5 Mistakes to avoid when implementing a call center incentive program

Reward systems can lead to improved agent performance when implemented systematically. If you want to boost your call center agents’ productivity, your company’s incentive program must be effective in motivating them to exceed expectations. You must also carefully establish the guidelines to follow in implementing the program. Otherwise, you will just be wasting resources by giving rewards that no longer influence the service level of your call center.

When thinking of how to incentivize your top performing agents, there are some counter-intuitive measures that you need to avoid. Here are some of the most common mistakes call center managers do when rewarding their agents:


1.     Not asking for your agents’ opinions


Call center incentive systems will only lead to productive results if the rewards being given can truly boost your agents’ drive. Before implementing the new policy, inform them about your initial plans and make use of helpful feedback in finalizing your guidelines. So ask suggestions from your agents on which types of incentives they want to be included in your program. Aside from this, the preliminary survey will also help you avoid setting unrealistic goals and qualifications.


2.     Lack of overall focus


Reward systems can be designed to boost performance areas in your contact center that are showing weakness. Make sure your incentive program targets these areas properly by appropriating more attention to underperforming departments. Do you want to have more sales? Reward successful upsells. Do you want to see better contact resolution rates? Focus on customer service metrics. Instead of spreading your program across the board, it’s best to prioritize the teams that need a little push.


3.     Rewarding just the top performers


Don’t limit the number of possible winners of your incentives. It’s going to be frustrating for agents who worked really hard if they end up being empty-handed just because they landed at second or third place. Instead of incentivizing just the highest ranking agent, you can give higher incentives to those with bigger scores. Agents who may not be the best among the group, but are exceeding pre-set goals, must still be recognized for their hard work.


4.     Lack of sincerity


Rewards must never be given just for the sake of making people feel good about their achievements; It must be seen as the management’s way of recognizing the employees’ contribution to the company. When accompanied with sincere and meaningful words of appreciation, your incentives can be truly motivating. Take time to personally congratulate your agents. Awarding them in public can also double the amount of motivation they will receive. It can also influence the other members of the team.


5.     Failing to evaluate effectiveness


Just like any other company initiative, you must know whether or not your incentive program is giving you positive results. A period after implementing, make sure you study the changes in productivity that your team has manifested. There is no fixed formula in creating an incentive program. So, if you’re not achieving the desired results, make some changes in your guidelines, implement your plan, and study the results of your revised incentive program again.


Ineffective reward systems can cause call centers to waste resources, including time and money. Giving out rewards hastily will prevent you from having stronger call center productivity. Avoiding the mistakes mentioned above can help you design a better reward system that can motivate your agents to do their best.



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