Managing a contact center is far from straight forward and definitely not easy, but it is rewarding when done right. The contact center manager’s main objective should be to ensure customers are getting the best possible experiences while adding efficiencies within the day to day operations. This will, in turn, boost customer loyalty and drive customer referrals which are invaluable. There are a lot of different areas to work and tactics to consider to get towards this goal. To help, we have compiled the following list to achieve a well-oiled contact center that provides excellent customer experiences.
1. Zone in on Onboarding Programs
Focus your sights on creating the best possible onboarding program. The onboarding program should be geared towards different learning styles, and not restricted to a simple presentation they read through and do tests afterwards. Keep the program dynamic and interesting with breakaway sessions to review what’s been covered, present good examples of real interactions with customers, use online game tools such as Kahoot, and more.
Using different approaches will keep trainee engagement high, and ensure that all learning styles are being accommodated to. The result will be knowledgeable agents that are following by example and providing the best customer experiences.
2. Set the Right Goals and Measure Quarterly
Goals should be set each year or quarter for your contact center, with a recognition program in place to recognize the main drivers. Base these goals on previous data for areas such as first call resolution rates, avg. hold times, avg. talk time and more. There are a lot of resources to take advantage of when looking to improve these stats, even within our blogs section. Setting quarterly meetings is always a good idea to review previous stats on performance and upcoming goals. It’s a good time to announce what the top performers will receive as well!
3. Create a Positive Work Atmosphere
When you treat your employees well and ensure they are comfortable at work, they will reward you with hard work, dedication and loyalty. Look for small improvements such as having snacks available every day, well put together break rooms, a good amount of break time so they can recharge to handle more interactions, excellent rewards programs, and great support from upper management. You could also make larger improvements such as better health care benefits, options to work from home, and more. Another great thing to consider that goes a long way is re-decorating the office (if needed) to provide a more clean, simplistic and organized atmosphere. It is said that an uncluttered workspace helps you keep a clear and organized mindset.
All of these improvements to make your office more of an enjoyable place to work will reflect on your customers. Agents will be happier at work, your customers will sense it, and your agents will be much more helpful while providing a positive experience. An article on Forbes by Shep Hyken mentions that based on a survey, 49% of customers will leave a brand due to bad customer service, and 67% of those that have left have left multiple times. These stats outline the importance of keeping agents happy and well trained, as they are at the front line of creating loyal customers.
4. Don’t Overwork Your Agents!
When agents are overworked and running on low amounts of rest, they will be much less productive and may make mistakes causing customers to call back or get frustrated. Also, this will not help towards the previous goal of creating a positive work atmosphere. You will need to focus more on how to make the schedules work so that each agent has enough time for rest.
A study done by the Harvard Medical School concluded that insomnia within your workforce equals 11.3 days of lost work performance per employee. If you have 10 agents that are sleep deprived, this will equal to $29,221 in wasted costs annually. This figure does not take into account additional costs such as minutes spent on the phone from customers calling back, or lost revenue from losing customers due to frustration with service.
5. Give Your Agents the Best Tools
Investing in the right tools will pay off in the long run, and make their jobs less stressful. With a cloud contact center solution, they will be able to access the material they need with ease, review customer data before calls, and have all interactions organized in one area without sifting around for information. With the right tools, agent productivity and spirit are boosted which will reflect on your customers since they’ll get quality support every time they reach out.
6. Connect with Your Agents
Part of effectively managing a contact center or any department is getting feedback from your agents or employees. Your agents may have a lot to say but will not say anything because they were never asked. Retrieve this valuable information from them and make the necessary changes to improve their experience and productivity. They may bring up problems with processes that you weren’t aware of, or they may have noticed a potential improvement based on their day to day activities.
There you have it, some tips to better manage your contact center! Good luck, and please do share any other ideas in the comments section for other readers to see!