A call center’s efficiency thrives on agent motivation and mental stamina. However, an encouraging pat on the back or a team cheer isn’t enough to produce the results you’re hoping for.
The nature of the job can already be quite demanding, thus taking steps to further increase performance can be overwhelming.
That’s why we’ve listed the following smart tips to increase call center agent efficiency. Don’t be afraid to try new approaches. Only then can you see what works best for your call center.
Less is more
Don’t let agents power through long hours, and instead, break up their work day by allowing them frequent to take rests to break up their repetitive job.
Traditionally, call centers would drive their agents to take on as many calls as possible for as long as possible. At the end of the day, quantity kills quality and overworked agents have difficulty maintaining top quality service.
Studies report that dividing up your work day with frequent rest periods actually leads to an increase of productivity and mental awareness.
Powering through compromises performance and increases stress levels, which in turn leads to lower morale and productivity. Tired and frustrasted agents produce angry and unsatisfied customers. You want your customers to return for all the right reasons and not because the service they received was not up to par.
Therefore, encourage your agents to take breaks so they can stay happy, healthy and productive.
Create the right vibe
When you need a fresh start, a new haircut or outfit lets you take control of the situation and gives you that extra boost you were looking for. The same can be done with the workspace.
Opt for an open and visible floor plan to increase communication within teams. Add a splash of color, revamp the breakrooms or switch out your furniture for more ergonomic office equipment.
Looking for a more creative approach? Consider calling in a Feng Shui expert to rework the flow of energy in the room for some rejuvenation!
What would the ideal call center workplace look like to you? Reflect your company’s vision and mission into the work environment and transmit the right message to your staff.
Continuous feedback and training
Although seemingly obvious, staff training can sometimes be dull, too general, or even neglected. We get it, you’re busy with daily operations including supervising and monitoring KPIs.
So why stall the daily grind with more training if agents are already working at a satisfactory level? Trust me when I say you’d be making a rookie mistake. Lack of training is one of the biggest threats to call center agent productivity.
New or inexperienced agents are most likely getting on, but positive feedback can point them in the right direction so they can improve and maximize their efforts and turn an OK experience into a great one.
But not every employee is the same. Without proper guidance and training, some agent will handle calls they are not properly trained to handle and become frustrated and unmotivated by their poor results.
Implement an ongoing training schedule for each level of experience. This will ensure that varying topics of specific skills and best practices are being covered and delivered at the appropriate times for all agents.
Up the competition
A little competition never hurt anyone. It’s a great way to increase motivation without making a big investment. By nature, everyone has a competitive streak and wants to excel when they see their counterparts rising to the challenge.
Competition can go beyond performance and also be applied to other aspects of the job, such as attendance or percentage of positive customer feedback.
Monthly incentives could be just the motivation your agents need. And rewards don’t have to be huge or expensive to be gratifying. Think preferred parking, cool desk accessories, or unlimited coffee. Even gaining bragging rights is a reward in itself.
The purpose of a call center is to assist a high number of customers and provide speedy and effective customer service. Sounds tough enough, right? Take a load off your agents’ shoulder by making the much-needed tools and information available right at their fingertips.
CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software registers each customer interaction from the very first point of contact and bridges information across all platforms of communication by the caller.
With CRM, an agent is given quick access to a customer’s call history and can see any notes taken by previous agents whether it was via phone, email or chat. A CRM system gives agents a complete 360 report instead of having to spend precious time opening multiple programs and spreadsheets to find the information they need. As a result, agents are able to deliver a quick response and give customers peace of mind that they’re in the right hands.
Skill-based routing technology
Instead of connecting your caller to the next available agent, connect them with someone who is an expert on the particular topic. By doing this, it’ll avoid transferring the client from one department to the next and ensure a more accurate response, hence higher customer satisfaction!
Not only that but clients who are directed to the appropriate agent are more likely to resolve their issues and not have to call back, resulting in increased call center efficiency and a greater percentage of FCR.
You might think it saves you time and money to simply demand that your employees put in more hours. Although this methodology works really well for robots, it doesn’t have the same outcome when applied with people. To increase call center efficiency, you must invest in your staff.
Show that you value their well-being by supporting their development, giving regular feedback (don’t forget breaks!), and supplying the tools to fully optimize their skills.
Agents who feel they matter to a company are more committed and vigilant in their work standards.
What methods have you used to increase call center agent efficiency that has worked for your organization? Feel free to let us know in the comments below!