Monet Software - ContactCenterWorld.com Blog Page 4
The call center business would be a lot more agreeable, if it weren’t for all those customers and their problems.
No matter how well a company is run, some complaints are inevitable. The challenge is not just keeping them to a minimum, but handling them in a way that salvages a customer relationship that, at that point, could go either way.
Complaints, like any other type of call, also deliver raw data on what the company is doing right and what could be better. Paying attention to that feedback and making adjustments accordingly is one of the most important contributions a call center can deliver.
Here are a few ideas that can make one of the most unpleasant parts of your job less difficult – and perhaps even beneficial.
On the Front Line
Whether a complaint is registered via telephone, online chat or social media, your agents will be the first to hear it, and their responses are the ones that matter. How much authority do your agents have to handle these issues?
Customers with a product issue may call requesting a refund. Can your agents provide it, along with the requisite apology? If so, that customer may not be lost for good. But if that customer has to be put on hold and transferred, or is required to fill out a form that goes through a formal complaint procedure, he or she is probably done with your company.
Also keep in mind that with that latter, more complicated procedure, all of the time invested by multiple employees means that complaint was more costly to the call center. With smaller purchases in particular, cut your losses quickly by letting the agent take care of it.
That objective ties into the always-important challenge of First Call Resolution (FCR). When agents feel they have been given enough autonomy to provide customer satisfaction, they can usually achieve a better result all the way around.
However, some agents simply don’t want the responsibility. “Hold, please” becomes a standard response even in situations that should be resolved without that referral.
With an workforce management solution, it becomes much easier to target agents on such metrics as FCR, and to monitor unnecessary referrals.
Here’s another unpleasant thought: sometimes it is the agent that inspires the complaint in the first place: “too rude,” “too abrupt,” “left me on hold for ten minutes,” “promised me something that was not delivered,” etc. With the data collected and reports generated by WFM and more specifically Quality Monitoring, managers will also gain insight into which agents are generating the most complaints, and require additional training – or a lesson in manners.
Hopefully such instances are minimal. If you used good judgment in the hiring and training process, your agents are your greatest assets for customer retention. Are you using them that way? That means listening when they tell you about recurring situations that are generating a negative response.
Perhaps a limited-time offer is worded in a way that is confusing to some customers. Agents will not only be the first to know, they may in listening to callers be able to provide a solution to the problem. Make sure their feedback is getting to the management team.
Communication is Key
The answer to almost every call center challenge is better communication – between agent and customer, agent and manager, manager and other department personnel.
A customer-centric approach starts at the top and filters down to the front line. Hitting performance targets and monitoring metrics should enhance this approach, and not dilute it by making average handle time more important than a satisfied customer.
Schedule regular meetings, company wide if possible, to review complaints. And when it’s time to present them, a personalized approach may induce a better response. For instance, a manager could report, “We’ve seen a 10% increase in customers upset about our new teddy bear not arriving on time.” Or, he could say “We had a call from Barbara in Texas who ordered the teddy bear in time for her little girl’s birthday, but it still arrived two days late.” That paints a more vivid picture of the problem than a dry statistic.
How are complaints logged at your call center? An internal audit can be beneficial, as sometimes general inquiries or a customer closing an account may be classified as a complaint. Not only does this falsely inflate the volume of incoming complaints, it clutters the system in a way that may prevent genuine service issues from being resolved faster.
One more objective that helps with complaint handling is consistency. That starts again with agents. Are the new hires handling customer problems with the same skill as those who have been there for years? Monitor them more closely to make sure they are on the same page.
A monthly review involving agents, managers, coaches and trainers can help with keeping track of complaints, detecting trends, and making sure appropriate responses are going out. The longer an issue is undetected, the more complaints it is going to generate.
Consistency across channels is equally imperative. If a social media message is not answered, that customer may resort to calling – now you have two complaints from one customer, which doesn’t look good on the balance sheet.
One More Tip – Though It Probably Sounds Strange
Here is one last piece of advice that may seem counterproductive at first – make it as easy as possible for your customers to provide negative feedback.
There’s no use trying to avoid complaints so you won’t have to deal with them. And yet some websites still try to bury the ‘contact us’ link where it won’t be easily noticed. There are just too many channels available now to try to duck angry consumers. By encouraging feedback, you remove one more frustrating obstacle from the customer’s path, and avoid multiple contacts from the same source.
Ultimately, complaints deliver content that can make your company better. Handling them efficiently is the most effective way to reduce them.
