Improvements to call center operations are based on a constructive review of all procedures and associated challenges. Objective assessment is necessary to develop better strategies. Strategies for boosting call center performance generally rely on call guide development, agent training, call monitoring and operational efficiency.
Call Guide Development
Developing effective call guides is a specific and often complex process. Reliance on scripts is an obsolete practice as callers are most appreciative of conversation that flows naturally. Guides should allow for variable responses to all customer needs while keeping the call center agent true to the company’s message.
It is important to create flexible call guides that consider the customer journey. Developing a productive sales guide requires defining call-to-action points that give the customer the opportunity to express interest or questions. Real-life usage and customer feedback can suggest positive changes to existing guides.
Call guides should be constructed to cover spoken communications, not written. In addition, they need to be easy to read and pronounce. Effective guides revolve around typical customer requests, questions and complaints.
When implementing guides or changes, the agents should be given enough time for script rehearsals so the new techniques sound and feel more natural to both call center staff and their customers.
Call Monitoring Consulting
Call monitoring is a crucial tool that allows management to identify and modify weak points in order to improve agent performance. It can provide immediate feedback on both positive and negative criteria.
Monitoring can be conducted by in-house supervision or by expert third-party consultants. Training programs can be initiated to ensure managers use call monitoring to greatest effect. Effective call monitoring involves specialized software to enable both call recording and the capture of information. This information can be used to design constructive scorecards to gauge and report individual performance.
Scorecards should reflect company policies, key performance indicators (KPIs), workload benchmarking and customer expectations in order to determine what constitutes quality interaction. Employees should be provided examples of both excellent and unacceptable dialogue.
Scorecards need to be continually reviewed with employees to establish whether they are using the most effective techniques and behaviors. In addition, performance standards and areas of focus must be regularly communicated.
It is important for managers to be properly trained on scoring agent performance and articulating it into areas for improvement. Management and employees should be able to develop an actionable plan based on the results of agents’ scorecards.
Call Center Agent Training
One of the most beneficial call center strategies is agent training, for both existing employees and new hires. Customized exercises and real-life interactions can be orchestrated to emphasize skills and improve performance.
It is crucial that agent training put emphasis on interpersonal skills and correct responses to emotional situations. In order to be more effective, call center agents must be familiar with the products and services of the company they represent. Agents also need to be trained in engaging customers through branded dialogues that convey their company’s brand values.
Call Center Operational Improvements
Operational improvements refer to advanced processes, procedures and technology used in call and contact centers. The processes, procedures, and technical systems form the basis of operations and may indicate challenges to creating customer satisfaction. Proper software solutions such as IVR (Integrated Voice Response) systems must be implemented and adjusted to best facilitate results.
In addition to enhancing customer satisfaction, operational improvements result in cost-effective call centers. The four major considerations in cost-effective management are contact volume, handle time per call, staffing costs, and overall facility costs.
In applying cost-effective measures, it is necessary to consider the range of services, multiple access channels, operational hours, levels of service, and appropriate time objectives on resolving caller issues.
In addition, costs need to be evaluated with regards to performance and overall budgets.
Restricting hours of operation may force customers to rely on other channels such as online submissions that limit customer satisfaction. In general, call center operational improvements should create cost-effective centers without compromising customer satisfaction. Comprehensive assessment is necessary to prioritize challenges and suggest corrective actions.
Disaster Planning and Recovery
Among other things, operational plans should reduce the negative effects that service disruption has on customers. Disaster recovery refers to the steps taken to get operations functional following an interruption of service. On the other hand, business continuity means dealing with potential lapses in service including illnesses, departure of key employees or other staffing issues.
Call centers need to be accessible during normal hours of operation to avoid giving customers a sense of abandonment. Effective disaster plans should include built-in redundancy so that backups can take over when critical systems fail. These plans also define staff roles and responsibilities as well as detailed written procedures in case of emergency.
To conclude, call center improvement strategies include call guides that are flexible enough to allow for responsiveness to the wide variety of customer needs and requests. In addition, the agents must receive training in real-life scenarios that impart the proper techniques and demonstrate an appreciation of the customer’s circumstances. Operational improvements such as technology upgradation, the application of scorecard system for gauging agent effectiveness, review of cost factors and disaster recovery planning should all be integral parts of a methodology that ensures a high level of customer service delivery.
We create strategies for operational improvement that have been tested and proven in real-world call centers. Our experts can develop efficient scripts and company-specific call guides based on assessments of your existing operations. In addition, our company offers contextualized agent training that is focused on enhancing communication skills and centering goals on satisfying customer needs.
We can show you the most effective ways of monitoring calls and measuring agent performance. Our knowledge and experience with call center technologies can provide further opportunities to improve the efficiency of your call and contact center. The end goal of our strategies is to create a call center environment of customer retention, improved sales and superior levels of customer service delivery that will attract new clients and help your business thrive.