The New Normal: Giving Recognition to Your Contact Centre Agents – Fortius Telecom
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“If you wonder what getting and keeping the right employees has to do with getting and keeping the right customers, the answer is everything.” – Frederick Reichheld, American author, speaker, and business strategist.

When it comes to excelling in customer support, your contact centre agents play a pivotal role. They are all the more instrumental in a crisis like we’re facing today—when being available to your customers matters more than ever. Though businesses tend to focus on retention at this stage, employee motivation is vital to keep your organisation afloat amid the crisis.

In fact, there couldn’t be a better time to appreciate your front-line team that keeps customer experience at the top levels. In such times of crisis, customers want brands to hear them out, understand their needs, and resolve their concerns. They can clearly establish the difference between genuine concern and empathy from a brand and marketing fluff or ‘brand speak’. Your agents are the ones who can step in and ensure you stay on the right side—in the customer’s good books.

But working from home makes their job harder. Not only do they have to match high expectations of apprehensive buyers in a pandemic, but they have to do so remotely—with its own set of challenges. Therefore, it becomes imperative for you to go the extra mile with measures to boost their motivation levels.

It’s well-known that your employees will thrive on appreciation and recognition for their hard work. But you need to think beyond the conventional incentives and rewards when it comes to appreciating their efforts and boosting morale.

So what can you do? It’s important to come up with better tools and strategies. Here are some initiatives that can elevate call centre agent motivation in the new normal.

Appreciate Work Well Done

The impact of the coronavirus pandemic on consumer expectations is unprecedented. Businesses need to align their customer experience accordingly. With in-person interactions becoming less frequent, agent workloads have increased even as they work from home. Moreover, they have to work even harder to convince the stressed callers that they have the right solutions. They need to be empathic enough to understand the concerns and handhold them through the resolution.

When agents go the extra mile, businesses should also do their bit by giving them the recognition they deserve. If your profits are running low and you cannot incentivise them with money, consider giving tokens or rewards to the top performers. Gamification tools can go a long way in fostering a positive mindset. Apart from rewarding employees who are doing well, provide additional support to others so they can also improve their productivity.

Empower Them with The Right CX Tools

While words and incentives are great for motivating agents, they aren’t a substitute for tools that can empower them for delivering better performance. Since most businesses have embraced the remote working model in the new normal, it makes sense to keep a track of the latest tools and platforms that make working from home simple and hassle-free.

As a silver lining, the pandemic has encouraged businesses that weren’t tech-savvy originally to take the leap of faith. There are new cloud communication tools and platforms that you can embrace for enhancing collaboration between remote teams. These tools also help them deliver better service and curate long-term relationships. Investing in remote infrastructure is a subtle way to show that you value your team and want to do more for them.

Enhance Workforce Engagement

According to Gallup’s meta-analysis, organisations that had the highest levels of employee engagement showed 21% higher profitability levels and also scored 17% higher on productivity. It comes as no surprise that companies are showing an increased interest in workforce engagement management tools.

The core objective of ramping up worker engagement is to help your team be productive amid the social isolation and remote distractions. For example, you can keep agents motivated with traditional engagements such as daily stand-ups and weekly check-ins to stay in touch. Take this opportunity to thank them for keeping things going even through the crisis.

Ramp Up Training and Support Systems for The Team

Recognising the contribution of your contact centre agents is also about helping them keep their performance up. The best way to do this is by bolstering their training and support systems to match the current and upcoming challenges effectively. The benefit of such an initiative extends beyond boosting the morale of your team. Rather, it can also drive the long-term growth of the business.

Moreover, the challenges your customers are facing amid the pandemic are quite unique. Therefore, the support you provide has to be equally extraordinary. It is important to be empathetic towards the agents so that they can do the same for customers. You need to ensure that empathy is an element of your current training programs.

Also, invest in support systems that are flexible enough to adapt to the evolving expectations of the customers.

