It is often said and believed that great customer service is all about meeting your customers’ expectations and keeping them happy. While attaining this goal might seem easy to many, the contact center representatives know that it actually is not. In reality, it takes a lot of hard work, determination and dedication of all those who act as the face of the company as well as those who provide backend support.
There is certainly a lot of burden on the contact center agents to have all smiles of the customers. But, there are a few factors that act as an obstacle towards this goal attainment such as higher AHT, poor FCR score and outdated technology.
In such a situation, it becomes a responsibility of the contact center managers to keep their focus on improving these dynamics so that the agents are able to deliver improved performance, thereby, leading to a better contact center productivity.
Incorporating a few minor changes in the contact center’s work process can certainly help in boosting its performance. Mentioned below are a few of these:
1. Minimize Your Agents Idle Time
The contact center agents’ are generally busy in resolving some or other customer’s query. However, there can be times when they might have to sit idle for hours due to zero customer calls. While this might not seem to bother at the start, it is important to understand that wasting a few hours, even minutes, of every agent per day may cause a big loss to the company.
Therefore, it is important for the contact center management to be aware and train their agents about the best ways to utilize their idle time. Some of the common recommendations that can be given are attending training sessions, performance review session with the manager, collecting feedback, etc.
2. Implement Integrated Software
Due to lack of technically-skilled professionals at a contact center, it is possible that the agents are made to switch between multiple software’ – one to fetch data, another to file a new complaint and one more to look for solution. If this age-old methodology is still followed at your contact center, then it is time for you to make a switch.
Introducing integrated software can serve multiple purposes unaided, right from collecting customer information, finding their history to filing a new request and providing an effective solution. This, in turn, can serve as a great way to boost agents’ performance by minimizing time wastage and resolving queries in the minimum time possible.
3. Easy Access To Customer-Related Information
For an agent to deliver improved performance, it is important for the contact center to provide easy access to the customer-related information such as call history, previous queries, etc. This is important as this may help in improving the level of customer service delivered.
It is essential to remember that the access to customer-related information should be given to all the agents correspondingly. This may prove to be helpful if the call is transferred from one agent to another during the call.
4. Make Multiple Channels of Communication Available
Evading the limit on the channels of communication can be a great way to improve your contact center performance. This can be done by allowing your customers to connect with you via varied modes of communication such as telephone, chat, messaging and others.
Doing so makes it possible for the customers to connect with the contact center as per their own preferences. Moreover, it also gets easier for the agents to handle multiple queries at the same time, hence, improving the overall agent productivity and conversion rate of the contact center.
5. Reward Your Employees
Keeping your employees motivated is one of the most crucial elements to boost your contact center performance. This can be done by appreciating them on a regular basis, organizing activities, and offering them the respect they deserve. This will not only make your employees happy at work but will also help in improving their commitment towards work, thereby, improving the overall contact center’s performance.
6. Scheduled Breaks
The volume of calls received during a day varies as per the different time slots. While the call volume may be high post noon, it is possible that you receive fewer calls during the early hours of the morning. Therefore, in order to make sure that the agents enjoy their break time without compromising the call volume handled per day, it is recommended to define the break schedules for all the agents.
Scheduling breaks in multiple time-slots will make it easier for you to utilize the manpower efficiently without making any compromise in terms of quality. Make sure that the agents are encouraged enough to stick to these schedules, maybe by installing a timer to record their duration of break and the time spent at the workstation, or else all this planning might not lead to the desired results.
7. Stick To An After-Call Work Process
Help your agents understand that handling customer calls is not their only job responsibility. It also includes fulfilling the requisite after-call duties. This may include everything from jotting down important pointers stated by the customer during the call, updating the customer’s details on the software, draw necessary conclusions, etc.
Giving your agents clarity on this aspect is a certain way to make the best use of their available time and improve the service level offered at the contact center.
8. Diminish Repetitive Calls
It is very common for the contact center agents to answer the same query repeatedly but on different calls. While the reasons for this can be many such as the company’s inability to fix the issue, this is one of the major reasons that impact a contact center’s productivity and CSAT score. It is, therefore, vital for the contact centers to identify such calls and find a quick resolution for the concerns raised by the customers.
There are many ways to identify such calls with the most common one being speech analytics software. Using this software may help in identifying the common concerns raised on these calls and collect such data that may help determine the areas that need investment to fix the issues.
9. Encourage An Environment Of Healthy Competition
As it is said, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy,” restricting your agents’ to their workstations is certain to limit their productivity and performance. Invest your resources in planning some engaging activities, maybe some healthy competitions, so that it gets easier to up their performance in the contact center.
Keep things fresh and ongoing by offering immediate rewards to the winners of such competitions. You can also think of dividing this entire competition into different levels so that the participants stay active and are able to develop a feeling of belonging in the team.
10. Listen To Your Customers’ Voice Carefully
Listening to your customers’ complaints and feedback carefully can be a great idea to know your market reputation. It is important to remember that even if the feedback collected from the customers is negative, it should be considered as an opportunity to alter your approach towards handling queries and improving customer experience. You can also implement the new strategies and suggestions shared by the customers (if any) to make sure that the customer experience delivered is optimum in quality.
Addressing the customers’ complaints immediately can help them develop confidence in your services. Your customers will know that they are being valued and heard by the company that, in turn, can help in improving customer loyalty and engagement with the brand.
Take Smaller Steps To Reach Greater Heights
The best aspect of implementing these changes is that these won’t change the entire workflow or structure of the contact center. These are just a few alterations that may help in improving your contact center performance and productivity. While many might think that these changes are easy to implement, these actually require someone with a requisite understanding and knowledge of how these may impact the contact center performance.
It is recommended that you focus on implementing a single change at a time and assess its impact before moving on to the next. Always remember that it is good to be innovative but equally important to stay smart so that bringing in even the minutest changes take you closer to your goal and not far-off.