Productivity is the key to any successful department within any successful company. You can have the best agents in the world at your call center or in your customer service department, but if they are not motivated properly, their productivity will decline. As a business owner, and the person ultimately responsible for the company’s output, it is your responsibility to find as many ways as possible to increase customer service staff productivity.
Depending on the company’s financial situation and human capital resources available, here are 10 effective hacks to increase customer service staff productivity.
1. Training from the beginning
From day one, training should be your focus. Your agents need to be adequately prepared to do their job, and it is your responsibility to make sure that they are given the knowledge to do so. Teaching them proper processes, language, and time management skills from the beginning will prevent agents from falling into a productivity slump when they feel stuck on a problem.
2. Quality assurance
This one can be a double-edged sword. Do it right, and your staff will happily produce great work. Do it wrong, and you may begin to lose certain agents’ trust. Monitor their productivity and suggest ways to improve that are specific to certain issues or people.
3. Act on employee feedback
It should go without saying that you need to listen to your employees. The best way to increase customer service staff productivity is to take what your staff is saying to heart. This will give you incredible insight into what your agents really want and need. Assess if their wants are actually needs, and actually address and solve them.
4. Know the ins and outs of your software
To keep you and your staff organized, you likely use some sort of tracking/monitoring software. That’s great! But do you know everything your software can do? Take the time to learn the ins and outs of your software, and make sure that your agents know all its capabilities. You never know what kind of tool you will unearth that could be exactly the kind of tool they feel they need to succeed.
5. Leverage other channels
Call centers need to be polyvalent. Customer service today has spread to a number of channels, from social media to live chat to automated phone systems. Someone needs to be keeping up with the conversations. Increase customer service staff productivity by letting them specialize in the service they best know how to handle.
6. Automate the boring stuff
If there are mundane, manual tasks that you can automate in your software so that your agents don’t have to perform it every single time, try to take advantage of that. You could be saving your employees valuable time, which they could spend on other, more important projects, which will certainly increase customer service staff productivity by presenting challenging or more dynamic tasks instead.
7. Facilitate internal communication
Making it easy for staff to reach out to each other can help foster collaboration and a positive work environment. Most companies will opt for some kind of chat, like Skype for Business or Fuze. Some companies will go so far as to have certain communication platforms and software for very specific tasks. Whatever you decide on, creating open lines of communication within the company is sure to boost morale.
8. Allow breaks
The best way to make an employee feel like they are in charge of their time is to allow them breaks. Yes, they get lunch breaks. Yes, they can get up to go to the bathroom. By letting your agents know that they can take a handful of small breaks throughout the day without being penalized will greatly improve their morale.
Let them have their much needed “brain” break, allowing them to return to their work with renewed energy.
9. Let them see how they’re doing
If you can, let your agents see their own performance scores. When employees can see where they are falling short, they are more likely to focus their energies in those areas. It’s a sort of self-motivation. If someone else tells you you are not doing well, it can feel negative. If agents can see for themselves, they will be driven to improve their scores on their own – serving as a kind of gamification of good performance.
10. Flex on shifts
Employees who are forced to show up to a shift they didn’t want or couldn’t do but had to make work, are likely going to be grumpy and resentful. This will result in poor performance and low productivity. Allow your agents to flex and trade their shifts as needed. As long as your office is manned appropriately and people aren’t taking way too much time off, there’s no harm in letting your schedule be flexible.
The wellbeing of employees equals the wellbeing of the company. By helping staff grow in their abilities, as well as empowering them with the right knowledge and freedom, you’ll have happier and more productive staff.