How to improve performance of your call center
The primary objective of any call center is effective customer handling by agents. It is imperative for every call center to make sure that the way agents are interacting with customers is never suboptimal. An agent should always treat customers with utmost courtesy and do whatever it takes to handle the call at hand appropriately. Simply put, the quality of customer interactions a call center has through its agents will always have a direct impact on its profit & loss statement. There are several focus areas which can greatly help in not only tracking the call center productivity but also augmenting its output considerably. A few of them are as below:
Rethink and establish your key performance metrics:
It is extremely important to establish benchmarks against which the call center performance has to be evaluated. Try and go beyond Average Handling Time as a benchmark as it tells you very little about the actual outcome of the call. Increasingly, companies are shifting to better benchmarks such as life-time value of customers, new business sales, customer satisfaction levels, and net promoter scores. This helps them in reckoning their cost per interaction and business outcomes as a whole.
Make best use of IVR to automate your customer segmentation:
Customer should be connected with the right agent, first time and every time. A skilled agent who has domain knowledge can handle the customer query in a much better way than an unskilled agent. Speaking to a skilled agent makes customer feel more confident and comfortable in dealing with the call center or its parent organisation. Not only that, it also instills a sense of job satisfaction among agents as they are dealing with customers that are fairly relevant to the domain knowledge these agents possess.
Improvise the desktop user interface for agents:
The agent desktop should not be a complex environment which requires a whole lot of training efforts to make them use it. A complex user interface, more often than not, vexes an agent and significantly increases the call handling times which leads to increased customer wait time, and hence all of this leads to customer frustration. It can possibly trigger agent attrition too. There are a lot of intuitive products available in market now, which have capability to completely alter the way agent desktops used to be in past. These solutions also allow web based access of the agent console, and have an easy to navigate user interface.
Spread success stories:
Whenever any agent handles a call perfectly, it should be shared with his other colleagues to let them set their own standards and get motivated by their peerâ€™s performance.
Measure, Analyze, and Improve:
Maintain a practice of keeping voice logs of all the calls and analyze this data periodically. Check for call handling times, how many times a call was transferred, was the agent able to handle customer query, how many times calls were escalated, how many calls were handled from each category etc. Donâ€™t just focus on call center productivity metrics, also listen to voice logs to measure each agentâ€™s performance. Find the gaps and take necessary measures for improvement.
Regular trainings for the agents need to be conducted, just one training before they start wonâ€™t suffice at all. The agents should be trained on new process developments and only the designated experts should take these trainings. Ideal number to look at could be a two day training each quarter to start with