Incept employs a process that we have yet to see replicated in any other organization and believe it to be one of the most significant differentiators in why our business is successful. Below you will find a description of exactly why this performance management process works so much more effectively than others.
ALIGNMENT OF AGENT OBJECTIVES TO CLIENT STANDARDS
We believe this is one of the most critical responsibilities of a contact center leadership team, and weigh our executives’ success description goals accordingly. Collectively, the most points at risk across the entire company’s success description are based on “Achieve client-defined goals on a monthly basis”. This can be extremely challenging because each client has different objectives, and most of them have several. Some require either volume or sales, AND a sales per hour goal to be considered successful. Other clients require volume and quality. Others require volume, quality, and response time to all requests within xx hours.
As a leadership team, in the early stages of any client engagement, we ask a client to detail (as specifically as possible) what it takes for us to WOW them in our relationship. We immediately translate that message back to our team and assign their success to reaching that threshold. This requires a degree of transparency and education at all levels of the organization that we have seen to be very rare for our industry. This also helps support why our CME bonuses are so directly tied to our compensation as a company. We believe direct alignment from our Conversational Marketing Experts (CMEs) through our clients’ goals is necessary to reduce loss of quality or poor communication in the project development and improvement phases.
METHODS OF MEASUREMENT
Our performance management structure has been intentionally designed to have a formal structure that provides the guidelines to have consistency across all managers/department yet maintain the flexibility necessary to adjust to accommodate each individual client/role.
We believe that the participant seeking coaching is a key contributor to any behavioral change. This drives our success description focus on having each employee accept accountability for his or her own performance. In addition to our standard performance management methodology, Incept also subscribes to and faithfully develops our CMEs with the “Positive Coach Approach” copyrighted by McKee Consulting. This is a process where each CME is able to take time off of the phones and away from their desk to monitor their own phone calls with their direct supervisor and then develop a collaborative plan for improvement. This method is proven to develop up to 20% higher results and has significant impact on CME morale and confidence. Each supervisor at Incept is responsible for completing a predetermined amount of Positive Coach Approach sessions each week, in addition to desk-side coaching, row coaching, and live call monitoring.
GOAL SETTING AND REMEDIAL TRAINING
By creating clear goals for each project and conspicuously posting up-to-date results in the contact center, we create a standard bar for all CMEs to strive to attain. As in all organizations, CMEs will go through periods when they struggle to achieve the defined goal or when market conditions make it difficult for the team to be successful. We believe it is critical to allow individuals to set their own goals within the context of helping their team win to personalize their development based on their current position. This process largely occurs during the PCA sessions when a CME identifies behaviors they would like to change, and then set a SMART goal they would like to achieve within the next week by implementing that change. This teaches the critical skill of self-improvement, which leads to a more engaged and constantly improving workforce.
Incept uses a combination of methods to ensure balanced scorecards in our work. In some cases, calls are calibrated with the client on a weekly basis. In other cases, a third-party verification/quality control firm has been engaged to validate performance. Incept is flexible regarding the implementation of procedures based on our clients’ end goals.
Organizationally, we have adopted the premise that we need to consistently drive improvement through all departments at all times. Simply put, goals are no longer static. Clients expect improved results, and, in some cases, decreased cost over time. This premise is built into progressive success descriptions by department by consistently re-assessing our performance and expecting each department to get better at their core metrics. To summarize, at Incept, to stay the same is to fail.