Publish Date: October 6, 2016 5:00 AM
Every so often the media will pick up on a story of something unique that happened at a call center. Many of these feel-good tales feature a call center agent who decided to do something special for a customer.
We came across this one that is worth sharing: an agent at Capital One received a call from a woman whose credit card was shut down due to “suspicious activity.” This was triggered by her attempt to purchase furniture and have it shipped to an address that was not the one the credit card company had listed for her.
Customers who get their cards shut down are usually in a shouting mood, but this woman had recently separated from her fiancé and was in the process of moving to a new place – hence the different address. She seemed more sad than angry, and when the agent found out what was happening in her life, she gave the woman 4,500 free airline miles to help her feel better.
And that’s not all – the agent then sent flowers to the customer, with a note saying “Please know that you are in my thoughts and I hope these can brighten your day.”
Why is this important?
Two reasons: First, the story went viral. The customer related the experience on a Facebook post, and the agent was heralded as a hero on dozens of websites and message boards, all of which mentioned that she worked for Capital One.
Capital One is a company that spends a lot of money on advertising (you’ve doubtless seen the TV commercials with Samuel L. Jackson). What did all this great positive publicity cost them? The 4,500 airline miles are really only worth about $45, plus whatever the going rate is on a nice flower arrangement. That’s a pretty solid return on investment.
Second, it raises the question of whether your agents believe they have the freedom to offer a similar gesture of kindness to one of your customers. Would they be appreciated or criticized for doing something that is not company policy?
These stories make the news because they don’t happen every day, and they shouldn’t – but when the circumstances are right, encourage your agents to go above and beyond.
Publish Date: October 4, 2016 5:00 AM
For several years, as the Internet and social media emerged as new communication methods, there were several call center industry stories speculating on whether live agents would soon be an endangered species.
The prospect now seems less likely than it once did, as there is still a need and often a preference for customers to actually speak with another person to resolve their issues.
But there is no question that agents are a more costly and complex service option than automated online responses or social media interaction. Two hundred agents? That’s a big investment. 500? Those call centers moved offshore to save money – and paid a different kind of price.
Industry estimates vary on how many customer interactions can and should be handled without live assistance. But it’s at least 40% on the low end – some have it as high as 90%.
The technology is in place now to make it happen – not just on the company end but from the customer side as well. Today almost all of us carry smartphones that plug us into a portable digital ecosystem. We now expect 24/7access to order information, return policies, special offers, store hour listings and other subjects that used to require a phone call.
Now is the time to encourage your customers to explore the other options available. Self-service has reached the point where it can be just as quick and responsive (in many cases faster), so you’re not risking a customer relationship by doing so.
The numbers show that about 30% of U.S. consumers have tried voice self-service to get things done. That number can and should go higher, with your help.
Let them know that for the most complex situations, or when there is a real need to speak with an agent, you’ll be ready. But if behavior can be changed to the point where these are the only types of calls received, you’ll be able to get by with less staff, and lower costs.
Publish Date: September 30, 2016 5:00 AM
Do you really need speech analytics at your call center? That depends:
Would faster recognition of caller intent improve service?
Do you want to know what is having the most significant impact on your customer relationships?
Do you want to boost the operational efficiency of your call center?
If the answers are yes (and of course they should be!) then speech analytics is right for you.
There is one more benefit that deserves special mention – savings. With speech analytics your agents can reduce the number of calls and repeat calls, as well as the length of the calls they receive. Along the way you’ll also identify processes that aren’t cutting it anymore, and find ways to make them more efficient.
Is there a catch? Just one – to make the most of speech analytics, it should be deployed within a workforce management solution that can analyze and disseminate call center data and deliver analytics insights into the KPIs that matter most:
• First-call resolution: By analyzing past customer interactions, patterns will emerge that will indicate to agents why this call is happening, perhaps even before the customer provides an explanation.
• Average handle time: when speech analytics identifies and removes recurrent issues, handle time drops.
But wait, there’s more!
Yes, this is starting to sound like a late-night infomercial. But speech analytics really can play an important role in so many everyday call center functions.
It can be integrated into your coaching to improve quality monitoring and agent performance.
Introducing a new product or marketing campaign? Speech analytics can also pick up key words and phrases that reveal how well it’s going over with customers, and whether some course adjustment would help.
Questions? Contact us – we look forward to letting you know about Monet’s speech analytics tool, and what it can do for you.
Publish Date: September 29, 2016 5:00 AM
Imagine going out to lunch with a friend. You tell him that your doctor said you need to have surgery, and your friend replies, “Oh well, that’s life – are you going to finish those fries?”
