calltalk-caramels-2.pngBase pay and benefits should be competitive given local market conditions and the skills of the agents. Do comparative surveys to know how your package plays in your employment basin. Where appropriate, consider pay differentials to recognize less convenient schedules and bi-lingual skills.
  1. Incentive-based compensation – This is not used by most centers. Centers paying a salary only, or salary and annual or occasional bonus to their agents were 65% of those surveyed, whereas only 28% provided agents a base salary plus incentive. This same pattern followed suit for supervisor pay, with only 18% of those surveyed saying that they pay supervisors a base pay plus incentives.
  2. Additional compensation methods – The value of compensation is not just cash, but the quality of life that the center provides and promotes. Sick leave, or vacation allowances were identified as additional forms of compensation used by those surveyed.
  3. Make supervisors retention champions, and make this part of their compensation.
  4. Leverage metrics used to determine performance pay: 1) call monitoring and evaluation scores; 2) attendance, 3) customer satisfaction ratings; 4) cost-related metrics such as average handle time.

Low Agent Motivation a Drag on Your Center? Here's How to Turn it Around!Incentive compensation Best Practices include:

  • Develop a sound, cost-basis analysis to support your proposals for a balanced incentive compensation plan. Show how, when agents are properly incentivized, agent retention increases and the costs of operation to the organization decrease.
  • Keep plans simple and well communicated.
  • Periodically re-evaluate plans for their relevance.
  • Know those things that motivate and stimulate your agents and supervisors. Let them have a say into the ways they earn and receive performance compensation.
  • Monitor performance and track success rates.

Experience also shows that non-monetary recognition and rewards, when presented sincerely and convincingly, provide psychic compensation that agents and supervisors truly appreciate.

Even during difficult economic times, fair compensation packages and balanced incentive programs can enhance agent retention and bring costs down. By following these Best Practices guidelines, you can construct compensation strategies that will benefit your center and your company.

Tip of the week: Consider cost-cutting incentive programs in which half the savings go to the agent and half go to the company. To do this properly, you must have clear descriptions of what agents need to do, accurate agent dashboards, good tracking / compensation calculation systems, and superb coaching.

CallTalk™ Caramels: Sweet Snippets from BenchmarkPortal’s Best CallTalk Episodes
This CallTalk Caramel was compiled and edited by Bruce Belfiore and Kamál Webb. It was drawn from a CallTalk episode with Chad McDaniel, entitled “Compensation Strategies: For Agents and Supervisors”. To listen to the archived episode click play below:

calltalk-caramels-2.pngCallTalk is a monthly internet radio program featuring innovative managers and thought leaders in the customer contact field, interviewed by BenchmarkPortal CEO, Bruce Belfiore. “Caramels” distills key points from these interviews into practical, bite-sized nuggets to inform and assist you as a contact center professional.

Topics: Compensation Strategies, CallTalk Caramels, Contact Center Articles