Contact centers rely on agents to provide great customer service with every interaction. Without productive agents, you risk losing clients, your reputation and revenue. To be successful, call centers need to boost agent performance. But how?
Most call center managers are aware that an efficient team means better call center performance. So let’s look at tactics you can use to boost agent productivity.
1. Use IVR to segment customers
Nothing slows down performance more than the poor distribution of inbound calls. IVR (interactive voice response) is a valuable tool because it gathers information about callers before they are connected with the agent. This information is shared with the agent in real-time.
Having a thoughtfully-developed IVR menu means your customers arrive at a solution more quickly and agents are free to work with more complicated issues. It’s a win-win!
2. Eliminate avoidable calls
By eliminating calls that could be avoided, your agents will have more time to spend on calls that really matter. There are several ways to do so, for example, you can block undesirable phone numbers, publish FAQs on your website to let customers find answers themselves or use a comprehensive IVR menu (see above).
3. Implement continuous training
Keeping a stable team will help you reduce training costs and time. That is why you should make sure that new agents receive complex training. They should learn how to resolve issues and become familiar with your products or services.
Consider organizing regular training focused on common problems, for example talking to angry customers, etc., to make sure that agents continuously develop their skills.
To provide valuable feedback to your team members is to use call monitoring feature. It enables supervisors to listen to the calls between agent and caller, and if needed provided real-time feedback or whispering to the agent.
4. Monitor calls and share best practices
With the right call center software, your contact center use the call recording feature. This is useful, especially for new agents. In addition, you can hold group sessions to allow everyone to listen to examples of good and bad practices. This will reinforce good behaviour and push others to improve their performance. And don't forget to keep your files organized!
5. Empower your agents with the best technology
Even the most motivated agents are less productive if they use complicated IT systems and processes. Some call centers use various databases, including sales software, CRM or helpdesk tools. This slows down your agents because they have to open many tabs to find essential information.
User-friendly cloud-based call center software can be integrated with all your IT solutions, so you can eliminate frustration and make information more accessible.
6. Monitor and re-examine your metrics
How do you know whether your agents are productive without metrics? Make sure your goals are clear and that all agents know why and how that metric is measured. For example, you can measure customer satisfaction, new sales, first call resolution rate, occupancy rate, etc.
7. Reward successful agents
Another call center customer service best practice is to offer incentives to agents who meet their goal. Research shows that 69% of employees would work harder if they were better recognized. No need to invest in huge bonuses, you can reward employees with small gifts for reaching or exceeding their goals.
When agents feel appreciated, they tend to look for ways to improve their performance. This will also spark friendly competition between agents.
8. Make data-driven changes
Good call center software can provide you with statistics and real-time data that you can use to uncover problems that hinder agent performance. Call center managers should review the data regularly and make necessary changes.
Extra tip: Don’t forget the fun!
Remember that a happy employee is a productive employee. If you want to help your agents be more efficient, don’t forget to create a work environment in which they enjoy being.
Increasing agent efficiency can help dramatically improve results of your call center.