This is one of those situations when a person expects some expression of concern or sympathy. Another is when a customer has a problem and contacts a call center. The best agents are those that recognize when a customer is angry or disappointed, and respond accordingly.
It’s not difficult, it doesn’t add a lot of time to each call, and it doesn’t require changing company policy – all it takes is a few kind words – “I’m sorry this happened, I understand how frustrating this must be. But you’ve come to the right place – let me see what I can do for you.”
And it helps if they sound like they mean it, and are not just reading those words off a script.
Caring is the first essential trait of a successful call center agent; confidence is also important. It’s a quality that some possess naturally, but for those that don’t it can be taught – at least within the confines of the call center job.
A trainer may not be able to instill enough self-assurance in an agent to ask someone for a date, but for customer calls confidence emanates from knowledge about the company and its products or services.
It is particularly critical in outbound call centers, at a time when telemarketing-weary customers are likely to be less receptive to a marketing message. The successful agent is one who can break through those barriers, by explaining that this call is not an annoyance but an opportunity. When you speak to someone who really believes in the cause he supports, you are likely to be more receptive to what they have to say.
Caring and confidence – look for both of them when it’s time to hire new agents. As a bonus you’ll not just gain a quality employee that will boost your customer service, you may hire someone who can have a positive impact on your other agents as well. When these traits are encouraged, they can be contagious.
Publish Date: September 27, 2016 5:00 AM
Maintaining quality, particularly in the customer experience, is critical in every aspect of call center operation. It’s at the heart of everything we do, from technology to agent screening to script creation.
Quality monitoring is how call centers identify what is working and what isn’t. It is primarily a problem-solving system, but it also recognizes areas where things are going well, so those practices can be maintained.
How can you get the most from your quality monitoring efforts? Here are a few tips that may help.
It seems obvious, but still worth noting: You can’t assess which calls are successful until you have a standard for what constitutes a quality customer interaction. That takes into account not just the outcome of the call, but the manner of the agent, the total time required for the engagement, and how it met service levels and KPIs. This process is easier with a quality-monitoring tool that provides a comprehensive view of agent and call center performance.
Review a wide range of calls before setting the benchmark for future success. The objective is to find the very best calls – ones that everyone involved agrees could not possibly have gone any better. Hopefully they won’t be too difficult to find!
Getting Agents Onboard
Initially some agents may view quality monitoring suspiciously, which is not only bad for morale, it could negatively impact the results of your efforts. Make it clear that monitoring is a company-wide necessity designed to make everyone – including managers – more successful at their positions. Make the process collaborative instead of authoritarian.
A Reliable Process
Evaluation forms will likely be part of your QM program. These must be developed correctly, or every subsequent step might be impacted. Make sure you are asking the right questions and getting optimal results from them – that means the kind of responses that dovetail naturally into training and procedural changes to generate better results.
The personnel assigned to head up QM will also be critical to the program’s success. Recruit a team to handle monitoring, evaluating and training, and make sure they have the expertise and the resources to do the job right.
This is another critical aspect of quality monitoring, so it is best decided with the participation of as many employees as possible. Divide each call into sections – greeting, closing, speed, issue resolution, courtesy, empathy, etc. – and then score each segment. This could be done with a letter grade like in school, or on a 1-10 scale. Then, compare results. Don’t be surprised if assessments vary – you are still early in the process and this is how you will determine what qualifies as a great call, a good one, and one that was not well-handled. The more participants become acclimated to the QM system, the closer the scores should get.
Feedback and Dispute Resolution
Feedback is important throughout the process. At the outset you need feedback from your customers, which can be obtained through an advocacy survey. Don’t assume you know what they want or expect from your call center before asking them.
Once monitoring has started, feedback may be handled through individual contact with agents, trainers and other personnel, or through group sessions where findings can be shared, and discussions can take place on how to best achieve whatever milestones were set. The more agents can be involved in this, the more likely they will be to buy into the process, and feel that their input is valued.
Sometimes disputes may arise within a performance evaluation. If this happens, do not just dismiss the objection – schedule a re-evaluation conducted by another member of the team.
Can you trust your agents to self-evaluate? Not at the beginning perhaps – but once they grasp how the process works many may be trusted to assess for themselves how well they are meeting the quality expectations of the call center.
Check QM Against Other Call Centers
How does your call center fare compared to other call centers of similar size and function? Finding out via an outside agency that specializes in external benchmarking can provide a new perspective on how your business is performing.
