Call centers are the front line of customer service but many common call center problems can stand in the way of top-tier customer service.
It is well known that a call center is one of the toughest work environments, which can result in increased agent absenteeism, agent turnover and costs while decreasing customer service quality, team morale and effectiveness. Therefore, when the professional environment is unhealthy, business dooms.
But this is only the tip of the iceberg. There are several other concerns that need to be addressed and companies have now started focusing on enhancing the quality of service. Agents should be more than ever skilled and equipped not just for script reading but for more complex problems. They need to be able to act autonomously should a problem arise.
So what are the biggest problems that call centers are facing today? And how can you improve efficiency and optimization? Below we discuss 4 common problems call center managers are dealing with today, and how to overcome them.
Employee attrition has long been an issue in high-volume hiring environments, such as call centers. Cramped in a cubicle 9-10 hours a day, answering calls of frustrated customers, low pay, and slim benefits could be why agents do not see a future in this environment.
According to a recent Linkedin report, in addition to the law wages, compensation still remains one of the biggest challenges in recruitment for a call center.
In addition, a call center employee with aspirations can easily get discouraged given the little or no room for growth in a monotonous job. As a result, agents and employees have high rates of burnout, turnover, and poor performance.
Most call center agents only communicate with superiors when something is going wrong. However, call center managers should recognize and acknowledge the effort as well as the outstanding performance of their agents. It is the easiest approach to build trust, strengthen agent-manager relationships and bring positive energy to the workplace.
Call center agents work hard, and rewarding them for a job well done, will keep them motivated and willing to stay in the company. Compare company benefits and wages to other call centers in the industry as well as offer incentives and even reward programs to compete for the best talent.
It is crucial that skilled and motivated agents are able to not only handle a conversation successfully but to gain customer trust as well. Coaching agents with traditional training methods can be quite time-consuming and not necessarily the most effective way.
Instead, the agent should be trained to provide value to the company. See how you can teach agents to deliver personalized customer service.
Gamification is transforming call centers. With the right game mechanics, tools, tactics and techniques, managers can transform their call center into a customer-centric operation by motivating employee engagement and achievement.
**Don't use gamification in your call center? Here's why you should!**
According to SQM, a U.S. customer survey research, 20 to 30 percent of a call center’s call volumes are call backs from previous, unresolved issues.
Although most dissatisfied customers will not complain, even worse, they will leave and never come back.
And even if the call center compensates customers to make up for their bad experience, it takes 7 positive experiences on average to make up for one single bad one.
An optimal solution to enhancing customer satisfaction and loyalty is by providing an Interactive Voice Response or else skills-based routing. When the customers call, they will have a more personalized experience.
IVRs collect information about customer’s needs and will transfer the customer to the most appropriate agent or department. In addition to the reduction of operational costs, the advanced system can place high-value callers to the front of the waiting queue meaning that even if all agents are busy, the team will never lose a high-value customer.
Make customers the spotlight of your call center, and constantly ask for feedback and opinions. Customers will provide you with a wealth of information about your product, service, agents and more. All you need to do is listen.
Metrics by which you measure agent performance could potentially be harming your customer service. KPIs such as AHT pressure agents to handle call within a certain amount of time, leading them to transfer the call more than necessary, "accidently" get disconnected and provide a generic service.
Review your scorecard and make sure agents are focusing on metrics that really matter and don't backfire.
A decrease in call center performance levels can be the result of many things, including low morale. Call centers have learned to place a lot of importance on their customers, forgetting to check in on their staff every once in a while.
KPIs such as customer satisfaction (CSAT) are more commonly used than employee satisfaction (ESAT). According to a recent survey by ICMI, nearly half of respondents do not track employee satisfaction within the call center.
An over-reliance on traditional metrics such as Average Handling Time and Speed To Answer, make it difficult for agents to improve because such metrics ignore quality, overwork agents and ultimately lead to a decrease in performance.
Focus on qualitative and quantitative metrics, such as real-time customer feedback, balanced scored cards, and Net Promoter Score which all work to further improve performance levels.
**More important that Net Promoter Score? Agent Promoter Score**
Many call centers are using multiple and outdated software to help them with their day-to-day operations instead of using a single tool.
This means agents in some call centers are opening and closing up to 10 different software to resolve a single query and spending an enormous amount of time on administrative tasks.
Adopt new software that will integrate with the existing ones in the call center. Or opt for a platforms that already have multiple systems integrated into it, such as ZenDesk or PlayVox.
ZenDesk provides a cloud-based customer support platform which allows quicker and easier interaction between businesses and customers, giving agents the ability to handle multiple systems from one single source.
PlayVox, which easily be integrates with ZenDesk, provides the tools to run the QA operations of your call center, centralizing training, coaching and evaluation tools.
Are you struggling with one of these common call center problems? Share with us how you tackled the issue and resolved it in the comment box down below!
Publish Date: October 19, 2016 5:00 AM
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