Scale-Up with Data Integration

Showing how much you value your staff is all about making their job less challenging and reducing their workloads. You can do so by investing in innovative cloud contact centre software. You need to look for a solution capable of integrating customer data from disparate sources, analysing it, and serving useful insights that agents can use for elevating the level of customer experience for your call centre.

Such solutions cut down the time and effort required for repetitive exchanges of personal information and transaction details. In addition, agents can get straight down to resolving the query with proper knowledge of customer expectations and previous interactions.

The calls would be shorter, which benefits the customers as well as agents. Moreover, these software solutions reduce the waiting times and delays that would increase the level of frustration for callers.

The Takeaway

Even though the pandemic has brought an unprecedented crisis for businesses, it has also opened the opportunity to realise the potential of their people. At present, it is vital to appreciate those who deliver value and productivity for your business—even as they work remotely. Your contact centre agents deserve it the most.

The small effort on your part not only motivates them but also enhances their performance and loyalty towards your firm. Apart from giving genuine appreciation to the employees, investing in cloud communication solutions is a smart measure to empower them as well as your business.

At Servetel, we help businesses looking to empower their teams to provide top-notch customer experiences. Our contact centre software is tailored to deliver flawless services regardless of the challenges of the pandemic. It enables agents to stay connected and give their best even when they work from home.

“You’ll never have a product or price advantage again. They can be too easily duplicated. But a strong customer service culture cannot be copied.” – Jerry Fritz, speaker and trainer

According to Microsoft’s State of Global Customer Service statistics, 58% of customers believe that customer service affects their choice of a brand. Meanwhile, 61% of customers do not prefer to transact with a business after an unsatisfactory service experience.

Businesses need to go the extra mile to create a wonderful customer service experience that has the potential to retain customers for the long haul. Everything boils down to the way your representatives interact with the customers and how they make them feel. Therefore, call centre agents play a crucial role in this context.

Cloud telephony provides modern organisations access to a host of call centre management solutions that they can leverage to go above and beyond with customer support.

Call barging is one such feature that adds to the quality of these interactions. Your agents and managers can deliver excellent experiences to callers with the use of this simple cloud telephony feature. 

Before diving deep into the application of call barging and how it can potentially empower your business, it is imperative to learn what the tool is all about.

What is call barging? 

Call barging allows another team member or a manager to intercede during an ongoing conversation and interact with the caller. While barging in on a call may sound intrusive to the rep and the manager, it can go a long way in elevating the customer experience and training support agents.

Call whisper and call monitoring are also cloud telephony features. Call whisper allows a manager to listen-in on an active call and whisper advice to the agents. The customer, on the other hand, is not aware of the manager’s presence. 

Call monitoring lets a manager only listen in on a live call. Neither the agent nor the caller are aware of the same.

Call barging is helpful for managers in more than one way, especially when it comes to managing remote sales teams that need constant supervision and support.

Recommended Read: Call whispering guide

What are the benefits of call barging feature? 

Customers have high expectations from company representatives. They expect quality service and swift resolutions. Whether they’re calling for query resolution or to register a complaint, they want your agents to understand their concerns and resolve them at earliest. Availability and accessibility are vital, but your agents should ensure that they offer appropriate solutions as well.

While trained agents will probably have answers to all the questions, new ones often struggle. They need a manager’s help, which is possible only if the latter is around. This is where call barging comes into the picture.  

Let us explain the benefits that this tool offers.

(1) Constant support for reps 

It’s a given that new support agents may not always be able to live upto the customers’ expectations. In fact, even seasoned ones can slip when faced with a tricky issue. With call barging, they have a safety net that comes to rescue in such circumstances. 

Managers can be right there to take over the conversation and offer an actionable solution to even the most challenging issues. New recruits can also get a step ahead with training by listening in on real-time conversations. Agents, on the other hand, feel more confident when they have a senior around.

(2) Technical aid at hand

With call barging, it is not just the managers who can join in and take over challenging sales and support calls. At times, prospects and customers bring up complex, technical queries that your sales reps cannot handle on their own. It becomes harder when a deal hinges on their ability to clarify such questions. 

