Performance Management and Agent Reviews

Agent reviews should be a mandatory part of your contact center regimen. Your performance management results depend in part on knowing you have a capable, motivated team of agents working on behalf of your business and your customers.

But what is the best way to handle these essential but sometimes challenging assignments? Most contact centers rely on one of two options: a company-wide review in which every agent receives their feedback at the same time (a focal review), or individual annual review sessions, dated from the day that each agent joined the company. 

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Of course, with new hires you probably won’t wait a full year before providing review feedback. But once any probation period has passed, the method of using annual written or verbal reviews has several advantages, starting with the obvious – it’s a logical approach that also makes it easier for managers to prepare, as they may only have 1-2 reviews in a week, as opposed to a focal approach, where the entire team is reviewed at the same time.

This is also a reliable strategy if the crux of your review is a measurement of agent performance against the contact center customer service criteria, rather than against the performance of other agents. 

However, scheduling often proves more difficult with this method – nobody really enjoys agent reviews, so managers sometimes procrastinate, resulting in delays or sometimes even neglecting to do them at all. Plus, if performance reviews reveal a flaw in a company process that needs to be changed, doing so may be harder to implement throughout the entire contact center. 

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The advantage of a focal review is getting all the reviews out of the way quickly. This always makes a difficult task more palatable. And because you’ll have performance review data on all of your agents at the same time, it’s easier to compare and contrast their performances, and provide updated guidance on new company policies to the entire team. On the down site, focal reviews take longer to prepare, especially at larger contact centers.

Whichever option you choose, the most important thing is to make sure the reviews get done. When management neglects the review aspect of performance management, it makes it easier for agents to neglect the responsibilities of their position. 

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