Recognize and Reward Success
When the quality numbers start trending in the right direction, make sure this is not unnoticed by all of your call center staff. Find a way to reward agents, coaches, trainers and other personnel for their contributions.
The Right Technology
Measuring quality manually is long and arduous process, that is made much more efficient when relevant data is accurately compiled and analyzed automatically.
And yet, many contact centers have still not implemented an automated call monitoring solution, and are thus not gathering the measurable metrics that can only be garnered through effective call monitoring and evaluation.
Before selecting a technology solution to be used in a quality monitoring effort, three questions should be asked:
1. Will it improve agent performance?
2. Will the data we collect improve efficiency?
3. Will our call center monitoring solution protect us from a legal challenge?
Choose the Right Call Monitoring Software
Without the right software, a quality monitoring program is going to struggle. Monitoring of customer interactions should be simple for agents, and the intelligence gathered through the system should be easy to analyze for managers. Also, consider future growth – the software you select should be able to grow with your company, and meet your needs not only today but tomorrow.
Publish Date: September 19, 2016 5:00 AM
Considering an automated workforce management (WFM) solution? Look for one that doesn’t just deliver a lot of data, but also functions in a way that complements how today’s call centers operate. This business has changed, and you won’t be able to change with it if you are burdened by yesterday’s technology.
Here are five current WFM trends that should be part of your strategy, and that should benefit from the efficiency of an automated WFM solution.
The workplace of today is very different from what it was like 20 years ago. Agents, particularly those in the millennial age group, grew up in a world of on-demand service, and expect that same option at work. With WFM it’s easier for these agents to manage their schedules, bid for open shifts, request time off or select the shifts for which they are available. While some of this might sound like catering to the whims of people who despise a standard workweek, in the long run it results in happier employees, which is good for customer service. And while adjusting all of these shifts might have been a headache with spreadsheets, WFM streamlines the process so manager oversight is minimal.
With the automated processes made possible by WFM, managers don’t have to be as concerned about noncompliance with legislative and industry regulatory mandates. Just set up the system to accommodate applicable laws and requirements, and it will do the work for you, while also providing a full audit trail.
Real Time Adherence
Are some agents spending 10 extra minutes on their lunches or breaks? Has one agent left early twice last week? WFM provides tracking that makes it easier to enforce time and attendance policies. It’s an objective system that makes sure the same rules apply to everyone.
Enterprise and other growing entities may require more than one contact center, with locations in different states or perhaps even outside the country. Workforce management makes that single global system possible, integrating all functionality through one common interface. This method is more efficient than the regional siloes it replaces.
Today it’s not just about having the right number of agents for each shift, it’s having the right blend of skills and services within that agent pool so that every type of incoming call stands an excellent chance of achieving a positive outcome. With WFM you’ll always know you’re covered, and can plan ahead when selecting additional staff or replacements when certain agents are on vacation. A WFM system with speech analytics makes it even easier to identify where agents excel, so calls in their specialty area can be routed to them.
Publish Date: September 15, 2016 5:00 AM
A lot of us choose the careers we want based on one simple premise: whether or not there is math involved.
Unfortunately, math cannot be entirely avoided, even at jobs that seem to work more with words than numbers.
Take the task of providing great service at a call center. You need an effective script, and agents that know how to relate to customers, and a workforce optimization system that deliver forecasts and schedules that keep the business running at optimal efficiency.
But how can you prove that service is where it needs to be? Here is one system that may help. And yes, some math is involved. Sorry.
First, you need to define the terms that will impact how service is assessed, starting with abandoned calls. Do you count the ones that hang up before an agent responds as a “call offered”? Or ignore them entirely since there was no opportunity offered to achieve a successful result?
Next, select a service level objective, and the service level formula that works best for your business. There are several to choose from:
Once you have your formula, select a time interval and clearly define exactly when a call starts (when the phone rings, or when the caller selects the IVR option that links them to a live agent, or after the recording opening message completes). Then, decide on a measurement interval (by hour, shift, day, etc.).
An automated workforce optimization solution will be invaluable here, as it will gather the data necessary to calculate your service level. Analyze the data, review the results, and make appropriate adjustments in procedure or technology that could help you reach your service goals. Then start the process all over again. At least the second time, the math will be easier.
Publish Date: September 13, 2016 5:00 AM
In a perfect world, all of your agents would always say the right thing at the right time on every call, practically guaranteeing a positive outcome.
