask agents to work on scheduling – filling in for each other so they can all do what they’d like.
  • Make the inside as sunny as the outside. Avoid grumbling, complaining or bashing the company or customers. That kind of attitude spreads. If you hear it, stop it by acknowledging that it’s a challenge to be at work when it’s so nice outside, but customers rely on and appreciate agents’ help.
  • Communicate more. Don’t let any information fall through the cracks as people take time off in the summer. Send weekly updates on company, department, industry and individual progress and accomplishments. Then agents can’t fill voids with negative talk or gossip.

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