Q

Call center salary: How to reward agents based on a performance appraisal

Learn Donna Fluss's guidelines for call center salary increases based on agent performance in this expert tip.

What are the parameters for increasing the salary of a call center agent based on a performance appraisal? Should an agent who has more experience in the same line get more of an increase, or should call center salary be based purely on agent performance?

Call center salary increase guidelines and parameters should be administered in accordance with policies established by your Human Resources department.

That being said, call center salary increases should be based on agent performance and achievement. It should be evaluated using a fact-based balanced scorecard that measures agent performance against established key performance indicators. Typically, this should include agent productivity scores, quality scores, customer satisfaction survey scores (if applicable and available), sales and revenue metrics (if applicable), reliability factors (attendance and punctuality), and work habits (cooperation, attitude, interpersonal skills, etc.). Any additional tasks that the agent performs, such as participation in call center initiatives, conducting up-training sessions, assisting as a subject matter expert, etc., should also be considered.

Here's another way to look at it – if you were to reward agents based solely on experience or longevity, it would be very difficult to attract new talent. Why would an agent work for an organization where performance is based on factors beyond his or her control? Additionally, this practice encourages mediocrity, as there is minimal incentive or recognition for outstanding behavior.

Performance management applications have recently started to be used in call centers to help managers accurately capture and measure agent performance data and deliver to departmental and enterprise goals. At a strategic level, contact center performance management provides a framework for aligning the goals of the contact center with those of the corporation. On a tactical level, call center performance management applications allow enterprises to create balanced scorecards for complementary KPIs that evaluate all aspects of an agent's or department's performance. The KPIs are weighted to take into account their relative importance in achieving the overall goal. Additionally, some call center performance managment applications provide an automated performance appraisal module. Call center performance managment applications provide timely (in some cases, real-time) statistics via dashboards and allow agents to self-manage and self-monitor their performance on a daily basis. Many also include an automated performance appraisal module that can be integrated with a company's human resources system. For a more comprehensive and in-depth information on all aspects of call center performance managment, please view DMG Consulting's detailed Contact Center Performance Management Market Report*.
* Editor's note: SearchCRM.com members can buy the report for a $200 discount.

This was first published in April 2007
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