Maybe you have goals, maybe you don’t – either way, check out these steps to make sure you’re establishing useful and specific goals.
In order to achieve higher results, whether in business, personal life, or elsewhere, it is important to set goals. How can one expect improvement without knowing what to aim for?
Whether big or small, short term or long term, there should always be goals to achieve. Successful leaders work with their team to set goals and ensure continued progress by establishing accountability.
When setting your goals, there are important steps to follow:
- Determine goals based on business objectives
- Set specific goals
- Develop a timeline for accomplishing each goal
- Communicate goals to each team member
- Create accountability through regular monitoring and employee feedback
- Practice continuous improvement
Customer Service Representatives are a vital part of the business and help you achieve your goals as a whole. They are the first person new customers will speak to and leave a lasting impression on your business.
Determining Your Goals
The first step in setting goals is to analyze your current standings; once you have an understanding of where you are you can then begin thinking of where you want to go. Utilizing the tools CallSource provides helps identify your current standings in the following categories:
After you establish your current standing baseline, you need to determine your desired goals. Your office’s areas for improvement may be evident, or some assistance may be needed. When analyzing reports within CallSource or whatever call tracking software you use, your areas for improvement or “red flags” should become apparent.
Focus on specific areas, rather than all areas simultaneously. Within certain areas, you may choose to focus on improving only specific metrics. Focusing on improving the conversion rate, not the number of appointments set, is one example.
The number of areas – and specific goals – chosen should be manageable for your business given the exact circumstances, staffing, and market variables. You may find some areas require immediate action or there is a logical progressive order. Over time you can refocus your attention to other goals. Creating goals is an essential step to improved performance and business outcomes.
The goals you set should reflect the overall business objectives. When creating your goals consider the following questions:
- What do I want to accomplish?
- Why is this important?
- Who is involved?
- How will this be accomplished?
- What obstacles are there to achieving my goal?
Set Specific Goals
It is important that the goals you set are specific. For example, to increase your conversion rate, it is not enough to say your goal is to “increase conversion;” set a specific conversion goal such as increase the conversion from 45% to 60%. If you do not set specific goals (SMART GOALS- Specific, Measurables, Assignable, Realistic, Time-Related), you create ambiguity and leave the result open to interpretation. Creating a culture of accountability is not possible in an ambiguous climate.
Well-defined goals establish clear expectations. Anyone on your team, including new employees, will have a clear understanding of what is expected of them.
Once you determine your goals, it is crucial to communicate these goals to each member of your team. Consistently sharing the team’s actual numbers compared to their goals reinforces the importance of meeting the goal. It also allows you and the team to monitor individual and team progress and identify what steps need to be taken to reach the goal.
Establish an Improvement Timeline
It is essential to assign a reasonable deadline for meeting your goals once they have been determined. Without an end date, it is difficult to enforce that the goal will be met. This also creates ambiguity for your team.
For example, if your office is currently converting 60% of prospects to appointments, but you would like to improve the conversion rate to 85%, this cannot be achieved in a one month period. Both short term and long term goals need to be implemented in this example. Increase the conversion in small increments each month. Perhaps try improving by 5% monthly, until you reach your goal of an 85% conversion rate within five months.
While it is important to share the long-term goal(s) with your call handlers, it is vital to then break down the plan of attack to reach this overall goal by using short-term goals. By asking your team to concentrate on short-term goals while advancing to the end goal, it makes the effort seem achievable. Each step should be celebrated.
Asking your team to improve their conversion rates by 25% and not offer additional information, may make the goal feel unobtainable and therefore lower the morale. This will result in a counter effect.
Improvement steps with a specified completion date create accountability and ensure goals remain the focus of your team – not get lost in the day-to-day shuffle.
Set Steps to Achieve Goals
Once your improvement timeline is complete, set the steps of how your team will achieve each of these goals. These steps might include having call takers take certain webinar courses, reviewing their recorded calls and conversion rates, and internal training.
The steps you create should correspond to a specific action plan and be given to call handlers to keep handy. This way, they will know what steps to achieve according to your schedule. There will be no surprises when the deadlines approach and they will know with clarity what steps need to be taken.
With every mini goal, there should be some training and feedback for the call handlers to go along with meeting these goals. Whoever supervises the Customer Service Representatives should ultimately be responsible for ensuring their success.
Stay tuned for part 2 of how to properly establish goals – subscribe to our blog now to be notified as soon as the next post goes up!