Managing work at call center is a difficult task, to say the least. The true worth of a call center totally depends on the level of employee motivation and enthusiasm towards work. This is where employee engagement comes into the picture.A competent workforce will understand the importance of aligning their personal roles with the company goals which in turn will help the organization to achieve success. Employee engagement ensures high morale, better productivity, and increased satisfaction. According to research performed by HayGroup – the offices with engaged employees were 43% more productive.
Ever since call centers came into existence, organizations have been facing a huge challenge in retaining agents. When it comes to the performance of call center agents, what becomes more disheartening is the kind of environment they have been working in. The situation becomes more adverse when agent burnout increases, leading to increased turnover rates. Thus, each number of turnover adds to the increasing cost of organization’s operational budget.
Progressive call centers have found a way to turn the monotonous working culture into a more holistic approach to empower and engage agents. One of the most important aspect of employee engagement is the kind of tools and strategies being used by managers to boost the motivation level of the workforce.
Here are few ways in which employee engagement tactics can boost call center quality:
1. Provide more freedom: Providing call center agents with certain amount of freedom can have a huge impact on the call center performance. Studies have shown that call centers with more flexibility are better in addressing customers’ needs as per their requirement. With this kind of practice, call centers can streamline their workflow and ensure first call resolution by reducing the amount of call transfers to other departments. Moreover, competent agents have the freedom to address calls according to their skills and responsiveness.
2. Customize training programmes:Call centers need to understand the importance of training programmes to ensure optimum level of agent engagement. The coaching modules need to be customized as per the new trends in the market. When agents will have a complete view on the kind of investments being done towards their development, they will be more dedicated towards serving their customers. Also, the training modules need to be updated on a regular basis to ensure that the concepts are applicable and impactful with successful results upon completion. Coaching and training can also be made interesting with live sessions, role-plays, games, etc.
3. Employ idle time: Research shows that – 19% of call center agents experience 16-30 minutes of idle time. 16% of agents have 1-2 hours and 6% have more than 2 hours of time on their hands. Call center managers can make it a habit to allocate agents with short tasks during the idle period or provide them with tips and reviews to deal with other customer calls. Agents can also use the idle time to study about the next customer they would be calling, to resolve their query or to create opportunities for upsell and cross-sell.
4. Reward and recognition: Agents outperforming other co-employees should be rewarded and recognized with praise and incentives to maintain the level of motivation among them. This type of practice will help them in working with zeal and enthusiasm towards delighting their customers. For example – managers can use call center wallboards to display the average call handle time by top performers. This will motivate the other agents to stay focused and perform well in each and every call.
5. Access to real-time metrics: Providing agents with real-time information like number of callers in the queue, status of other agents, waiting time of callers, average abandonment rate and FCR rates can help them in making informed decisions. Based on the available information, each and every agent will have a real time view of the performance of co-employees. This gives the real picture of their performance and at the same time, motivates them towards achieving better organizational goals.
6. Provide caller information: One of the biggest challenges call center agents have been facing is the difficulty in finding complete caller information. As soon as the call lands on the agent’s desktop, they begin by asking few basic questions. This may irritate the customers on call as this might not be the first time they are calling. As a result, customers are either put on hold or are transferred to other departments due to lack of information on previous calls.
Call center software that is capable of integrating with other business tools can create hassle-free process by automating the complete calling technique. Thereafter, whenever the customer calls, a window pops up in the agent’s interface with the complete caller details, thereby empowering the agents to resolve customer queries on the first go.
7. Upgrade your call center software: Call center agents are under equipped and overstressed which is continuously leading to an alarming rate of attrition. What is more important over here, is the kind of tools and techniques being used by call centers. The modern call centers are completely different from the traditional ones, where the agent used to dial calls manually. With the evolution of technology and change in business environment, call centers are continuously evaluating the best of breed solution available in the market to suffice all their needs.
The advanced call center software available in the market has not only automated the complete calling process but at the same time has empowered the agents to excel in each customer call with greater first call resolution rates and decreased hold time. Thus, call centers should always keep on updating their calling technology to stay ahead in the competitive environment.