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The Top 6 Ways To Improve Motivation Levels In A Call Centre

June 26, 2019 at 12:14 PM

Staff motivation levels are an important factor in every business, but even more so in a client or prospect facing environment such as a call centre. If your call centre agents are motivated, you can expect them to remain an employee for a longer period of time, reducing staff turnover. This not only saves you a lot of resources for recruiting, but also for training.

With longer periods of employment, agents will also become more skilled in their role. This, together with a more motivated attitude will increase each agent’s performance, and if your agent’s are performing well, you likely are experiencing increased customer satisfaction and loyalty. This will lead to higher profitability and growth.

While the benefits of having motivated agents are massive, not many centres are able to motivate agents effectively, and they thus rarely see these results. In this blog, post we discuss how to improve call centre motivation levels and give you easy steps to start off with.

How to improve call centre motivation levels

1. Set performance expectations with your agents

Be clear on what is require from the agents on a day to day or hourly basis. Ensure that these expectations are reasonable, achievable and data-driven. Remember that data tells a story, so don’t expect the same level of performance throughout the month. Expectations should be aligned with peak and off-peak periods.

Start with: looking at your current performance data. This data should inform your agent’s targets. 

2. Enable your agents to perform with the right technology

Provide them with the tools they need to achieve the expected results and to monitor their performance against the targets in a live environment. There are many Collections & Recoveries Solutions out there. 

Start with: doing research into what tools are available for call centres. Don’t just assume you currently have the best or only tools– find the perfect tools for your centre!

3. Provide agents with information on their customers

Provide your agents with the information they need to get results. A computer can determine age and gender from an ID number much quicker than your agent can, and with access to analytical models, you’re able to predict the behaviour of the customer your agent is about to call. The best thing you can do is to share this information with the agent. It will only improve confidence and performance.

Strive to provide this information by way of visualisation, as visualisation (pictures and colours) enhances memory function. According to research by Christopher Taibbi, a specialist in gifted education, one of the strongest ways to help material enter the brain is through visualisation that targets and enforces the occipital lobe as the central point of processing the information. 

Start with: sharing basic information with your agents, like what the centres overall targets are and how they are measuring up against it as a team.

4. Create a positive environment

Utilise the colour psychology wheel in the workplace to brighten up the environment or to create a high-energy space. Use these colours in the physical environment and in the tools your agents use.

Introduce plants into the environment to increase oxygen and transforming a “dead” environment into a living and breathing environment.

We sometimes forget to provide stimulating areas during break times: comfortable seating, healthy food and lots of water within a naturally lit area, will leave your agents energised to get back to work after lunch.

Start with: introducing colours into the work environment.

5. Introduce gamification

The majority of call centre agents are millennials and for that reason we need to introduce generation specific tools and stimulators.

Gamification is a known motivator for millennials, and introducing it in your call centre could improve energy levels.

Start with: introduce friendly competition for the top performer of the month in the centre.

6. Understand and cater to the millennial

The millennials core values consist of traits such as achievement-driven, extremely fun, highly competitive, self-confident and very tolerant.

It’s time for companies to understand the millennial and change to accommodate their traits. If we don’t, we will continue to fight a losing battle against our own agents.

Start with: implementing the changes described in this list in order to motivate the millennials to be a great asset to your workforce.

Our experience has shown that a great motivator in a call centre is to give your agents a virtual assistant, like Agent X. Agent X brings together Artificial Intelligence, machine learning, gamification and human behavioral science to not only guide and support agents during calls, but to motivate and inspire high performance via an engaging, dynamic and intuitive interface.

Increase your collection and recovery yields

Perry de Jager
Perry de Jager
Perry has been involved in Collections and Recoveries for the past 12 years, spending time in different market segments ranging from law firms to investment companies. At Principa, Perry has worked on extended projects within both South Africa and the Middle East with some of the largest financial organisation, providing on-site consulting within the collections and recoveries space covering strategy, process, people and technology.

