Customer service representatives are your first line of defense against client attrition, whether you have a handful of employees tending to your customers’ needs or manage a multi-location contact center. Optimizing your call center operations so your agents can perform at their best and client requests are handled in timely manner is just as vital for the growth and wellbeing of your business as perfecting your product. So what can you do to improve call center efficiency and provide your clients with the support and service they expect?
Providing your agents with thorough training can go a long way in ensuring that they are well-prepared to serve your customers. Agents can become more familiar with your organization and products, gain new customer service skills and learn best practice procedures. As a result of training, the entire operation can quickly grow to be more competent and knowledgeable, solving customer issues faster and more efficiently.
Modern, cloud-based technologies are simplifying training in call centers, offering a host of features that expose your team to real-life scenarios. Call recording capabilities allow you to create your own coaching resources and show your agents examples of both positive and negative behaviors. Listening to recordings can help your employees better understand the culture and unique challenges of their workplace, as well as the bar they are required to meet. With live call monitoring and whisper coaching capabilities, you can follow your agents’ journey, help them through difficult situations, and identify opportunities for improvement.
No matter how well-trained or experienced your team is, there will be moments when a difficult customer issue will have them reaching out for help. In times like these, it is important to ensure that they have access to a second opinion and can utilize the expertise of seasoned peers, supervisors, and other in-house experts.
Providing your team with a chat functionality can help them quickly get the assistance they need without having to put clients on a lengthy hold. They can reach out to individual team members or ask real-time questions from the entire organization without the customer even realizing. With this simple addition, your team can resolve customer issues much faster and more efficiently.
Most call centers continue to use traditional routing processes to assign incoming calls to agents, such as directing customers to the next available agent or using a simple round robin system. But with recent advances in technology, there are better routing protocols available to boost call center efficiency.
The more experience your agents have with a specific customer issue, the faster and more efficiently they will solve it. So improve your team’s success rate by directing calls to the agents best equipped to handle them. Whether you route calls based on your team’s technical knowledge, experience, customer service skills or the languages they speak, you are setting them up for success. In addition, you will providing your clients with the fast, quality service they deserve.
Putting relevant client information at your team’s disposal is another simple way of ensuring they can address customer needs successfully and fast. Information collected across various departments in your organization can be particularly useful when clients call about complex issues. In addition, the more your customer service team already knows about their case, the more impressed your customers will be with your competent, attentive organization.
CRM integration can easily pull such customer data from a variety of applications including Salesforce, Zoho or Zendesk, and display it on your agents’ computer or phone screen for inbound or outbound calls. Combined with Caller ID technology, CRM integrations can give your team clues on what to expect from the next call. It also ensures they have all the information they need to address customer calls successfully and efficiently.
Effective workforce management is probably the cornerstone of an efficient call center. Staffing appropriately during peak calling hours, providing your team with time to recharge between calls and accounting for any sick days, time off or training periods are key to achieving peak performance.
Real-time and historic reporting features included in some call center solutions can give you valuable insights into your operations and help you make the right decisions for your organization. You can measure call volume, agent utilization, call drop rate or first call resolution rate to identify trends over time, find opportunities for improvement and staff more efficiently.
In the last few years call center gamification, the use of game elements to motivate agents, has gone from being a mysterious buzzword to becoming a proven strategy to promote engagement and achievement on your team. But whether you chose to implement game elements into your management style or not, incentivizing performance can give your call center a significant boost in efficiency.
Real-time and historic reporting can help you set up the incentive program that makes the most sense for your organization. Identify your KPIs (Key Performance Indicators), such as new sales, number of appointments booked, first-call resolution or customer satisfaction rates, and set appropriate goals, quotas, contests and reward programs for your team. With advanced reporting, you can keep track of your staff’s performance, ensure that quotas are met and reward high-performing agents. Incentives can motivate your team to perform at their best and will make them much more likely to go the extra mile to provide great customer service.
Boosting your call center efficiency is a complex challenge that needs to be addressed from every angle. Comprehensive training, access to relevant information, skills-based call routing, a well-managed schedule and incentives all go hand-in-hand to set your agents up for success.
Bur contemporary cloud-based technology has evolved to provide you with easy tools that transform your call center operations. From whisper training and call recording features to in-depth analytics that empower your workforce management, cloud-based technologies work together to ensure your call center achieves peak performance.
If you are considering changes in your call center technology to boost your call center efficiency, give S-NET’s expert team a call, we would be happy to help!