Call center management can make or break its operations, especially since call centers require meticulous coordination and organization. Follow the best practices, and operations run smoothly; plan as-you-go, and you end up with chaos. Therefore, it is important to have a guideline to inform your management decisions. To help, Metasource has compiled a list of the 7 most essential call center best practices below:
#1 Customer is King
No call center best practices list would be complete without mentioning the service sector’s age-old adage: Customer is King. According to NICE’s 2019 inContact Customer Experience Study on global consumers, 87% of respondents said they were willing to buy more products from businesses that provide great experiences. Hence, your call center’s differentiation strategy should be focused on customer experience, because that will dictate your metrics heavily. Hence, in all areas of development, should have a mindset focused on improving customer experience.
#2 Engage Agents
Employee Engagement should always be of high priority to any company, especially those in the service industry. According to a Gallup study, high employee engagement led to higher customer engagement, and 21% higher profitability. Below are four ways to engage with your agents effectively:
- Targeted coaching sessions with agents to facilitate idea sharing and transparent communication, and improve employee relations. Agents feel more empowered and are able to be an active participant in their evaluation and improvement.
- Continued training/development for agents even after initial hiring training period. This keeps agents’ skills and theory knowledge fresh and offers employers opportunity to closely assess agents’ performances in a standardized setting.
- Engaging activities for agents. This may mean hosting activities that foster a collaborative spirit amongst agents, or pairing agents with managers/supervisors to develop amicable ties. Activities could be one-time planned events, annual events, or resources available daily for agents to partake in, such as yoga classes.
- Involve employees in administrative or larger tasks, such as call script creation, or feedback sessions for employee wellbeing and office space improvements.
#3 Choose and Focus on the Right Metrics
Metrics used to evaluate inbound call center performances should be precise, and give a good snapshot of overall performance. There should be a mix of operational and customer-related metrics.
#4 Avoid Negative Language
Besides employing professional language, avoiding negative language should be among the top dos and don’ts of customer interaction. Even if agents are in a situation that is difficult or unpromising, agents can spin the situation and reply in an uplifting manner:
#5 A Workplace that Inspires
As agents oftentimes work long hours, a workspace environment that is comfortable is vital to improve employee performance. One aspect often overlooked is lighting, but we all know that lighting can have a profound effect on our mood, our stress level, and ultimately, our performance. Instead of jarring bright white bulbs, use low-intensity bulbs, or fluorescent lights to simulate regular daylight. Warmer lights can be incorporated in communal areas to give the space a relaxed and calm feeling. Additionally, decoration can be used to make your workplace more lively. Add motivational posters, artwork, employee bulletins, or simple indoor plants for an instant workplace mood boost.
#6 Tools for Agents to Succeed
Technical tools should be available to prepare or assist agents during customer calls. This can range from centralized knowledge bases that houses FAQs, how-tos, and implementation processes, or CRM software that tracks customer data. These tools will enable agents to work in their most effective manner.
#7 Consult Expert Advice on Legal Matters
Call center best practices sometimes means realizing you might not be the best for the job. Such a situation might be concerning compliance. Although software oftentimes have compliance restrictions embedded into their features, companies should still hire an outside legal expert to weigh in on company operations. This way, companies can feel secure they are operating legally, and have the added assurance of an outside perspective in that matter. It is always better to be safe than sorry.
For companies considering or looking to outsource their call center operations to Vietnam, you can read more here.
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