7 Best Practices for Managing Call Center Operations
Call centers are crucial for many businesses, especially the ones that deal directly with customers. By leveraging call centers, they provide customer support, answer customer queries, resolve issues with products or services, and even accept orders or requests over the phone. A recent stat shows that almost 90 percent of customers feel that the experience is as important as the product or service.
But setting up a call center is relatively easy compared to managing its operations day in and day out. No matter how much one invests in buying the highest quality of equipment and hiring the most qualified people, a call center would not succeed in its purpose and goals if the management is inefficient.
That’s why it’s extremely important to manage call center operations as efficiently as possible. This blog post details seven best practices for managing call center operations. Read on to know more.
Invest in the right hardware and software
When it comes to ensuring the utmost efficient management of your call centers, you need to have the right hardware and software in place. Without those, you simply cannot handle calls no matter how talented and skillful agents you have. Investing in the right hardware and software can mean the difference between the success and failure of a call center.
Update your computer systems with the latest version of antivirus software so that they are well protected from viruses, malware, and other malicious files. Provide your agents with noise-cancellation headsets so that the call quality remains high even when a large number of agents handle calls on your call center floor. If your budget allows, equip your call center with a fax machine, printer, and other peripheral devices.
Now coming to the soul of your call center i.e. your call center software, it pays to invest in quality. That will enable you to reap handsome rewards in the long run. Sophisticated call center software will streamline your calls and automate most of the mundane tasks, your agents’ efficiency and productivity. In the age of multichannel communication, you can consider investing in high-quality omnichannel contact center software.
Invest in the right people
Recruiting the right people is extremely important for call center owners. Ignoring that will lead to a lot of major problems starting from underperformance, high employee turnover rate, unenthusiastic workforce, and longer training periods. To prevent that you must handpick the right candidates and retain them for as long as possible by paying industry-standard wages.
Here are some ways you can hire the right team members. Create a persona of your ideal representative and look for the key skills in all candidates you interview. The skills can be excellent communication skills, interpersonal skills, critical thinking, empathy, and emotional intelligence.
After that, create an assessment plan to evaluate various candidates for different positions. The plan will help you cherry-pick the most suitable candidates who are accomplished enough to qualify for the rounds of written tests, personal interviews, management rounds, and mock calls. Create a strong attraction strategy so that you can attract the right types of people into your organization.
Focus on customer needs
This is a no-brainer. The very purpose of setting up a call center is to communicate with your customers, either by making outgoing calls or by receiving incoming calls. When providing excellent customer service is the core focus of every call center, then customer needs must come first.
To know your customers’ needs, you must be familiar with them and know their pain points and the solutions they’re seeking. If you run an inbound call center, you can know about all these on the very calls when your customers call you and share their problems and concerns directly with your agents. But that approach won’t work while making outgoing calls. You need to be proactive to know what your customers want from you and how you can fulfill their desires.
Seek feedback from your agents
To improve your call center’s efficiency and customer service operations, seek feedback from your agents. That’s because they interact with your customers the most and they can provide you valuable insights on customer engagement, most commonly asked questions, escalation requests, as well as issues or defects in your workflow.
As per a report released by Salesforce, seven out of every ten customers opine customer service representatives’ awareness of sales interactions is crucial in keeping their business. By seeking customer service agents’ feedback, you will not only gain valuable insights into your customer perception and satisfaction levels but also the potential areas for improvement.
Invest in training, learning, and development
Providing the right training to agents is extremely important. Here are some stats to prove it. As per a Salesforce study, four out of five high-performing customer service representatives say they receive the training they need to perform their work efficiently as against about half of the underperforming agents who took part in the study. The same study found that over two-thirds of high-performing agents are in search of situations to leverage AI compared to one-third of underperformers.
In the rapidly changing digital landscape, call centers must invest in training, learning, and development. To drive the point home, let’s look at the data from the above-mentioned study. More than half of the agents who took part in the study say that without AI, they spend the majority portion of their time on repetitive tasks compared to only a third of agents with AI. To remain competitive, you need to design a detailed training program and update it continuously. Create a knowledge base that agents can use during interactions.
Track key metrics and KPIs
Tracking metrics and key performance indicators (KPI) is extremely important in a call center. First and foremost, it enables you to monitor your customers’ experience by tracking metrics such as customer effort score (CES), customer satisfaction score (CSAT), and net promoter score (NPS).
Second, it can allow you to monitor your agents’ and teams’ performance by tracking metrics such as call resolution rate, call abandonment rate, and average handle time. Monitoring these metrics will allow you to detect performance issues and adjust key areas of improvement quickly to enhance customer service levels.
By tracking operational metrics and KPIs, you can gain valuable insights into work and resource management such as call abandonment rate, peak hour traffic, call arrival rate, and more. Tracking metrics and KPIs enable managers to spot trends in customer service, which enable them to make data-driven decisions and optimize their operations.
Abide by international data and privacy regulations
If your call center deals with international customers and callers, you must comply with the data and privacy regulations set by the regulatory bodies of those countries. For example, if you serve customers in the European Union and the European Economic Area, then you must abide by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which is one of the toughest data privacy and protection laws in the world. If you don’t comply, you may pay heavy penalties.
According to DLA Piper, GDPR regulators issued almost $1.2 billion in penalties between January 2021 and February 2022. As many as 224 companies were fined for not adhering to the GDPR. Likewise, you must comply with the regulations set by Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS), etc.
All things considered,
Managing a call center can be a difficult task if proper strategies and best practices are not in place. Both provide a framework for accomplishing a call center’s purpose and objectives, managing resources efficiently, and designing and implementing the right processes.
At HoduSoft, we are proud to be a part of the success story of many call centers and customer-facing organizations. By leveraging our high-quality call center software, they not only streamline their calls and enhance their efficiency but also track their performance and focus on continuous improvement.