As we all know that the performance of call center agents depends on a lot of criteria’s and excelling in all of them is very important for a successful call center enterprise.
Which leads us to the question, how can you boost the performance of your contact centers?
Even when companies are using the best call center software available in the market for their contact center, the performance of the agents also plays a vital role towards customer experience which also results in increased business for the organization.
There are several smart ways for exceeding customer expectations and boosting the performance of call center.
1. Positive Attitude: The first and the foremost thing to keep in mind while working in any call center is to have a positive attitude for each and every problem.
As the saying goes: “A positive attitude will lead to positive outcomes.”
It can happen to anyone to have a bad day, but keeping a positive attitude towards your problem will surely provide you with the options for working a way out to overcome every situation.
2. Issue Understanding: Only when the agent will have a clear picture of the issue that the customer is facing only then he/she will be able to assist the customer in resolving it and thus providing exceptional customer experience.
As for fixing any problem agent should have an understanding of the cause of the problem as well as in-depth knowledge about the product.
3. Sharing Experience: Monitoring and sharing the on call experience either good/bad with your team members can help in gaining insight into customers’ needs.
This will help the team members, in case they face a similar issue and will have an idea what steps needs to be followed to fix it.
4. Training Sessions: When you are working in a call center, it is very important that the agent should be trained in the skills, technique, and methods for dealing with most common customer issues.
In the case of lack of knowledge about the product, it can also result in losing one of their valuable customers as well as the reputation in the market.
5. Internal feedbacks: Giving or taking an effective feedback can play a very important role towards the overall performance of the call center as it provides the agent with a chance to understand the positive as well as the negative comments opening a new gateway for learning new skills.
Feedback should be based on the agent’s previous performance as well as on the customer feedback about that agent.
6. Positive Psychology: Appreciating agents on achievements will definitely play a very big role in improving the quality of the work of the agent as it always said: “a person who feels appreciated will always do more than what is expected.”
7. Adequate Task force: Virtual call center should have an adequate number of agents to manage the incoming call flows for serving the customers quickly and effectively. This is important not only to serve the customers but also an important key for better results.
8. Be Open for Negative Response: In any call center, there will be some positive as well as some negative response from the user of the software.
A call center should take the negative response in a positive way and should work towards resolving the customer issue by implementing the required features.
9. Multichannel support: One of the best ways to improve customer experience is to provide them with more than one option like online forums, support center, mobile application, email support and much more to raise any concerns regarding your call center software solutions based on their comfort level.
10. Follow–up: One of the most important keys to a successful business is following up with the user about the issue frequently, this not only makes the customer feel important, it also helps in building a trust relationship which acts as a base for a long term business partnership with the organization.
11. Use of guidelines: Every company has a set of rules or guidelines that need to be followed for extraordinary customer experience.
Many times there may be cases wherein one of the agents is unable to resolve a customer query, in such cases they should immediately consult or escalate it to a senior team member and so they can try to resolve the issue quickly.
12. Teamwork: Teamwork is a concept where people work together effectively to achieve a common target.
In any organization, every project often requires that people should work together to accomplish a common goal, so teamwork is an important factor for the success of the call center.
13. Working Environment: A positive work environment makes the employees look forward to coming to work, and this in turn helps them with the motivation to sustain throughout the day.
If an organization has a good reputation in the market more aspirants will be willing to provide their services by contributing their work within the organization.
14. Customer Friendly attitude: Having a customer friendly attitude helps to a great extent in easing out the customer, so the customer can trust on the agent assigned, and that will also help in creating a long-term relationship with the organization.
If a customer is satisfied with the agent’s assistance he might want to work with the same agent for future issues as well.
15. Monitoring: Monitoring and analyzing a call center agent performance requires a matching approach by taking in consideration both customer call recordings as well as internal call scoring.
In doing so the use of data from customer interactions as well as significant performance measures from the internal call scorings, management can acquire a more detailed understanding of an agent’s performance.
16. Track Progress: After implementing the action plan, the call center must use call recordings, customer reviews and call scoring as a measure to decide an agent’s performance. It should also be capable of generating reports based on different criteria.
