Developing Your Contact Centre Performance
When you run a Contact Centre within your business, it is essential that you develop a consistent way of working, where Contact Centre performance becomes a key metric that you should continually review. Should you find it tough to come up with solutions to improve Contact Centre performance, then we have a list of ten useful tips that your Contact Centre could benefit from implementing.
First off, it is crucial to understand the importance of monitoring Call Centre performance. Having the ability to review performance and develop a baseline makes it easier to know what targets are realistic. This gives a solid analytical baseline to build from, ensuring that you understand the starting point of your performance so that you can build around this for further refinement in the future.
Your Call Centre has to be as robust as possible when developing plans of action and solutions to common workplace issues so that staff always know where to turn. By having a clear system in place, you can focus on the various Call Centre standards key performance indicators (KPIs) that really make a big difference to a high functioning team. Allowing you through analysis to understand the changes you have made and the ultimate impact on your business goals.
If you wish to go ahead with a transformative change to Contact Centre performance, then the following ten recommendations are a good place to start.
Ten Steps To Contact Centre Improvement
1. Specify Contact Centre Performance Standards
First off, you need to give your staff clear notice of the standards expected. You should sit down with senior management members of your team and work out what you should have in terms of benchmarks. This changes from platform to platform, industry to industry, but you should have a clear vision that all staff can work towards.
Ensuring that these performance standards are implemented means that everyone knows what is expected and what support is needed to achieve those standards.
2. Emphasise clear Team Motivation
A key part of improving Contact Centre performance is to guarantee that your staff are motivated to improve. Making sure that a team is aware of the business goals and are allowed input into how to achieve this is important by giving them a level of ownership.
Make certain that your standards make their working day easier as opposed to harder. When you have a clear system in place that delivers higher working and operational standards, staff find it easier to buy-in. Get your team motivated by showing them that this is to their benefit, not to their challenge. Obvious examples are flexible working, but can also include in-house competitions, bonus structures or development paths.
3. Distribute Best Practice Principles
You should always look to develop a guide that can be read over by staff which displays best practice. This should break down key factors, like how to react to negative situations, how to deal with challenging Contact Centre clientele, and how to best find solutions to customer queries.
Best practice ensures that the chain of command is never cut, and staff are never left to come up with an off-the-cuff decision. This can play a key role in ensuring staff feel empowered and capable of handling any solution whilst adhering to policy.
4. Bring Staff Together Consistently
You absolutely need to look to bring staff together into team meetings and ‘huddles’ to get everyone talking. In these discussions, you should not look to assert authority or to shut down opinion. If a staff member or colleague has an idea, they should feel free about expressing that idea or making their feelings known without worrying about any negative consequences.
These moments allow staff to talk freely and give you a clear breakdown of what they think could and should change to help make the day-to-day working operations even better.
5. Empower Call Centre Agents
One of the best ways to boost Contact Centre performance is to empower your Call Centre agents. This means giving them easy ways to increase their skillset, some examples are enrolling staff on training courses or working towards qualifications. These can further diversify staff abilities to help grow both personal and team output.
By encouraging staff to take part in career development pathways, it ensures they can also work towards more senior roles within the company. This helps with continuity and moral while utilising skill-sets that stay within the company long-term.
6. Incorporate Flexible And Remote Working
To help improve Contact Centre performance, it is advised that you give staff more freedom over their working hours. Offering more flexible hours as well as chances for remote working is a great way to make staff feel trusted. When your staff to always come to the office or to work rigid scheduled patterns that do not line up with their life, it can make it harder to get 100% out of every member of your team.
To improve performance, it would be wise to bring in flexible hours and remote working where possible giving the best in work life balance.
7. Investigate Technological Improvements
Any Contact Centre that wishes to keep growing needs to give their staff the best tools to get the job done. Technology is a key part of any business, especially with Contact Centres that need to remain available and secure 24/7.
Two key technologies that have come a long way in recent years are:
- Omni-channel single agent desktop software, helping blend different communication channels, like phone, email and web chat, into a single, manageable screen; and
- Compliant phone payment systems, that help you take payments over the phone, or via digital channels, easily and in a way compliant with the PCI DSS, the Payment Card Industry’s Data Security Standard.
Using these technologies can also makes monitoring Call Centre performance much easier in the long-term. The more that you can do to upgrade the technology that your staff work with, the easier it is for your company to get the job done without losing valuable working time.
8. Define Your KPIs
Every business needs to have clearly defined KPIs, and it depends on what your Contact Centre actually does. If you are selling products, then naturally you want your KPIs to show improved sales conversions. If your Contact Centre focusses on supporting customers, you want to see high retention and first call resolution (FCR).
Put in place a clear list of KPIs that determine your day-to-day performance, and work with your senior staff to define the most important KPIs for every department. Then, your Contact Centre staff know exactly what is expected of them on a daily basis. It also allows much easier reviews of any procedural changes that have taken place and whether their results are positive.
9. Develop Intuitive Systems To Increase The Customer Journey
You should always be looking for ways to improve the customers journey from contacting your Call Centre to having their problem resolved. As such, this should include systems that make it easier to build a client profile so that your support staff can easily access information for the customer.
This makes troubleshooting easier and ensures that those contacting your centre are not going to be frustrated by delays and waiting times. This is very important, so try and keep this in mind as you develop new systems to help keep things operational.
10. Create A Seamless IVR Experience
Interactive Voice Response, or IVR, is a vital tool that is used today for helping to send someone to the right department or service. Work with your development team to ensure that the questions are easy enough to answer, and that the suitable answers are obvious enough that anyone phoning up is always put to the right department.
IVR can play a massive role in ensuring that someone can carry out their enquiry in the shortest period of time possible. This increases a customer’s experience but also frees up valuable staff time as people are able to carry out their particular role without transfers or unnecessary communication.
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