What's the best marker of success for a call center? Key performance indicators like average handle time and first-call resolution? Keeping call queues short and agents busy to the optimum degree? Meeting the schedule and adherence better than 95 percent of the time?
None of these things. Contact centers exist to serve customers, so the best marker for success is all about the customer. While customer satisfaction is a great thing to strive for, it doesn't necessarily translate to repeat business, which is what keeps a company alive. Customer loyalty – a concept that keeps customers coming back for repeat purchases – is that counts, according to third-party call monitoring company BPA Quality in a recent blog post.
Following this train of thought, this means there are three major keys that can assist agents in reaching customers and obtaining their loyalty. They are call monitoring, coaching and training, and attaining optimal operating efficiency in these three categories are what will lead directly to improved customer loyalty, writes BPA Quality.
“Call monitoring can be done internally or by a 3rd party,” according to BPA Quality's blog. “Using a third party can provide you with a customer-centric, unbiased look into how agents are handling customers.”
But it's not simply about the monitoring, which won't gain you much unless action is taken on what's uncovered in the monitoring, said the company.
“Once you have evaluations that are objective and measurable, then the agent needs to be able to understand it and then move their performance forward. All the evaluations in the world cannot help agents, unless it is followed up by training and coaching.”
With data gleaned from efficient monitoring, call center trainers can turn their focus on the issues that need help and identify areas where agents are already excelling. Any successful call center knows that training is critical in ensuring agents are aware of what is expected of them when they interact with customers. Agents need to have the understanding on how to personalize the interaction versus just processing the call. Once the agent is trained initially, then follow-up training must come into play, says BPA Quality.
“Follow-up training is done through coaching the agent by their supervisors and managers,” blogged BPA Quality. “As all great sport coaches will tell you, the key to having great players is to show them how to do things better and praising their victories. There is no difference between a football coach and a call center manager … just a different game is being played. Once you have great coaches on the call center floor giving great advice and kudos to their agents, this experience will spill over to the treatment of customers by the agents.”
And that is the moment when building customer loyalty begins.
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