Call Center Management Feature Article
February 04, 2013
Streamlining Call Center Resolutions with Workforce Optimization
By Tracey E. Schelmetic, TMCnet Contributor
While you may be struggling to keep up with your own New Year’s resolutions (they seem so distant now, and you may be at the point where you’ll scream if you see another salad and protein shake), what about your business resolutions? While those may not be much easier to stick with, at least they don’t involve climbing on a treadmill.
If you set resolutions for your call center operation, they may have been broad and all-encompassing: everything from “finding a better headset vendor” to “ferreting out that person who takes the last cup of coffee from the kitchen and leaves the burner on under the empty pot.” In order to stick closer to your plans for improving the call center, you may want to consider streamlining them a bit: focus on the things you can improve simply by making better use of a workforce optimization solution (or a better workforce optimization solution).
Monet Software’s CEO Chuck Ciarlo blogged recently on five ways you can improve operations using workforce optimization, and while they might not solve the coffee pot problem, chances are, by resolving these issues, you could quickly boost customer satisfaction and improve many of your key performance indicators. They include:
Abandoning abandoned calls. While many contact centers believe they are inevitable, abandoned calls do more damage than many people imagine: they can result in a lost customer. By using call center performance metrics, you can find the scenarios that are most likely to result in abandoned calls – and receive alerts when these scenarios occur -- and prevent them.
Better categorization. Call center recording and monitoring software can help classify calls by type, length, source, etc. for later review, and this information is invaluable for analyzing results and agent performance, writes Ciarlo. You can also use this information to identify agent skills in certain scenarios (calming angry customers?) and making sure you match those agents to the situations they handle best.
Train more often. Training that is customized for the call center and even the agent, held more often than you typically do it, can go a long way toward helping agents become the resources you need them to be. Consider using recorded calls to boost the quality and frequency of training.
Boost morale. Call center work can be boring. As a result, call centers that make work more challenging and interesting are likely to retain better agents for longer. Building an incentive program that agents can keep track of and build personal goals to aim for can improve their quality of work.
Save time. While you may keep track of lots of other metrics such as average handle time, consider also focusing on “average wasted time,” writes Ciarlo. Agents may be spending more time than you think in between-call work, or repetitive tasks. Identifying these inefficiencies and removing them can boost productivity quickly.
While meeting your call center resolutions may not result in flatter abs or fewer personal bad habits, it may help operations run smoothly and more efficiently, and may benefit both your agents and your customers, and (just maybe) your career. Now back to that salad…
Edited by Amanda Ciccatelli