Your support team is the bread and butter of your organization.
Without a call team that functions well, your company won’t work well inside its own walls or outside in the front-facing interactions with your clients and customers.
You want a call center that is bustling with activity; employees talking constantly to many customers who get all their questions and concerns answered quickly, efficiently, and professionally.
At least, that’s the ideal situation.
More often than not, companies aim to hit that high mark without building up to it, leaving customers struggling to appreciate your products or services and your employees struggling to appreciate or enjoy their job.
Take a look at our comprehensive list of best practices and procedures to implement in your call center for ultimate optimization.
Call Center Performance Improvement Plan
A good performance from a call center comes from two different angles: the customer asking the questions and the employee answering the calls.
A successful call center performance improvement plan will take a look at both perspectives and come up with ways to make people on both ends of the phone happy.
Wondering how you can improve your call center’s performance?
Start with the state of your employees. Happy customers mean more business, yes, but a satisfied customer has to talk with an employee before they themselves get to that actual place of satisfaction. If the people they’re communicating with (the employees) are disgruntled, unfriendly, or unprofessional, it’s less likely the customer will leave happy or satisfied with the customer service.
Creating a happy workforce can be a big task to take on, but the ways of creating a great call center environment are really determined by your creativity or lack thereof.
Consider the following suggestions:
- Team bonding:
Generate time and space for your call center employees to connect with one another as a team and as friends.
This can look like going to lunch together, hanging out after work hours, or making a coffee or some other type of caffeine run.
The closer your people are to one another, the more they’ll see their job as a comfortable and welcoming environment they’ll actually enjoy being in and working in.
- Learning to learn:
People like to feel challenged by and excited about their work. If an employee expressed interest in online programs that could help their performance at work, fan that flame.
It’s called professional development, and we recommend making it a priority because it will show your employees you care about their progression both in the company and as individuals with unique talents and aspirations. Your employees’ productivity with likely skyrocket when they’re given the chance to learn and grow.
- One-on-one time:
Show your employees you care by taking the time to get to know them and talk with them about their calls one-on-one.
Your call center is at the frontlines for gauging the customer’s experience with your company, so it’s a win-win: you learn more about what’s going on with customers, and your employees feel their thoughts and opinions matter.
And they should matter.
We’re recommending open, honest, and regular communication. All good relationships are built on that kind of communication. Imagine the type of business you could drive with more straight-forward talk.
Your call center can be better with some internal infrastructure boosting here and there. Technology is constantly changing and adapting, presenting new and better ways to streamline communication, especially in a call center setting.
Consider the following suggestions to maximize your external and even internal communications:
- Chat Features: Great for internal communications, chat setups will bolster employee to employee connection. People like to talk. And in today’s world, we’re able to talk in a wide variety of different ways; chatting can bring a level of familiarity and comfort to your employees, and it’s a quick way to communicate problems or issues within the company as well.
- Bots: Chatbots are a great resource. You can engineer them however you’d like: from answering the FAQs to directing customers to various locations online that can answer their questions. This can decrease the number of calls you get, focusing on those that deal with very specific or complex issues.
- Open up Channels: Multi-channel software lets customers use phone, text and other mobile technologies, and web to ask their questions. By connecting the information from all these channels in one place, you can give your call agents a whole picture of the problem the customer is dealing with, enabling your agents to solve the problem sooner.
- Call-back with the Cloud: Being on hold is inconvenient, even a nightmare, for customers. A cloud-based call back system can mitigate less than positive feelings that often arise from being placed on hold, or waiting for an agent to pick up.
Call center optimization starts internally. We’ve discussed how successful call center strategies involve keeping employees satisfied.
The next step in call center optimization involves turning slightly more outward to face the customers you have and the customers you hope to have.
Successful Call Center Strategies: Keeping the Metrics Good
The bottom line is that people (both inside and outside the company) drive the business. Lots of little factors play into how customers feel at the end of a call. Keeping the metrics of your call support center up is going to be your second goal, behind keeping your employees happy and thriving.
After recognizing the importance of your call center employees, the next step is recognizing the importance of certain factors that determine how well they do their job. The following are some of the most important metrics for call centers.
- First Contact Resolution
- Average Length of Call
- Average Call Transfer Rate
- Customer Satisfaction Score
- Average Speed of Answer
If you want to see good numbers on these metrics, it’ll be important to have a decent understanding of your call center’s forecasting and a schedule put in place.
Forecasting and scheduling on a daily basis will help keep your call center operating at peak efficiency and keep you aware of any new hires you need to be looking for or cutbacks you need to make.
Call center optimization isn’t difficult to grasp once you break it down, like we’ve done here.
The next step will be implementing these suggestions or coming up with your own ideas. The changes that will happen to your call support center after optimization can lead to greater optimization throughout the entire company.