Top 10 Tips to Improve the Productivity of Your Call Center Agents
Call centers are typically considered cost centers, evaluated primarily based on the results they produce. Particularly, the metric- cost per contact. Due to its highly competitive nature, it is one of the toughest, and demanding industries. Therefore, maintaining improve call center productivity, agent productivity can be a difficult task for managers.
One of the most important factors that determine a call center’s efficiency is productivity. The ability to deliver better customer service enhances when the customer service team members are happy, fulfilled, and motivated. Likewise, when employees are tired, overworked, or unhappy, it shows in their work. According to a study by Gartner, 89% of businesses will soon compete primarily on customer experience, and companies that prioritize customer experience will stand out from the crowd and attract loyal customers.
With a few simple adjustments and amendments to some best call center software, you can improve agents’ engagement and motivation. Here are some ways to get you started:
1. Improve agent autonomy
Allowing call center agents a specific degree of autonomy can have a considerable impact on agent productivity. Additionally, autonomous agents are often capable of addressing the wants of their customers to be flexible, responsive, and private. Thus, it’s less likely that the agent will transfer the decision to a different department or request managerial assistance. Call center managers can target other pressing issues as a result of streamlining workflow. Furthermore, allowing competent agents the freedom to retort differently and find creative ways to resolve issues can boost their morale, work engagement, and productivity.
2. Engage agents
Agents who feel they’re valuable members of the team are further motivated, engaged with their work, and effective — and as a result, there’s an increase in productivity. Center agents have the facility to influence companies’ decision-making process alongside higher-ups because of this relationship.
A study by Gartner also indicates that by 2020, more than 50% of companies will refocus their attention on improving customer experiences. Additionally, to improve employee engagement and customer satisfaction, you can employ schedule adherence and conformance metrics. Ensure your agents feel valued as members of your team by increasing their participation in higher cognitive processes, and you’ll benefit.
3. Allow frequent breaks
In a call center, stress can impact agents and influence the center as a whole. Stress within the decision center can negatively impact productivity, job satisfaction, and health – all of which may have a major impact on the decision-making abilities of the agents. It is important to provide agents with frequent short breaks to check their stress levels. Allowing them to get some fresh air, eat a snack, or use the restroom, offers valuable intangibles. With flexibility, they’re likely to control their moods and be productive.
4. Provide detailed caller information
When handling a call, how long the agent takes to seek out the customer data is one of the major determinants of how long, may resolve wanted issues. The right call center software that integrates with business tools and provides comprehensive information about the caller in a unified workspace can reduce handle time and increase agent productivity. Agents will now not hunt through multiple systems for the data they have to resolve the problem of a customer when the phone rings. All the data they have will appear within the browser as soon as the call is received.
5. Develop skills for career advancement
Develop and enable your agents to enhance their skills in one or more areas for their career development. With a transparent training plan for your agents, you may demonstrate your concern for their career development and provide them the opportunity to further their skills and resources. It may also be beneficial to offer agents access to their performance data so that they can self-evaluate their progress.
6. Monitor and analyze social media
Social media mentions can demoralize agents by overwhelming them. Using sophisticated social media monitoring and analysis can improve agent productivity in the long term. By setting queue limits, agents aren’t bombarded with mentions. Also, keep other interactions in an overflow queue for when the market gets quiet and feed these back to the system later.
7. Examine key performance indicators (KPIs)
Call center metrics focus entirely on average handling time or average talk time. In addition to these key metrics, it is important to account for the decision outcomes and other factors that may affect the business. Customer satisfaction, new sales, lifetime shopper value, and first call resolution rate, are important to assess efficiency and effectiveness.
8. Set personal goals
Creating a benchmark that fellow call center employees can strive to emulate or maybe surpass is the key to improving the performance of a contact center. Setting goals, encouraging positive behavior, and creating an enabling and motivational environment is advantageous for both workers and organizations.
9. Static agent concept
In some scenarios, it may be beneficial for call center operators to enable a framework for connecting an agent acquainted with customer issues. Agitated customers may not like to connect with someone who is unfamiliar with the matter. If the customer must speak to the same service agent, you can ensure that he or she doesn’t repeat themselves on every occasion. This not only improves customer satisfaction and knowledge, but also the agent’s understanding of customer issues. Thereby, leading to a faster resolution of problems.
10. Prompt responses
In general, customers do not seem to enjoy long wait times, either. They seem frustrated while agents try to answer questions for them while waiting. If you seriously hear your customers, you’ll know they complain about waiting time. Ideally, call centers should ensure their agents have quick access to answers and that queues are shorter. The use of self-help systems is becoming more common nowadays as they seek a quicker response. The agent can take extra calls since call duration is reduced and clients’ wait time is reduced. A center can use the call-back mechanisms if there’s a long queue. A call-back system can notify the customer of the approximate wait time after the call connects, providing an option of call-back.
The productivity of agents increases when they work longer hours, take fewer breaks, or work on weekends. Boosting employee engagement and creating a positive outlook about work can be useful to the team. Incentives such as rewarding performance and encouraging breaks together with actions to boost employee wellbeing by streamlining business processes can go a long way. In addition to employee productivity, you’ll reap intangible benefits by addressing these focus areas.