Impossible? Perhaps. But with real-time speech analytics, call center managers and agents have a tool that increases the likelihood of customers being paired with the agent most likely to answer questions and provide optimal responses and assistance.
This level of response is even more critical now that customers have other methods available when contacting a company. Many will first inquire about an issue via email or a Facebook post. If that doesn’t work, a phone call is viewed as the last and best option, and that customer will expect to speak to someone with the knowledge and authority to take care of the problem.
For the agent, this challenge becomes easier with a tool that delivers historical information about that customer in real time. That is what speech analytics provides.
But this is no one-size-fits-all solution. Every customer is different, and even two customers who bought the same product and have exactly the same question may not benefit from the same type of response. With speech analytics, agents can change scripted responses based on speech cues, tailoring the discussion so it better matches the caller’s expectations.
Typically deployed as part of a workforce optimization (WFO) solution, speech analytics has become a primary driver of performance and quality monitoring improvements. Such capabilities have long been limited to only the largest contact centers with the largest operations budgets. But the advent of cloud-based WFO software has brought these sophisticated solutions within the reach of small and midsized facilities.
The Monet Software version of speech analytics and desktop analytics is part of our award-winning WFO Live product. Both platforms deliver detailed, data-driven insight into daily call center operations and customer behavior, but without the significant investment that such benefits used to require.
Publish Date: September 12, 2016 5:00 AM
In healthcare, some treatments for illness have been effective for hundreds of years, while new treatments are always being developed that improve on older methods.
The same can be said of a healthcare call center. Managers may still be relying on a traditional solution – spreadsheets – for forecasts and schedules, but this is one treatment that may have outlived its usefulness.
If the data you have been generating with spreadsheets for 20 years is no longer sufficient, it’s time to make the change to WFM.
We created a free whitepaper entitled Call Center Forecasting and Scheduling: Best Practices that explores this topic in more detail.
What are some of the benefits of WFM, compared to spreadsheets?
• More accurate forecasts
• A streamlined scheduling process
• More flexible management of start times, end times and break times
• Easier skill-based scheduling
• Greater transparency
• Happier agents and customers
Spreadsheets simply cannot compete. Find out for yourself by reading the whitepaper.
Publish Date: September 9, 2016 5:00 AM
Automated workforce management software can deliver an abundance of data to a healthcare call center, and all of it can be useful.
But which metrics are most important? According to this ICMI article, many call centers prioritize data based on what it can do to lower operating costs. But in a healthcare call center, it is more important to review metrics that impact customer experience. In many situations the call center plays a role in patient care, so every effort must be made to handle calls quickly and to have agents that are qualified to listen and make appropriate recommendations.
How do you know how well you are doing? Patient surveys can help. This information can be collected either right after the call, or at a later date with questions sent through the mail. The feedback you receive is the most direct assessment available of your call center operation.
Quality management and call scoring can also play a role in customer and patient service measurement. Where is your business succeeding, and which areas could use some improvement? You’re not just looking for trends here, but the root causes that created those trends. Once you identify the problems, you can begin to design solutions.
According to the ICMI article, all of this is easier to do if you “invest in the right systems and processes.”
Is Monet WFM Live the right system for your healthcare call center? Our WFM and call recording solutions have been successfully employed by many call centers of all sizes in this industry to collect and analyze customer satisfaction feedback, and to link data points together across the contact center spectrum. Thus, managers always have specific analytics on every aspect of patient interaction, along with a “big picture” view of how all the moving parts are – or should be – working together.
Publish Date: September 7, 2016 5:00 AM
How workforce management is defined may depend in part on how it is employed within a specific industry.
Wikipedia provides us with a starting point: “In many markets and industries, workforce management is all about assigning the right employees with the right skills to the right job at the right time.”
This definition certainly applies to healthcare contact centers. One of the primary goals is to have the right number of agents with the right set of skills available at all times to provide efficient customer and patient service.
In this case workforce management describes not just the goal, but also the best means of achieving it.
One of the most important responsibilities of a healthcare call center manager is to accurately anticipate the types and volume of calls expected within a certain day, or even hour-to-hour. This can be accomplished through the historical call center data collected and analyzed by an automated WFM solution. With precise predictions in hand, the manager thus creates a forecast and schedule to meet demand.
Historical data, along with call recording, can also be used to review agent performance, which helps with finding the right mix of agents for each shift, and for coaching and training purposes.
