One of the best tools an outsource telemarketing or contact center manager has is the blended seat. A blended seat is a call center workstation that allows the call center agent to handle inbound calls, outbound calls, email, chats and text messages. Most call center management pros are adept at carefully constructing a plan where different call center agents are "skilled" for different types of contacts and by using skills and skills-based routing, the call center agents are kept busy with the contact types that they are most skilled at; however they are also available to handle non-primary contact types as needed to achieve the service level and customer satisfaction goals within the call center.
As a Senior Operations Manager in a work-from-home outsource telemarketing call center, my team is 100% blended and they handle multiple types of contacts for their assigned clients on a daily basis.
Here are some best practices if you’re considering the implementation of a blended seat into your call center or with your outsource telemarketing partner.
....NOTE - content continues below this message
>>>>> FIND OUT MORE: HERE
....CONTENT CONTINUED BELOW
INVITATIONWe invite you and your colleagues to join us online as we take the highest rated industry conference online - join us and the elite in the industry at the NEXT GENERATION Contact Center & Customer Engagement Best Practices Conferences!
>>>>> FIND OUT MORE: HERE
You want to keep your agents busy, but not so busy they are overwhelmed. You want to be able to handle the incoming calls and meet the outbound calling hours required so begin with some heavy planning and forecasting. For example, if you are off by more than 10% on your forecast for inbound calls (more actual calls vs forecasted calls), then assuming you prioritize answering inbound calls, you will fall short of the expected outbound contacts from your team. Accuracy of planning and forecasting is critical to ensuring you achieve the contact goals across the organization. Also, in my experience, the agents will get burned off if they are utilized more than 80% of their day. So, if they are not in "wrap" or "not ready" or "break" mode at least 20% of their day, you may find your team will burn out and quit.
Forecasting for inbound call volumes, emails, chats, texts and outbound contacts can be a bit tedious. Good planning is worth the time. When you have a clear picture of how long the calls should be, call volume on the inbound side and how many hours you need on the outbound side of things, you can accurately forecast staffing needs. And don’t forget the new contact methods that your call center team is handling: emails, chats, text and even social media posting, and responses should be considered in the forecast and planned for. Plan on the right amount of agents to handle the calls from the inbound side as well handle the outbound calls/hours you need.
A good contact management technology solution includes these features:
- Number of callers in the inbound queue
- How many calls are currently holding
- How long the callers have been holding
- Number of agents on calls
- Number of agents available
- % Calls answered within Service Level
- % emails handled within Service Level
- % chat sessions handled within Service Level
By having a good omni-channel contact management system in place, it is easier to maximize your Return On Investment. The blended seat contact solutions agents are literally flowing from contact to contact based on the priorities set by management, without logging in and out of different systems. The front-line agents are always busy. For example, if there are no inbound calls, emails, chats, or texts, the agent will be served outbound calls. And then the agents are available at a moment’s notice to quickly capture those spikes in inbound, chat or email volume. Technology and properly configuring the technology to meet the priorities of your business will ensure your ability to make the most of your contact solutions call center, whether it is an outsource telemarketing vendor or an internal contact center.
Making sure you have trained agents on the phone and the right quantity can be a challenge. You have attendance issues to deal with as well as spikes in volume. Having agents trained and ready to take overflow to assist with spikes and a watchful eye looking for those spikes helps to build the right balance. On slower inbound volume days, you can pack those outbound hours in as long as you have the technology to blend those seats. It can be very challenging, but I love it! (Well… most of the time.)
About Quality Contact Solutions:
Quality Contact Solutions (QCS) is a 100% U.S.-based B2B and B2C telemarketing and call center solutions provider. QCS is PCI Level 1 certified, experienced in many different industry verticals, and has 15 different locations in the U.S.
Published: Thursday, May 10, 2018
Branch Employer Payments Platform - Earned Wage Access
Give employees instant access to a portion of their earned wages before payday! Branch helps businesses modernize their payment methods to empower working Americans. Earned wage access—with no-fee banking and access to a digital wallet and free debit card—are just some of the tools in our fast, free, and flexible platform. With Branch, businesses streamline existing payroll processes, save money, and provide faster payments and free digital banking to their employees—no pre-funding or capital required.
Securing payments for on-premise or remote agents for telephone, IVR, web, mobile, Chat and Chatbot.
A patented technology that is flexible way to take secure, PCI DSS compliant payments via live agents over the telephone, web, Chat, Chatbot, or IVR. No sensitive data enters the contact centre environment so, agents do not see, hear, store or record any card or personal details.
CallGuard can be deployed in various ways to fit the way your contact centre works. The solution can de-scope all, or parts, of your contact centre from the scope of PCI DSS compliance and works just as well for on-premise or home/remote working agents.
ChatGuard makes payments in Chat PCI DSS compliant and...
Award-winning PCI compliance phone and multi-channel payment application.
PayGuard® is easy to deploy, very easy for agent to use from the office/contact centre or from home and is affordable.