Lately it feels like a precarious time to be a customer service employee. Thanks to the millennial influence, customers are turning to digital self-service tools more than ever, and Artificial Intelligence is developing to the point where chatbots and chatting humans are becoming interchangeable (sad face emoji). If there’s a pushback on automated customer service solutions from customer service agents, it’s a pretty understandable shove.
With the impact these solutions can have on customer service departments as well as the entire organization, they simply cannot be eschewed, no matter how much an organization wants to keep its agents satisfied. Yet for those looking for a solution that improves the organization while actually being welcomed by employees, it’s time to get to know performance management software.
What it’s all about
Performance management software (PMS) is a system designed to track the immense amount of data attached to the sales and customer service processes. It then analyzes this data in order to transform it into the kind of insights that can improve sales and customer service, both collectively and for every individual employee.
Here are a few reasons that this is an automated solution your frontline agents will be happy to get behind:
Your agents want: to not be blamed for failings that aren’t their fault
Winning as a team and losing as a team is a fine idea…when you’re in middle school and you took up softball just because the players go to Dairy Queen after every game. While your talented customer service employees undoubtedly want to see their departments and the organization as a whole flourish, all they can do is turn in their own stellar performance. When they’re doing so consistently, they shouldn’t have to sit through meeting after meeting about how the team is falling short. It’s a waste of time for the high-performing employees and managers alike.
How PMS helps: PMS effortlessly sifts through all that customer experience data and turns it into advanced analytics and reports right down to each individual employee. These insights give the employees themselves an up-to-date picture of their own performance while giving their supervisors and managers all the information they need to identify the root cause of a problem, to stay on top of emerging issues, and to see exactly who is pulling their weight, who isn’t, and why. Employees that don’t need extra attention or training won’t be subjected to it, while the employees who do need it can be the beneficiaries of a much more focused approach. Speaking of which…
Your agents want: coaching that actually improves their performance
No one likes to be criticized or told they could be doing better, but customer service and sales employees are uniquely positioned to profit from being made aware of their room for improvement. However, simply having their shortcomings pointed out or being told they need to shape up without any specifics attached to the message will probably only inspire an improved performance when it comes to eye-rolling.
How PMS helps: PMS has a two-fold effect on providing effective management. Firstly, goal-setting as well as development and management plans can be easily customized for each individual employee, taking into account their unique needs. Secondly, leading performance management systems will include automated coaching workflows and coaching tools that are tied to the organization’s specific key performance indicators, helping managers provide the most targeted and effective coaching possible. (Frontline agents will probably also appreciate all the coaching feedback PMS provides.)
Your agents want: to do the best possible job
Generally speaking, that is. There will always be people who are happy to slouch their way through life doing the bare minimum, but with sales and customer service being so performance-driven (and with paychecks often directly tied to performance) you won’t find many of those slackers amongst your frontline agents. So aside from the targeted coaching mentioned above, how do you go about coaxing those top performances out of your people?
How PMS helps: Performance management software is designed to engage employees and is therefore the perfect accompaniment to a performance-driven workplace. For some, simply having easy access to detailed reports on their own performance will be a motivator, but PMS rounds out its inspirational offerings by sharing best practices and encouraging collaboration and cooperation amongst agents as well as amongst departments. Leading performance management software will also recognize your employees’ achievements with gamification rewards, and with 69% of employees saying they would work harder if that harder work and effort were better recognized, this may be one of the most important factors of all.
The organization overall
It doesn’t take Artificial Intelligence to know that when your customer service and sales employees prosper, your organization prospers. Performance management software is designed to engage your employees, rewarding achievements while also quickly identifying issues and ensuring agents receive the best possible coaching that will lead to measurable (and rewardable) improvements.
About the Author
Debbie Fletcher is an enthusiastic, experienced writer who has written for a range of different magazines and news publications over the years. Graduating from City University London specialising in English Literature, Debbie’s passion for writing has since grown. She loves anything and everything technology, and exploring different cultures across the world. She’s currently looking towards starting her Masters in Comparative Literature in the next few years.