It’s the liquid paper. Many, many moons before the fish came the liquid paper. The same California manager that motivated his agents with an “It’s the fish” theme soon became the liquid paper manager, delivering items of use to hundreds of agents citywide. As he moved over the years from one call center to the next, liquid paper became his staple. Here is his story.
Recognize the Need for Creative Motivation, Even When It’s “Not in the Budget.”
One evening while managing a survey processing account, management was in need of motivation for their agents. The diligent manager’s company wouldn’t give him a budget to buy prizes, and that was a sore spot. Anything he wanted to do had to be done in-house, with his existing tools. Well, at first glance, one wonders what they have “in-house” to make things happen. Chairs, desks, file cabinets, telephones. None of that can be classified as prizes, unless one wants to take the risk of being arrested for theft. But his agents needed inspiration. The group had long faces and bored glazes in their eyes. Not a single soul was making money.
Learn to Work With What You’ve Got.
So, the manager grabbed a key to the supply cabinet and ripped it open. At this point, he was looking for any prize that came in multiples. The liquid paper box was a natural. It came eight to ten in a box. He had his prizes. The manager said to himself, “If my company won’t give me a budget to motivate my agents, then my company was going to get a purchase order for liquid paper supplies like they had never seen before.” Deep down, he knew the sales resulting from his motivational efforts would pay for the liquid paper and then some, of course.
Get Zany And Rev Up The Mood For Dramatic Results!
Up and down the floor the manager went, hawking liquid paper like it was a million- dollar home. “Next completed survey gets your name in a hat for a chance to win this beautiful bottle of liquid paper,” he shouted. Then, he got his team excited: “Look at this liquid paper. What a gem — beautiful bottle, perfect for absolutely nothing. The round shape of the top tells you this bottle is an exquisite collectors’ item, perfect for home and office use. Everyone here needs to qualify to win a bottle of liquid paper. Don’t stop now. Next survey in the hour has their name in the drawing for a fantastic bottle of liquid paper.”
He wasn’t done yet.
“What does this liquid paper do, you might ask? Good question. It paints, its cleans, it smells the good smell many of you may remember from those high school days from long ago. The best part of liquid paper is that it’s long lasting. It does your nails. It covers acne marks. It is perfect to erase mistakes caused by typewriters, laser printers, and pen marks. Best of all, it’s nontoxic, low odor, nonflammable and contains no harmful solvents.”
Remember: Creativity Spurs Productivity.
The whole floor was enjoying the manager’s presentation, and the goal had been established. Each agent absolutely enjoyed the break from monotony. Some even gave the liquid paper a quick whiff. Others painted their nails. Others held onto it and rubbed it for good luck. As the hour came to a close, surveys were being completed rapidly: 100% gain from last hour, 200% gain from last hour. The numbers were soaring. Needless to say, everyone met their goal for the hour, and liquid paper became a favorite for the entire call center. Best of all, the manager got a budget from his boss and was able to buy multiple brands, colors and styles of liquid paper.
Motivating with Prizes – Recap!
1. Prizes can be a great motivational factor for those long, humdrum days.
2. You needn’t spend a lot of money on a great prize.
3. Themes can make the workday zip right by.
4. When you work for your team, your team works for you.
5. Don’t let long faces and frowns linger – motivate, motivate, motivate!
6. Just because it’s “not in the budget” doesn’t mean you can’t reward employees.
7. Look around and learn to work with what you’ve got.
8. Don’t be afraid to get a bit zany! Your agents will appreciate your sense of humor.
9. Your antics may create inside jokes for months and years to come, which, in turn, will establish a sense of uniqueness within the workplace and a team identity.
10. Recognize the link between creativity and productivity.
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About Call Center Today
Want to talk to Dan Coen about boosting your inside sales numbers and remaking your call center? To contact Dan about speaking, workshops, training and consulting: DCoen@CallCenterToday.com or 888-835-5326 x111. Follow us on twitter at www.twitter.com/callcentertoday