17. Better quality: In addition to an agent’s performance the quality of the products also plays a very important role in boosting the performance, as it will not only reduce the workload of the team to be open to learn new skills, but will also establish a good reputation of the company in the market.
18. Pricing: Apart from the product quality the call center software pricing is also very important. As we all know in today’s world, there are a bunch of companies providing identical services.
A detailed call center software comparison with other rival products in the market can show you the differences in between the products available and help you select the one that is the best one for you.
19. Waiting Time: One of the major factors for the customer is a long waiting time in call center queue, it refers to the time from the moment they enter the queue until their call is answered by one of the agents.
A call center can implement a number of features to help optimize the call queue waiting time like an option for a callback, queue to voicemail, waiting time limit.
20. Customer-Centric View: This is the most important point for a successful call center in which customer inputs are given in utmost importance and trying to implementing the same for customer satisfaction. As said: “The customer’s perception is your reality”.
21. Queue Availability: It can happen a lot of time that a call is waiting in a queue due to unavailability of agents. There could be unavailability due to multiple reasons like, all agents are busy with customers, but it could also happen for a simple reason like group interval or breaks which should be taken care in advance for enhancing the customer experience.
We have provided you with a few tips to increase your call center performance. However, to see the results after implementations of these suggested features, it is better if we take into consideration a real-life scenario after taking into account the above pointers.
The problem study we will be discussing is a customer call center that implemented some of the above-suggested points and we will do a review as to how it improves in uplifting the agent’s performance and helped the organization with more business opportunities.
The Problem Scenario:
A software company anonymously named CAL technologies dealing with customer side of issues, was getting a high volume of inbound calls on a daily basis and was unable to manage all the calls with a small number agents working for them due to which company was unable to meet the goals and was also failing in delivering an exceptional customer experience.
There were multiple issues faced by the company and which need to be looked at immediately.
1. Low Staffing: Since the company did not have enough employees to handle the amount of call inflow most of the calls were unanswered.
2. Poor call center software: Due to lack of availability of features in cloud call center software solutions there was no record of call logs to know the customer details so they can be contacted later in case the call went unanswered due to lack of availability in the queue.
3. A better understanding of the product: Since the company was running on low staff most of the employees were already pre-occupied with multiple tasks which restricted them to work on their weaknesses and gain more knowledge about the product.
4. Managing workload: Because of high amount of inflows of the calls if one of the employee gets stuck on an issue and it is taking them additional time to fix it, the other employee who has already taken more issues compared to the other employee gets extra work assigned which increase the workload on one of the agents.
5. Lack of Protocols: Since there was no guideline to decide a limit when an agent should move the query to its senior agent in case unable to proceed further and wasting time on the issue was creating a deadlock kind of situation causing customer dissatisfaction.
To overcome the problems faced by the company they implemented following solutions in their call center:
1. To control the problem with staffing, they hired new experienced employees, which will greatly help in handing the call inflow.
2. Conducted training sessions to help employees improve on their weak areas.
3. Executed changes in the call center for having more options to handle the call inflow like voicemail, IVR (Interactive Voice Response), limiting waiting time, caller priority list.
4. They started following a set of guidelines to help agents in resolving the issue faster like sharing an example of different issues in team meetings on weekly basis.
5. The incoming calls were assigned to agents based on round-robin method, so work got distributed equally within the team members.
6. Started to manage the breaks as per availability of agents to assure calls from customers gets the expected response.
The company begins to resolve issues quickly after incorporating above changes and was able to manage the call flow in a more efficient manner gaining the customer confidence once again.
Along with that company also started conducting a frequent training session for employees as well as internal team discussion on a regular basis to gain more knowledge about customer issues and finding ways to fix those issues which will greatly impact the resolution time.
With the improvement in the cloud call center, the workload was reduced per agent which provided them with an additional opportunity for more quality work as well as increased customer satisfaction.
In any enterprise, there will be some ups and downs, but what matters is to keep learning from our mistakes and continuously working towards improving on those mistakes.