Retention of telesales staff is extremely hard, especially if you operate in a town with many competing call centres all looking for the best sales staff.
This becomes even more difficult when you need to engage your agents in feedback, as not everything you say will be positive. Even so, there are ways to give your
agents negative feedback, whilst still making them feel positive about the changes they might need to make.
In this article, we’ll explore the tools and techniques we use everyday at Blue Telecoms to improve our agents and help them grow.
Conversations about improvement should always be positive
This is by far the most important step and often one that many call centres miss completely. Some telesales managers adopt a “rough” approach to almost any conversation they have
with their staff; working for the most part, yet alienating those who genuinely want to build their skills.
By framing your conversations in a completely upbeat and positive way, you’ll shift from making feedback a worrying and emotional activity to a happy and constructive one.
It’s always important to explain what you’d like to get out of a conversation first. This way, you can avoid any worry caused by feedback and also get the agents confidence that
they’ll be helped to improve in any way they can.
To do this, we tend to start with the positives first. All agents have positive things they bring to the table and it’s always better to start here first. By starting positive, you’ll
make your agent feel more confident in any improvements you may need them to work on.
Always be specific
This is a tricky task to achieve, as being specific can often come across as an accusation to your agents.
The best way to counter this, is to explain what you believe might be happening – yet leaving it open enough for the agent to have input too.
For example: “I’ve noticed your sales have been lower recently and you seem a little distracted and worried. Is there anything you’d like me to help you with?”
By using phrasing that doesn’t sound accusatory, your agent will feel more at ease with explaining the reasons why. For the most part, these issues can be solved with extra training or other minor alterations.
Whatever is required to resolve the issues, you’ve started on the right path – making your agent feel happier and involved in your process.
Help the agent discover the solution on their own
The very best floor managers, help agents discover their own weak points – before assisting them with ways to work through them.
Sometimes, this can be difficult depending on the person you’re dealing with; However, for the most part your agents will probably have a good idea of what they might need to succeed.
If your agent feels stuck, you can offer a range of ideas yourself and/or give them a little time to thing on their own.
Always agree on what happens next
The most important part of feedback isn’t the process itself, but the destination it leads to. Hopefully, that’s a better place where your agent has learned something new and their performance
has been improved. Whatever happens, it’s important not to stop the process too early as agents will often drift back into their old routine.
Keep things positive and always follow up!