8 Healthy habits for highly effective call centers.

Position:Innovative SOLUTIONS

Customers want their problems resolved efficiently and without the hassle of being transferred -or worse, having to call back. Executives expect call center managers to figure out a way to have agents improve their first contact resolution rate, but without losing any recent efficiency gains.

When everybody wants more, your call center needs to deliver. And this means that call center managers need to ensure they are continually engaging in healthy habits that keep agents' performance top of mind - to delivering quality service as efficiently as possible.

Here are 8 healthy habits to help ensure your call center is highly effective:

  1. Train agents to be well-versed in your products, policies, procedures, services, etc. Agents are the face of your brand. In order to do their jobs well and perform at a superior level, they need knowledge to handle calls and do so with efficiency. This competency is rendered when agents have the right skills that come with training.

  2. Provide targeted coaching. Quick agent-supervisor chats can be worked into the day to review issues that arise during a call. Letting agents have the opportunity to review issues with their supervisor helps to clear up confusing issues immediately and prevents mistakes from reoccurring.

  3. Give agents access to information they need to succeed. Agents won't and shouldn't always have to remember all of the information they need to perform well. It's much more realistic to provide access to the blogs, forums, knowledge base or your internal systems that help promote informal learning.

  4. Deploy important, must-read communications at the right time. Sometimes an urgent message has to hit the floor fast. Get the word out without disrupting calls. And, be strategic about it. Send it out in waves, and be sure to alert the agent that an urgent communication is ready for their review - in between customer interactions.

  5. Motivate agents to perform at superior levels. Let them know that great customer service matters just as much as efficient call handling and they will be rewarded for hitting all of their targets. Also provide incentives for timely completion of training or coaching courses as these activities enable agents to accomplish the performance you're requesting from them.

  6. Allow time for agents to complete administrative tasks, paperwork or call follow up. Give them a 10-minute slot in between customer calk to complete the tasks necessary for fulfilling the...

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