Call reporting is going to be an essential practice going forward. It will help to assess the productivity per call, discovering the customer experience of every client in each interaction, security protocol adherence and compliances. Additionally, it will also check if legal and regulatory needs of certain departments and verticals are being satisfied.
While technological change in the customer experience space are ongoing, improving the operational aspect of a call center can be done with comparative ease. Here are some ready to use, tried and tested methods.
Do not rely on only the paycheck to incentivize the agents. In busy contact centers agent performance can be enhanced by making their work entertaining. Gamification is a good way to make the training and development process of agents more engaging and fun to do. You can also improve agent performance by giving them points on satisfied customer calls and first resolution calls which can be accumulated for vouchers or food coupons. If that can’t be offered then make sure that every agent gets a performer award or credit recognition for their performance. Accolades and appreciation sometimes matter more than money! A happy agent will be more productive.
Customers are divided into two types. One-half finds comfort in speaking to a customer service representative while the other half likes quick service without talking and interacting with any agent. The concept and utility for self-service is important for the customers who do not like interaction and prefer self-service. Self-service is estimated to be used immensely to improve call center productivity metrics.
Gartner predicts that by 2025 a customer will manage 85% of the relationship with an enterprise without interacting with a human. It will also help the call center evolve. Many organizations have realized that most of their call center work involves requests for basic data from clients. In this case, instead of wasting time trying to connect with agents, customers now use chat, chatbots, offline messages, emails and even IVR requests. These new modes have shown to improve call center productivity drastically.
An agent is involved only in cases where artificial intelligence or rule based solutions are unable to understand social cues from client interactions or for typical queries where the machine does not have an answer. In fact, in our experience customers have really appreciated this self-service as they feel it wastes less of their time trying to get through to a customer service agent and then trying to sort their issues out with them. Clients especially prefer the quick IVR service request options available at a quicker speed. Call centers can also deploy flow-based or even AI based Chabots to help improve efficiency with tools like CZ Bot.
If agent productivity metrics and call center productivity are to be improved the best ways to do is to analyze call content. Yes, analyzing call content is very useful in knowing what types of calls the contact center receives. Based on that the calls can be diverted either to the Visual IVR, a Bot or to an agent. This will drastically reduce the call flow to agents, allowing them to handle calls that are more crucial. In order to capitalize better on the agent’s time, calls can also be diverted based on skills of an agent, commonly known as skill based routing. Online QA tools help the QA auditor in auditing various interactions across channels and provide relevant feedback to agents on compliances, call resolutions and quality. The feedback can be shared with agents as well as training department for necessary actions.
Integration across all service channels is another way in which an important factor called the first call resolution can be achieved.
First call resolution is when the customer gets the resolution of their query in the very first call from the call center. For the first call resolution to be achieved all possible service channels and resources should be left open to the customer as well as the service agents. The key metrics involved in first call resolutions include effectiveness of customer support tools, efficiency of agents and the type of customer experience delivered, good or bad.
Some scenarios demand a certain acquaintance and familiarity between the customer and agent. For example, an agitated customer may not want to be connected to a new agent every time they call. By routing a particular client call and query to the same service agent repeatedly, a company can ensure that an agitated customer does not have to repeat himself or herself in every call. This not only improves the customer satisfaction and experience but also improves the agent’s understanding of the customer’s problem, leading to quicker resolution.
Staff training is very important and especially so in a call center. This is because skill enhancement is essential to improve agent productivity. Training with respect to new software and new technology being implemented in a call center is undeniably crucial to improve call center metrics. And because, call center employees don’t have extra time for training, their training can be provided online through E-learning which will help them learn while on the desk or through gamification. In gamification, important product or feature related information is converted into quiz that agents can take during the day. The results are then displayed on a leader board for everyone to see. Several other benefits can be attached to the game based training like the possibility of getting a better shift or getting those high priority customer calls routed to the best performing agent etc.
If you have taken your voice of customers seriously, you would know that customers complain of long wait time and express their irritation when the agents put them on hold to search for answers. Call centers should make sure that agents have answers available easily and the queue wait time is less. Some call centers these days use self-help systems where the agents can look for answer while the customer speaks. This reduces call duration, client’s wait time and allows agent to take more calls. For longer queue, a call center can adopt the call back mechanism. In a call back system, after a call connects the IVR can announce what the approximate wait time is and can take input form the caller if they would want a call back. The point to note here is that it is bad practice to make the customers wait, and it severely affects the customer experience and affects the brand negatively.
These are the top 7 tips to make your call center more productive this year. While the technology transformations take time to get implemented, human elements of customer service delivery can be strengthened to deliver exemplary customer experience.
Let's look at the 7 must haves we discussed last year.
Lastly, a top tip, make sure you know what the customer really wants. Always remember that knowing your customer is of prime importance. The history and trend of the bulk of the queries will be able to guide you to not only improve call center productivity as a whole and make the call center more productive but also it will help channelize funds, investments, training and resources more efficiently and optimally. It is like a cycle, once productivity improves the customer experience will improve. Hence, try using some of these methods and invest in good tools powered by artificial intelligence for incremental support.
Author Bio: Akanksha is an IT enthusiast, having an experience of 7 years in marketing and promotion. She has experience in varied industries, in positions working across the line of marketing. She is a day dreamer, an avid reader and a crazy traveler when she is not working.