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Arsh Sharma - ContactCenterWorld.com Blog

How to Improve Your Call Center Service Standards?

Call centers can be very complex organizations. As they are responsible for directly communicating with the potential and the existing customers, there are a number of factors and issues involved that affect the productivity in real time. This is why all organizations should strive to make sure that the services they are providing should be of excellent quality.

There are many things to keep in mind to ensure the standards maintained by the call center are the topmost. Check these few helpful tips to ensure that the efficiency of your call center is not compromised and the customer satisfaction is maximized:

Get More Out of Quality Analysis

Quality Analysis (QA) of your call center services is very important. It is a major factor in the development and growth of any call center. There are many issues that QA deals with. Understand them thoroughly so that the results of the analytics are tuned to deliver the best for your call center.

All calls are not created equal and different customers have different worth. Try to target high value calls for evaluation so that your efforts bring in better rewards. Analyzing a non-coachable, low-value call is pointless as it only supplements the already expensive interaction. There is no point in randomly investigating calls and scoring them. Instead, use the data associated with the calls to find their value automatically and analyze only these higher value calls. This lets you discover the process issues as well as understand and deal with agent compliance and quality issues.

Additionally, speech analytics can be used for monitoring all the calls.  There are many categories for agent conformance questions, like a proper greeting, call recording disclaimer, verifying first and last names, empathy, the proper closing of the call, etc. While speech analytics is never 100% accurate they do give an approximate measure of the percentage of calls when the needed phrase was or wasn’t said by the agents or clients. By ditching the manual quality monitoring of performance associated questions, QA analysts can use their resources on more important fields like accuracy, product knowledge, tone and active listening.

Always Remember That Customers are Most Important

Customers are what make a call center grow or die. Happy and satisfied customers are the most important aim call centers should strive for.

You should focus on the co-relation between customer survey scores and QA scores. The QA score of a call can be good even if the customer was openly dissatisfied with the service and vice versa. Detailed attention should be given to how the quality of work by the agent and the satisfaction of the customer relates with each other. This gives valuable insight into prospects for improving overall efficiency.

A call center does not work alone. Collaboration with other departments is vital. So convey the voice of the customer feedback to the other wings to make sure that valuable information is passed to them. Try to define the necessary parts of the conversation that each department could relate to and design a system to automate the passing along of this information

Another helpful tip would be rewarding the agent with bonus points on their QA form if their call a good and positive customer feedback. It encourages them and motivates them to do better.

Maximize Agent Involvement

A call center is only as good as it agents. They are directly responsible for customer experience and the reputation of the company as well. Thus, it is needless to say- their role is pivotal. Agents should be more involved in call centers to develop a sense of loyalty as well as allowing them to work at their full potential.

Agents should be made to realize that Quality analysis and monitoring will reflect badly on their performance. Many agents get defensive about QA and don’t understand its worth in progressing towards improvement in the overall value of the call center. They should be kept informed about how calls are selected and their inputs should be taken into account as well.

In addition, agents can be allowed to evaluate some of their calls themselves. By listening to themselves, they can figure out their shortcomings better and try to improve on them. By making it a part of their regular scoring, they are more likely to take it seriously.

Moreover, agents can also be assigned to evaluate other agents from different teams. This has a dual advantage. They can learn how to make better calls from experienced agents while at the same time learn from the mistakes of other agents so that they can avoid committing them in case they are caught in the same dilemma.

If agents are kept more involved they feel like a part of the company and are bound to work wholeheartedly.

Enhanced Feedback and Coaching

Regular feedback and coaching of the staff is essential to the smooth working of a call center’s mechanisms. It keeps the agents sharp and focused on their goals.

One or two QA evaluations should be ensured weekly instead of monthly. Monthly evaluations tend to lead to ‘gag-monitoring’ in the last few days of the months. With weekly evaluations, agents can get a consistent feedback so they can work on their mistakes while developing their strength even more.

Agents should also be coached in a better manner and be kept updated on the newest technological updates even remotely associated with the company. There can be a regular training session that will help the agents improve their knowledge and understanding of the products or services they are endorsing. A learned agent is a productive agent.

Calibrate For Success

An efficient calibration is what brings in success for any company. Plan it well by getting more heads involved in the thought process. Include agents, as well as the team leads, in the process as it provides good professional development for them and generates better buy-in mindsets. Obviously, the management team should be included in the process. This is because it can help in defining excellence for the call center from a managerial point of view which is highly important.

Regional comparisons are necessary too. For big organizations spanning the globe, there are many factors that are region specific but might end up affecting the organization as a whole. Understand them, compare them and plan out accordingly.

In the end, all that matters are the customers. So keep them in mind too during the calibration because it is them that make the call centers efficient or otherwise. Use focus groups with the customers to understand what they really care about.

Conclusion

Getting a high service standard from a call center is not an easy task but it is definitely possible. All it needs is good planning and likewise execution. The agents, the managers, and the customers; all are equally important in the development of a call center's services. So, understand the factors that affect each of them, work on them thoroughly and weed out the issues that are negatively hampering the service standards to make sure that your call center sets the standards for other call centers to follow.

Publish Date: November 10, 2015 6:47 AM

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