How to Engage Employees for Better Customer Service – Part 1

Jul 15, 2016

According to a recent Zendesk survey, 82% of consumers have stopped doing business with a company because of bad customer service.

But what are the reasons for poor customer service? Is it a lack of skills a good Customer Service Representative (CSR) requires, like attentiveness, patience, knowledge of the product? Maybe yes, but only to a certain extent.

We’ve found that employee motivation and engagement are the main drivers of customer service improvement. And not just that – they also boost sales and profit, and reduce attrition and turnover.

Disengaged employees cost companies $300 billion in lost productivity each year, according to a recent Gallup Poll. And the scarier fact is that less than 33% US employees are engaged in their jobs.

There is a lot you can do to improve rep motivation and engagement – all it takes is a little creativity.

Here’s one example of a recent program we launched here at Telerx to ensure motivation of agents to meet and exceed the goals of our client.

Employee Motivation Program: Snack Shack

The Snack Shack program included printing “bucks” that were branded with the name of the client and meant to look like real money.  Reps earned bucks by meeting certain metrics, which aligned to client goals. For example – a rep with a high QA score earns $20 in bucks a week, as does a rep that exceeds his or her sales goal.

Agents use these bucks to purchase from our Snack Shack, which includes everything from snacks and drinks to office supplies.  Costs for keeping the Snack Shack stocked are minimal (as little as $200 a month), and reps are able to choose their own rewards.

The program is further supported by an internal newsletter, to keep agents informed of any new client updates, monthly KPI’s, a letter from leadership, the names of reps who exceeded their goals and a fun puzzle. Agents are selected monthly, based on performance, to assist in creating the newsletter.


Just 2 months after the program launched, agent engagement and motivation were significantly improved. Though the program was voluntary, 100% of the agents enrolled. Motivation has significantly increased; agents are able to physically see their progress in the amount of bucks earned and see achievements and recognitions printed in the newsletter.  Many have commented that the program marked a definite change in the work place, and note several reasons — morale, contentment, and relationships. Business results have also increased as a result of the Snack Shack. The client programs’ monthly sales doubled, and the QA score exceeded goal by 8%.


In my next post, I’ll provide another example of agent motivation program with little to no cost, including a fun and familiar game.  (Hint: And Bingo was his name-o!)


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