Call Centers have been an easy target. They're the brunt of criticism or jokes when people describe the service from recent calls to their cable company, insurance agency or credit card center. Many times, they have a good reason to be dissatisfied. What challenges does upper Management and Agents face that have ultimately caused issues?
Developing influential and accurate metrics that hit company objectives is a difficult task. To maintain a competitive advantage, Employees must use these results to connect with and achieve their goals. A Call Center may handle and analyze thousands or hundreds of thousands of calls per day. With all the measuring, it can be easy to lose the balance of obtaining results and keeping sight of quality customer service.
- Commitment and Leadership
Many think simply having the title of a Director, Manager or Supervisor is enough and become complacent or have a look-down-upon or a-costing-the-department attitude. It's a good way to demotivate Agents and kill Customer satisfaction. Instead, they should take time with calls, listen to recordings, get agent feedback and work with teams to build a more effective floor-coaching plan and strategy. Successful call centers have a management team that inspires others and has it's eye on quality service.
While everyone recognizes the power of Social Media, it's difficult to know how to best use and integrate technology tools (Facebook, Gamification, texts, twitter, emails) into Call Centers that will increase potential, decrease repetitive tasks and support employees and customers. To decide what technologies to integrate and introduce, Call Centers must first define a strategy and have everyone involved from day one to discover the best fit. Updated technology means an increased amount of interactive channels and options your Customers can choose from.
There's a great difference between hiring Business Professionals and people that aren't able to hold down a job. A Call Center can monitor all it wants, but how are Customers actually being helped? If the wrong people (Management or Agents) are hired they add little value to the organization and cause negative customer service. Hire the best people for each and every job by targeting and acquiring candidates that will best match the company’s goals and objectives. Bad hiring filters into all business aspects and causes an overall negative customer impact.
It’s challenging enough to be on the front lines, but add in new, multiple products, insufficient training, sudden product promotions or changes and you can easily confuse your agents. Continuously and effectively training an Agent is a costly challenge but their performance is critical in keeping up with Customers demands and happiness.It boils down to their ability to professionally and quickly service the customers. If Agents are confused, how will the Customer respond? Callers don't want to call back again and again or wait. They want to get it right the first time.
Since each agent handles and interacts with customer calls differently, there's going to be different results. By listening to 10 different calls, you would hear 10 very different responses. This can become a problem since supervisors cannot manage specific expectations. However, using a standardized Customer process to handle call support, problem resolution, troubleshooting, helpdesk, up-sell/cross-sell with each agent will help with their preparation and the customer. However, you don't want Agents to sound like an impersonal, monotonous recording. Customers enjoy consistency and efficiency, but they are people too.
Agents talk with customers every day and are the first to recognize customer needs. Unfortunately, the big obstacle is using this information and using it to improve support, products and promotions. Ultimately, feedback is the customers perception of a company...use it.
No business will become perfect, but with the considerable amount of negative Call Center feedback from both Employees and Customers it's time to take a look at what's not working and ultimately look at the possibilities of re-building a service that will provide the best service for all parties.