The short answer to this question: EDUCATION!
This is one of those situations where CMEs don’t know what they don’t know. It’s YOUR job to educate your employees on the goals of a given client. You can’t simply communicate the goal alone, though; you have to make sure they understand why it’s critical to hit those goals. What happens if we consistently accomplish or surpass those goals? What happens if we don’t accomplish those goals? If you know the background behind the goal and why the client has set it educate the CME on that as well.
As a manager, there are a few things you must do to create a culture wherein your Conversational Marketing™ Experts (CMEs) are as concerned about the business as they are about just having a job and a regular paycheck:
- You create the connection between that job or that regular paycheck and the client.
- You educate your CMEs on the mission statement of the company and how their individual performances tie into that mission.
- You frequently update the CMEs on their own performance, as well as the overall performance of the client.
- You set clear expectations of what a win looks like. In our case, a win only happens if we accomplish the internal goal and the client accomplishes theirs too. The absence of either of them equals a loss.
- As part of your education plan, create visuals in your contact center. For example, blood center X has a goal this month of 5000 units of blood. You should create a giant blood drop, hang it on the wall, and then have the manager update that each day by coloring in the portion of the blood drop that was represented by yesterday’s collections. This keeps the goal front and center at all times. It does not overshadow the CME’s internal goal of X appointments per hour, because they have to set appointments if they want to do their part to help the client accomplish their goal.
One of the great byproducts of exceptional client and internal goal communication is helpful suggestions and ideas from your CMEs. Who knows the donor better than the people that are having conversations with them every day?! When you are doing your job correctly – educating your CMEs on client goals and how the internal goals feed that client goal – you will begin receiving frequent suggestions from your CMEs as to how they could accomplish that goal easier or faster. They will present alternatives and fresh ideas. They will engage and be part of the solution rather than a disengaged employee that only comes for the paycheck.
Celebrating the wins strengthens the education! Celebrating the wins also makes communicating the losses easier too. Just like the above, delivery and education are the keys here too. When you celebrate the win, make sure to follow through with the following:
- Explain specifically what was different that drove that win.
- Talk about how that win will be duplicated again this month and what changes will be necessary to bring home another win.
- If you have to talk about a loss, explain in detail what caused the loss, how it can be prevented next time, and specifically what we will be doing this month to ensure a win.
- Communicate about specific actions that your CMEs can take this month to ensure our win.
- Have your coaches and support staff communicate frequently about these plans, why they are important to the client and the company, and even incorporate them into their daily coaching sessions with CMEs.
Education is the key. Help them learn what they don’t know, and then make it important to them. CMEs will respect what you inspect.