How should you choose a WFM solution for your healthcare call center? The right choice will be one that delivers accurate call volume forecasting from historical data and ACD integration, flexible schedule creation that incorporates foreseen and unforeseen variables, agent exceptions, intra-day changes to both forecasting and scheduling, and performance management reports. In other words, everything you need to keep your business running at optimal efficiency.
Publish Date: September 1, 2016 5:00 AM
Your goal is to deliver outstanding customer service any time, any day. But there are days and times when achieving that goal is easier.
Should you share that information with callers that ask? Or offer a few recommendations on the company website or Facebook page? Why not? By doing so you're not only lightening the workload at peak calling time, you're also improving the likelihood that every call receives the personal attention and positive experience it deserves.
Yes, the public is more demanding now. They want what they want when they want it. But not everyone is like that, and most will appreciate any help that you are willing to provide.
Think of it this way - the next time you go to the DMV, would you like them to let you know the wait time could be three hours if you arrive at noon, but if you get there by 9am you will be in and out in an hour? Most people would be delighted to know the fastest way to resolve their solution.
How you do this, of course, depends on the calling patterns and hours of operation at your call center. For some business, a warning to avoid Mondays might be in order; but for call centers in the travel industry, Fridays might be busier as couples plan weekend getaways.
If there is a day that is typically lighter in call volume, let customers know. If there's a time when calls are answered faster, let them know. The first hour of operation may work, unless you have an issue with late-arriving agents.
You might also consider explaining IVR options in advance and in more detail, so customers will know which options to use before the call. Also, let them know what information you'll likely need for them, so they won't have to start searching for it after the call is initiated.
Finally, offer other options for finding the information they need - make sure business hours are clearly posted on your website, and that you have a FAQ page that explains common solutions to common problems.
Publish Date: August 12, 2016 5:00 AM
A lot of lip service is paid to listening to customers. But there is a difference between actual listening and just hearing what they have to say.
The best call centers focus all of their efforts on gaining insight into every customer on every call. Comments made even in passing can offer valuable insight into satisfaction with a product or service, and should influence business development and marketing. There is no such thing as a routine transaction.
Are you really and truly paying attention to your customers? Here are a few ways to find out.
If you are getting too many repeat calls from the same customers about the same issue, something isn't right. Either your agents are not able to resolve the issue, or there is a problem with a product that cannot be solved. Whatever the reason, this is a communication breakdown that must be corrected. When possible, provide agents with the information they need to deal with the issue. Or inform a brand manager about the situation so action can be taken at that level.
"We don't have that service available"
Why not? If callers are repeatedly inquiring about something they want that you don't have, look into whether it's possible to provide it. Especially if it's a product or service already provided by other companies in your industry.
"Tell us how we're doing"
The fastest and easiest way to find out what customers want is simply to ask them. Sometimes it can be tempting to let analytics do the work for you - and with the right system in place you will certainly collect valuable, relevant data. But there's also nothing wrong with the direct approach. Ask for feedback, and incorporate that feedback into the entire organization, not just the call center.
Publish Date: August 11, 2016 5:00 AM
Performance Management (PM) is something of a catch-all term that incorporates a wide range of management aspects, from planning to developing agent skills, to evaluating performance based on metrics and making adjustments accordingly.
Most call centers engage in some form of performance management, whether through ongoing meetings to assess progress or an annual review. If you are not seeing enough benefits from your performance management process, it might be time to step back and reassess what you are doing, and how you are doing it.
If you're ready for a fresh start, here are the first five steps to achieving better results.
1. Decide why it's important
What purpose do you expect performance management to play in your business? Write down a list of reasons why this effort is important, and make sure it is shared throughout the call center - PM doesn't work unless everyone is on the same page.
2. Specify objectives
What are the goals that the call center hopes to achieve through performance management? "Better service" and "compliance" are a start, but try to be more specific.
3. Select an approach
Most call centers begin a PM effort by looking at what's wrong, and how it can be addressed. There is nothing incorrect with this method, particularly in a small call center. But there is another approach, dubbed "appreciative inquiry," that instead stresses how best to use the strengths of the organization to move forward in a positive direction. Consider giving that a try as well.
4. What determines success?
Performance management is a results-oriented endeavor. Goals should be set with this in mind. And technology can be used to gauge progress and measure results.
If you get everything exactly right the first time when you launch v.2 of your performance management program, let us know your secret. However, this is usually a process that will require refinement and adjustment to achieve better results every time. Set up time for a review to determine what works and what doesn't, and how you can update your PM methods to pay even greater dividends.
Publish Date: August 10, 2016 5:00 AM