Well, managing a Call Center isn’t easy at all. It requires a lot of planning and brainstorming.
Before discussing the best practices for Call Center Management, let me first answer to this question, “What is Call Center Management?”.
Call Center Management is the way in which organizations manage their operations – customer experience, operational costs, employee training, reporting, and other tasks to provide the best customer experience.
Providing excellent customer service is what call centers are aiming for. It is important to keep your service top-quality, customers and agents happy at the same time.
Below I have discussed 15 best practices for Call Center management which will help you to increase your Return On Investment (ROI).
Let’s get started, and make your life a little easier!.
|1.Choose Quality over Quantity||6.Monitor Customer Churn Rate||11.Cloud-based Call Center solution|
|2.Take Customer Surveys||7.Make use of Analytics||12.Invest in Agent Training|
|3.Effective Agent Scheduling||8.Incorporate Automation||13.Use of Artificial Intelligence (AI)|
|4.Segment your Customer base||9.Unified Communication Platform||14.Quality Assurance|
|5.Find out Key Performance Indicators||10.Taking advantage of CRM technologies||15.Use Business Intelligence (BI) Tools|
Call Centers leverage multiple channels at once. They are focused more on increasing the number of channels to cater to more clients. But, it is important to prioritize quality over quantity.
At first, the objective should be to provide high-quality interaction on the channel that is currently in use.
The which you should ask is, “ Are your customers satisfied with your service?”. You can find your answer by conducting customer surveys.
Start focusing on Quality Assurance which includes, self-assessment for agents, complete caller experience and problem resolution.
When you start providing outstanding customer service, customer’s loyalty towards you increases that helps to build long-lasting relationships.
We can obtain data from analytics and reports but customer feedback plays a vital role. It is the first-hand information, as you can directly find out the areas ripe for improvement.
Do take care of two things:
Before creating a survey, make sure to have a plan. At first, decide your objective of the survey, and keep all the questions based on it.
You can add a survey prompt on your site, so that any of the site visitors may take the survey.
If you have customers email address, you can also send an emailed survey. Chances of successful email surveys are less as most of the time’s company emails get ignored or get into the spam folder.
Remember that your primary objective behind the survey is to gain insights into your customers.
Humans manage a call center. They get tired as the job is also very taxing. If we ask them to work overtime than their productivity and interest both decreases. You can’t burn out agent totally due to work.
Take note of the agent’s availability and then schedule their work timings. Hire new agents in case of any gaps in time.
“You pay your employees for their time, not productivity.”
Make sure to offer incentives to employees based on their performance. This way their work feel appreciated.
Companies allowing part-time work to employees, save a huge sum of money annually.
All organizations must give work flexibility to employees, Telecommuting alone cuts absenteeism by 60%.
With customers increasing expectations, it has become necessary to offer a level of personalization to all customers. By segmenting your customer base based on their characteristics , you can offer high-value service to your best customers.
You can segment your customers based on:
Personalized content specifically tailored for the segment groups increases the chances of your profitability.
You need Data Analytics to segment your customer base and then you need to decide your metrics to measure.
This improves profitability in multiple areas and also saves you valuable time by not wasting it behind unimportant customers.
Managers who want to transform their team’s performance for better analyze different business metrics to performance indicators.
These actionable insights help them to make better decisions and have a track over time.
KPIs signifies the efficiency and effectiveness of the Call Center.
A few to consider include: Average time spent, Average Wait time, Conversion rate, call resolution, etc.
Different businesses use different KPIs, the KPIs relevant to you will change depending on what you are willing to monitor.
Comprehensive metrics helps you to reduce call waiting time, improve staff morale, reduce cost and track your daily performance.
Below you can see 13 Call Center metrics explained in brief:
Churn rate is the number of customers who cut ties with the company in a given period of time.
Higher churn rate indicates that employees are not satisfied and are leaving the company.
Lower churn rate suggests faster growth.
Customer Churn rate has a direct impact on Customers Lifetime Value(CLV).
When Churn rate starts increasing, it acts as a signal to agents that customers are not happy with the service. They need to start working on building Customer relationships.
Now the question arises,” How to track churn rate?”.
Some consider only lost clients, which gives an incomplete picture.
The best way to monitor churn is by analyzing revenue, customers lost and duration of a customer relationship.
Some of the causes of churn are:
Some tips on reducing churn rate:
You need Analytics software to monitor and analyze important KPIs for your business.
Call center analytics software help you to find out holes in your business operation.
Analytics software is armed with data and Machine Learning that find out patterns based on past customer behaviour. It helps you to make customer-centric decisions.
Some of the important call center analytics are:
You can analyze all consumer data, and locate flaws in the process.
