Creating Rewarding, Engaging Call Center Experiences
Call center management is not easy.
You need to hit hard targets. You have to stay within strict budgets. And you must continue to educate and motivate your team members to keep them up to date and on board.
To ensure you can do all that, you will want to consider the following best practices.
Take Care in Hiring
If you think being a call center manager is tough, just think about how hard it is for call center agents.
You spend most of your time on the phone. You have to deal with callers who are often grouchy, and sometimes downright rude.
In the face of all that, you need to stay positive, and convey that attitude to callers. You need to be able to find answers, and to do so quickly. And you have to do your best to meet, or even exceed, key performance indicators.
All that said, it’s important for call center managers to do their due diligence in hiring new agents. They need to look for people with positive attitudes, who do not get easily angered or frustrated, are flexible, and are willing to learn new things and employ new technologies.
Prepare Agents for What Awaits
After you hire new agents, you’ll need to provide them with training.
That training should include laying out company goals and expectations. It should provide guidance on how to use the tools and employ the processes used at your call center. And it should let agents know what to do if they aren’t sure what to do.
Over time, call center goals may change. New campaigns may require new processes or scripts. And new technology may allow for better outcomes. That’s why you’ll need to train not just at the time of hire, but on an ongoing basis.
That training could come in the form of one-on-one interactions, group information sessions, online resources used on an on-demand basis, or other methods.
Invest Agents in the Process
When employees are engaged in their work, they tend to perform better, stay longer, and generally have good attitudes. So create a call center that encourages engaged agents.
You can do that by talking with agents during every shift. But don’t just talk, listen too. And when agents have suggestions for how to improve things, let them know you appreciate their input. And employ their suggestions when and where it makes sense.
When possible, also provide agents with flexible schedules. Avoid agent exhaust by not making shifts last too long. And give agents occasional breaks from on-phone time.
Also, recognize agents when they have done a good job. But generous with praise, and provide rewards for outstanding performance.
Leverage Data and Technology
The endgame, of course, is to meet the goals of your business, or the businesses for which you provide call center services. So use the data you have to allow for the greatest returns.
For example, when you notice that calls are lasting too long, investigate the cause and offer agents guidance on how to correct the situation.
And set schedules based on forecasted need, but don’t let agents sit idle is calling volume is lower than expected. Instead, adjust schedules accordingly, or provide agents with other tasks to complete when that makes sense.
Edited by Mandi Nowitz