In such scenarios, the representative can have a technical contact barging in to resolve the concern. It can help them achieve first call resolution, close the deal and convert the prospect. 

(3) Peer support

Another benefit of call barging feature comes in the form of peer support for the members of the sales team. Each rep brings their unique experiences, skills, and expertise that can be of value in specific situations. 

By letting all the agents’ barge in on calls, you can create a collaborative environment where everyone is willing to help each other. Peer support will boost the confidence of your team members. It acts as a cohesive force that joins them all into a single unit, even when they work remotely.

(4) Happy prospects and customers

For any business, prospects and customers matter the most because they keep your sales soaring and the organisation running. Making them feel special is the key to conversions and retention. 

When it comes to giving them the treatment they deserve, call barging can play a significant role. Your agents can have a senior, such as a top executive or manager, barging in on the call and interacting with the prospects and customers. This will make the callers feel valued, and they will stay with your business in the long run.

(5) Agent training and monitoring

Call barging can be of great value from the agent training perspective. It empowers your managers with live call monitoring so that they can assess the real-time performance of each agent. 

It also enables them to identify gaps in customer support and address them with proper training and development initiatives. Even as they train agents in real-time, managers can resolve issues on the spot and ensure top-notch experiences for the callers.

When should managers use call barging?

Now that you know the benefits of call barging, you should learn when to use this feature to your advantage. Call barging is a powerful tool, however one should not barge  in  on every call. Rather, managers should use it judiciously. Here are the scenarios wherein call barging can be used for maximum benefit:

  • An agent is truly stumped by a query, probably because it is too technical or complex, and needs the guidance of a seasoned team member
  • A rep is still in the training phase and does not have enough information or experience to handle all types of questions or angry customers
  • A caller is upset and wants to talk to the manager

On the other hand, you must not use call barging if it is likely to have a negative impact on your customers or doesn’t add value to the call. You have to use discretion because the objective of the feature is to help agents rather than downsize their confidence. 


Training and managing remote teams is easier said than done, but it is something that all businesses must do to gain maximum traction. Features like call barging can substantially help you in your efforts to enhance the efficiency and confidence of new and existing representatives.

It is vital to pick the right service provider who shall enable you get the most out of call barging. Fortiius provides high-end cloud telephony solutions that offer a complete range of features, including call barging. Avail this solution right away and take your customer service to the next level.

Considering seven out of ten people own a smartphone, it is important that technology is easy-to-use and non-intimidating. If businesses want to connect with the growing audience, they need to keep looking for ways to make marketing more mobile-friendly—bulk SMS in one such way!

SMS Marketing As a Crucial Part of Mobile Marketing

SMS marketing involves small portions of information aimed directly at your target audience. With a phenomenal opening rate of 98% within 3 minutes, the information pops up straight on your customer’s mobile screen. No other marketing tool offers such efficiency rates, making it the most sought after tool by the marketers. As a savvy digital marketer, you cannot neglect SMS marketing.

How Does SMS Work?

SMS stands for short message service—’short’ refers to the maximum number of characters allowed in a text message: 160 characters. But how do SMSes actually reach mobile screens?

It is obvious that our cell phones are receiving and sending information even when we are not using it to attend calls. It is constantly in touch with the phone towers via a pathway known as a control channel.

Your cell phone and towers exchange data packets and also provide a pathway for SMS communication.

As soon as you send a text message, it travels from the SMS centre to the tower and finally to your customers’ mobile phone. Similarly, when you get an SMS, it is first received at the tower and then to the assigned destination, which is your phone.

The actual data format for the message includes things like the length of the message, location, timestamp, destination phone number and the format, etc.

One of the most prominent advantages of bulk SMS is their reachability and accessibility across the globe—with minimal effort! Especially in these uncertain times, when customers have no idea what their favourite brands are upto, SMS does the job.

For example: Stay safe, stay indoors! Relax at home and order your favourite The Body Shop products. Get 20% off on any purchase + Free home delivery. Call on 0930XXXXXX.

