As call centers are changing in a big way this year, managers are needing more tools and guidance to manage an effective workforce.
In this blog, we will examine what call center managers need to do to effectively meet the expectations of current and future customers. We will cover everything from setting clear goals, on boarding, scheduling and investing in the next technology to help keep your call center more competitive.
Effective Call Center Management Practice #1: Set Clear Goals and Strategies
Like any manager, setting clear goals and objectives with your team and stakeholders is essential to move in the right direction. Contact centers often deal with large contracts at a time, so having a strong foundation and roadmap for processes is essential for productivity and resilience.
Take some time to brainstorm any past problems you’d want to mitigate, and to also review any major wins that may be replicable in the future. Remember that earlier stages of planning also require teamwork. Being open to feedback from employees, clients, or other stakeholders will allow a wider perspective.
Once you have a clear list of goals, consider each one and have a plan to implement how to get there. Build a solid plan toward eliminating main issues and improving processes. Make sure you note review times for this roadmap and delegate team members to champion some tasks when applicable.
Effective Call Center Management Practice #2: Hiring the Right Employees
Call Centers rely heavily on its agents. Having a team that fits the work culture, needs and align with company goals and objectives is essential.
Call centers need employees with good listening and communication skills, a positive attitude and a natural knack for customer service. These traits cannot be taught, so it’s up to the managers to dedicate the time and energy into hiring the best employees for the job.
Effective Call Center Management Practice #3: Implement an Onboarding Program
So you’ve hired the right people, now what? As an effective contact center manager, you should take your time with onboarding, as this will ultimately set your new employees up for success.
We recommend planning a large part of the onboarding program for training employees on how to deal with customer complaints. As a majority of calls will be to resolve problems and grievances, it’s important to prepare employees from the beginning.
Allow new hires to listen in on live customer interactions alongside more tenured agents. Calls, emails, ticketing processes etc. When new hires are ready to begin their own calls, have tenured agents also listen in to provide feedback as to what a quality customer experience looks like.
To increase the effectiveness of your organization’s onboarding program, keep in mind that different individuals learn in different ways, be sure to create components in the program to tailor to different learning styles, ie - visual process boards, verbal communication training etc.
Effective Call Center Management Practice #4: Provide Long Term Training and Learning Opportunities
Not all guidelines and processes will apply to every organization for every situation. On-going training presents opportunities for all employees to continue learning and sharpening their skillset.
Despite the time and costs involved with training and development, at the end of the day, learning opportunities can be exciting for employees to look forward to and reduce turnover. Positive incentives in training and these opportunities can also improve individual employee results and customer experiences.
Effective Call Center Management Practice #5: Regular Communication & Targeted Feedback
Regular assessments for employees and customer feedback is important for the success of any call center. Schedule time each month or quarter to review your employees’ performance and set time aside for regular check-ins and to give targeted feedback. Especially for new employees, it’s important to keep data and KPIs updated to see who may do better with more guidance. Targeted feedback can also help produce more independent agents who can be autonomous and make on the spot decisions to better serve customers. Keep the feedback positive and set milestones and incentives to help agents achieve their goals.
For tenured agents, have more laid back check-ins to promote autonomy and only schedule time for coaching if they are underperforming.
Effective Call Center Management Practice #6: Effective Scheduling
Contact centers are often high-stress environments. Employees cannot perform at a high level for an extended period of time. Effective scheduling means giving your employees enough time to relax and regain their energy.
When scheduling, factor in peak and low hours, employee availability and employee abilities and skill sets. Implementing forecasting reports can help you gain better insight into staffing needs. Shifts that have gaps in them should be filled with new hires, not with current agents going on overtime. Doing this regularly will lead to burn out, even for your best agents.
While working overtime or undesirable shifts is sometimes necessary at a call center, make sure employees have adequate incentives during especially busy times.
Effective Call Center Management Practice #7: Investing in Contact Center Technology
Technology is ever changing and call centers need efficient tools for success. It’s management’s job to keep up to date with technology trends and to stay competitive with the tools that your team is utilizing. From call monitoring, recording, to VoIP systems, investing in technology will allow for quick, easy, and seamless communication experiences for customers and internal needs.
Bria Enterprise simplifies the user experience for call center agents, and offers organizations an immediate competitive advantage that is scalable and cost effective. Its powerful provisioning solution makes it easy to manage and control thousands of agents simultaneously, not to mention powerful traffic analysis and helpdesk capabilities
Saving time and effort for your employees ultimately translates to better customer experiences.
If you’re looking for a highly configurable and easily deployable omnichannel solution, one option you should consider is Bria Enterprise for call centers. Video conferencing, screen sharing, file transfer and messaging give your team real time collaboration tools.
Cross-platform BYOD (Bring-your-own-device) strategies extend your corporate reach to your whole workforce, on the devices they love. If your brand is key to your success, you can also white-label and customize the solution. Your IT and administration staff will look like heroes, as they easily and securely provision, managing communication from one central place. Your IT heroes will be able to track usage and provide extensive analytics and statistics. Ultimately, it will reduce costs and provide better service for your customers.
Take advantage of all the latest emerging technologies and add CounterPath solutions to your strategic plan.