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The 7 types of credit risk in SME lending

  It is common knowledge in the industry that the credit risk assessment of a consumer applying for credit is far less complex than that of a business that is applying for credit. Why is this the case? Simply put, consumers are usually very similar in their requirements and risks (homogenous) whilst businesses have far more varying risk elements (heterogenous). In this blog we will look at all the different risk elements within a business (here SME) credit application. These are: Risk of proprietors Risk of business Reason for loan Financial ratios Size of loan Risk industry Risk of region Before we delve into this list, it is worth noting that all of these factors need to be deployable as assessment tools within your originations system so it is key that you ensure your system can manage them. If you are on the look out for a loans origination system, then look no further than Principa’s AppSmart. If you are looking for a decision engine to manage your scorecards, policy rules and terms of business then take a look at our DecisionSmart business rules engine. AppSmart and DecisionSmart are part of Principa’s FinSmart Universe allowing for effective credit management across the customer life-cycle.  The different risk elements within a business credit application 1) Risk of proprietors For smaller organisations the risk of the business is inextricably linked to the financial well-being of the proprietors. How small is small? The rule of thumb is companies with up to two to three proprietors should have their proprietors assessed for risk too. This fits in with the SME segment. What data should be looked at? Generally in countries with mature credit bureaux, credit data is looked at including the score (there is normally a score cut-off) and then negative information such as the existence of judgements or defaults; these are typically used within policy rules. Those businesses with proprietors with excessive numbers of “negatives” may be disqualified from the loan application. Some credit bureaux offer a score of an individual based on the performance of all the businesses with which they are associated. This can also be useful in the credit risk assessment process. Another innovation being adopted internationally is the use of psychometrics in credit evaluation of the proprietors. To find out more about adopting credit scoring, read our blog on how to adopt credit scoring.   2) Risk of business The risk of the business should be managed through both scores and policy rules. Lenders will look at information such as the age of company, the experience of directors and the size of company etc. within a score. Alternatively, many lenders utilise the business score offered by credit bureaux. These scores are typically not as strong as consumer scores as the underlying data is limited and sometimes problematic. For example, large successful organisations may have judgements registered against their name which, unlike for consumers, is not necessarily a direct indication of the inability to service debt.   3) Reason for loan The reason for a loan is used more widely in business lending as opposed to unsecured consumer lending. Venture capital, working capital, invoice discounting and bridging finance are just some of many types of loan/facilities available and lenders need to equip themselves with the ability to manage each of these customer types whether it is within originations or collections. Prudent lenders venturing into the SME space for the first time often focus on one or two of these loan types and then expand later – as the operational implication for each type of loan is complex. 4) Financial ratios Financial ratios are core to commercial credit risk assessment. The main challenge here is to ensure that reliable financials are available from the customer. Small businesses may not be audited and thus the financials may be less trustworthy.   Financial ratios can be divided into four categories: Profitability Leverage Coverage Liquidity Profitability can be further divided into margin ratios and return ratios. Lenders are frequently interested in gross profit margins; this is normally explicit on the income statement. The EBIDTA margin and operating profit margins are also used as well as return ratios such as return on assets, return on equity and risk-adjusted-returns. Leverage ratios are useful to lenders as they reflect the portion of the business that is financed by debt. Lower leverage ratios indicate stability. Leverage ratios assessed often incorporate debt-to-asset, debt-to-equity and asset-to-equity. Coverage ratios indicate the coverage that income or assets provide for the servicing of debt or interest expenses. The higher the coverage ratio the better it is for the lender. Coverage ratios are worked out considering the loan/facility that is being applied for. Finally, liquidity ratios indicate the ability for a company to convert its assets into cash. There are a variety of ratios used here. The current ratio is simply the ratio of assets to liabilities. The quick ratio is the ability for the business to pay its current debts off with readily available assets. The higher the liquidity ratios the better. Ratios are used both within credit scorecards as well as within policy rules. You can read more about these ratios here. 5) Size of loan When assessing credit risk for a consumer, the risk of the consumer does not normally change with the change of loan amount or facility (subject to the consumer passing affordability criteria). With business loans, loan amounts can range quite dramatically, and the risk of the applicant is normally tied to the loan amount requested. 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In the graph below the performance of an industry is tracked for two years and then projected over the next 6 months; this is then compared to the country’s GDP. As the industry appears to track above the projected GDP, a positive outlook is given to this applicant and this may affect them favourably in the credit application.                   7) Risk of Region   The last area of assessment is risk of region. Of the seven, this one is used the least. Here businesses,  either on book or on the bureau, are assessed against their geo-code. Each geo-code is clustered, and the projected outlook is given as positive, static or negative. As with industry this can be used within the assessment process as a policy rule or within a scorecard.   Bringing the seven risk categories together in a risk assessment These seven risk assessment categories are all important in the risk assessment process. How you bring it all together is critical. If you would like to discuss your SME evaluation challenges or find out more about what we offer in credit management software (like AppSmart and DecisionSmart), get in touch with us here.

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