Using this data, organizations can take proactive steps to ensure the best possible experience for their customers.
Automation is all about saving time and increasing efficiency, most of the problems of a call center are solved by automation.
Agents have the pressure to cater to the maximum number of customers and at the same time deliver positive customer experience.
Call center’s automation helps in handling repetitive and boring tasks. This helps agents to focus more on actual conversations.
Widely used call center automation’s are:
Other automation’s are Robotic Process Automation, Desktop Automation, etc.
Using Automation, humans are able to close more qualified leads and generate a better ROI for the company.
When Internal and External communication are brought together in a single platform it is known as Unified Communication. In simple terms, it means, integration of all communication channels.
It brings all customer service channels like VoIP(Voice over IP), SMS, video call, telephonic onto a single platform.
It helps improve the agent’s efficiency as they are able to interact with customers through a single platform.
Unified Communication platform gives the remote workers the ability to work from anywhere, having no negative effect on agents performance.
In fact, call centers save money by not investing in different software, equipment, IT hardware, etc. Paying for Unified Communication Platform is far more effective.
CRM keeps a record of 360-degree customer information. It helps call center to resolve customer issues more efficiently. CRM provides insight into all customer interactions, it helps to solve customer issues.
CRM streamlines the customer experience and helps agents to access data from any remote place.
Some important features of call center CRM are:
The use of CRM reduces the amount of labor required and saves money in the long run.
It also improves the agent’s productivity as it reduces the need for manual work.
Cloud-based communication is easier, faster and provides top-notch customer service.
Remote and distributed workers can access with ease and provide them with all real-time reporting and analytics. The on-premise call center has many limitations, it is difficult to update to new technology and new channels.
In a cloud-based solution, you can easily update your call center in real-time without worrying about hardware planning.
Similarly, at times when you need to upgrade to new communication channels like SMS, voice call or other such apps, you can easily do it with the help of API’s.
Your global reach expands as APIs which are based in the cloud; get you instant multi-region connectivity.
APIs let you migrate your current infrastructure one at a time, without affecting your current business.
Do you have each customer’s data recorded?
Do your agents track your customer’s performance?
Using APIs, you can easily track and measure customers performance. You can provide your agents with analytics and reports of all channels so that they can use it to improve customer experience
Call centers are investing more time and money on training new agents, they want them sufficiently trained to meet the client’s expectation.
You should educate your new agents about your business – goals, mission, targets, etc.
Agents should clearly understand their role in achieving business goals.
The most important part is handling calls training, it cannot be eliminated from the curriculum. Make sure you provide hands-on and practical training.
Agents who are not properly trained, can be a liability and degrade your customer experience.
Training never stops, make sure you provide them training on a regular basis to keep them updated on the latest products and services.
AI has the ability to control streamline communications in ways that a human team cannot.
Many call centers fall behind with the technology due to which their performance degrades.
AI reduces the human resource needed for similar and repetitive tasks, now having the ability to increase ROI at scale.
With the use of Natural Language Processing, call centers are able to perform multifunctional activities at once using AI systems rather than assigning them to employees.
AI also helps to analyze trends and detect an error in the system. Instead of your employees getting to the bottom of the problem, AI saves their time by automating the process.
AI is all about helping the agents do more with less.
You need to uphold your call center Quality Assurance every time a customer engages with your business.
Quality Assurance specialists have a responsibility to keep an eye on agents, call center operations, and whether customers expectations are met or not.
Many companies operate an internal team to monitor the work, but a third-party perspective is a must to analyze customer interactions.
Call center quality metric is a crucial aspect of call center quality assurance. Tracking it surely improves your service operations.
Call centers are required to meet compliance guidelines. These include:
Managers must make Quality Assurance a priority as it does affect the customer experience.
The quality department can keep the cost low by managing agent’s operations.
Quality Assurance and Quality Monitoring are simple practices that allow call centers to ease their process by improving service quality and customer experience.
For the data-driven call center, BI plays a vital role.
Call center generates a huge amount of data every minute, the data can be stored in a database and processed into the Advanced Analytics program.
BI tools help to reveal hidden trends and insights of operations.
In a recent study it was found that, with the use of BI tools, companies cited a 127% increase in ROI.
BI tool collects the raw data, processes information, find out the patterns and display them in a visually-digestive way.
Companies need Intelligence to provide their agents with a 360-degree customer view that will lead to a personalized experience.
BI tools help companies save money in a shorter period of time without compromising on service quality.
ROI is a popular way of examining business decisions. Efficient human resources combined with effective technology can generate huge revenue.
The above 15 call center management best practices have clearly illustrated some productive and practical methods to manage your call center business seamlessly.
Share with us your experience, what are some of your call center best practices?
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