This SMS depicts that the brand is still open and operating from their online platform and discounts are available. Since 90% of people read text messages within 3 seconds of receiving it, SMSes increase customer engagement while ensuring business continuity by keeping everyone in the loop.

Some Features Offered by Bulk SMS Solution:

1) Send Reminders

Today’s customers are always on the move. They need fast and reliable information from businesses they interact with. Sending quick reminders can help improve their perception of your organisation.

2) SMS Marketing

Market new products and services using SMSes and increase traffic on your online platforms. Effective SMS marketing strategies can also boost sales.

3) Keep Customers Updated

Keep your loyal customers updated with the latest advancements and make them feel important.

4) SMS Alerts and Notifications

Send alerts about any issue that the customer should be aware of. For example, if you belong to the financial sector industry, you must convey any suspicious activity on a customer’s account via SMS and calls to keep them informed.

Service providers all around the globe offer bulk SMS services with a myriad of features. We have already looked at the advantages of bulk SMS, let’s understand how they add value at an organisational level.

Bulk SMS and Customer Relationships

Bulk SMS comes with an interesting feature of ‘opt-ins’. Opt-ins give permission to a particular brand to send promotional messages to customers.

Customers appreciate this option because it is a non-intrusive way of promoting your brand. Invasive messages without your customer’s consent will leave a bad impression of your organisation. Opt-ins and opt-outs are great ways to avoid disruptive texting.

Another aspect of Bulk SMS that strengthens your customer relationships is personalisation. Your messages can be personalised to the recipient. They can even be personalised based on demographics. To achieve this level of personalisation is a costly affair with any other marketing tool. With bulk SMS however, it can be done cost-effectively.

Targeted Approach

With so much going around in the digital marketing space, target marketing is on its peak. These are the times where marketers cannot send out promotional messages into the ether in the hope that it reaches the target audience.

As we already talked about how bulk SMS is permission-based, anyone who receives the message will:

  1. already have a relationship with your organisation
  2. have agreed to receive promotional messages

These two facts depict that these targets are already customers and can be converted into hot leads with the help of smart analytics. Marketers can leverage bulk SMS service by targeting it to an extent of customer’s behaviour and preferences.

Opening Rate

Compared to an average opening rate of 20% in case of emails, bulk SMS service serves as the perfect solution for sending vital information across.

Additionally, the speed with which bulk SMSes are delivered to the recipient is splendid. Bulk SMSes to larger audiences take only a few minutes to deliver.

Customer Retention

Believe it or not, but bulk SMS play a very subtle yet imperative role in bringing back those ‘almost lost’ customers. Messages like “your favourite product is waiting to get delivered at your doorstep, visit your cart to buy now!” aid customer retention.

Low Cost and Higher ROI

Any type of marketing—newspapers, TV ads or print—is cost-prohibitive for small and medium-sized businesses. Bulk SMSes, however, have zero set-up and installation costs. They can be implemented with absolutely no hardware saving your running costs as well.

How else can you connect with thousands of customers in a matter of a few minutes without burning a hole in your pocket? With this cost-effectiveness and high rate of return, bulk SMS are the most effective modern marketing tool for SMEs.

Allows for Easy Integrations

The cloud provides organisations with the opportunity to integrate their SMS strategy into their communications and CRM systems. This gives marketers the time to focus on designing the right type of communication experience as a whole. Cloud telephony integrations will also provide you with SMS analytics like smart URL features, demographic details and improve your customer experience.

Some More Uses of Bulk SMSes:

→ Effortless communication

→ Easy-to-use and understand

→ Flexibility and scalability

→ Customisation of messages and user ID

→ High conversion rate

Start Texting Your Customers Today

In today’s digital landscape when consumers are highly active on their screens, SMSes have become important to search for vital information like your account balance or order status. Where other, more complex and Internet reliant solutions fail, SMSes excel.

Most importantly, every generation of customers is familiar with SMSes and their usage. This improves the reach of your message manifolds.

Bulk SMS is an ideal way to reach a niche audience who is interested in knowing about the latest updates of your business. It’s a great pull marketing technique to keep customers coming back for more information and engagement.

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