What are the most boring things in life after traffic jams and internet connection rolling back to 3G? Right, waiting on hold when trying to reach the call center. A recent survey shows that people are likely to hang up the phone after waiting more than two minutes (29.1%). And 24.5% said they would quit after waiting for 1-2 minutes, 8% would hang up after one minute on the line. 11% believe that no hold time is acceptable for the call center at all.
How people usually contact businesses
Call centers have been the first entry point for customers to reach companies since the 1960s. Over 90% of customer contact used to take place by phone, companies expenditures on call centers in 1995 exceeded $100 billion.
Things started to change with COVID-19 pandemics that forced digital interactions to triple compared to 2017 (Statista). 57% of customers prefer to contact the company via digital media (e.g., social media or emails) rather than use voice-based customer support, but 40% of consumers seek face-to-face communication with the right person when it comes to resolving severe troubleshooting issues. And here’s where call centers with outstanding customer experiences, excellent service, clear communication, and innovative ways of interacting with customers come into action.
We’ll go through the main tips that can help businesses change the way they work with customer experience forever. The overview includes not only fundamental insights on customer service but managerial and psychological aspects.
Does customer service affect your income?
Customers are the center of your business. If you are not making them happy, then your relationships won’t last long, and they will drop you for a competitor that offers a better customer service experience. Loyalty to a brand lives as long as people are satisfied with it. If you manage to meet customer expectations, your chances of successful up-selling and cross-selling (42%) are higher. Moreover, higher retention (33%) and improved customer satisfaction (32%) are the primary reasons why businesses strive to improve customer experience. Companies can increase income by almost 100% by retaining just 5% of their customers.
Today, more and more companies understand that it’s not enough just to sell their product – it is essential to nurture warm relationships with Buyers, assist them and resolve any issues they may face after the purchase. 90% of company CEOs said that good customer experience had the most considerable impact on their business. This is supported by the fact that 80% of customers are more likely to deal with a company when it offers personalized experiences. 84% of companies reported an increase in revenue after enhancing their customer service.
Operational tips to make your call center a blast
Many companies see their call centers as the heart of their customer service strategy. When facing any problems, customers reach out to call centre agents. And let’s be honest – they are not always happy with what they hear on the other side. These tips will show you the right direction to increase your customer effort score and make the call centre work better.
Switch to a customer-centric approach
“Our whole role in life is to give you something you didn’t know you wanted. And then once you get it, you can’t imagine your life without it.”, – Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple.
There’s been so much ado about Customer-centric culture that more and more businesses tend to adopt. It is not what’s written on the website or in the company’s mission & vision doc, but the concept introduced across the organization’s whole hierarchy, starting from strategies, ending with every team member. The goal is to listen to customers and align objectives, products, and services that anticipate customer wishes and meet their needs. Customer-centered businesses strive to provide a level of service that motivates people to come, pay, and stay. Excellent customer experience is the only way to have customers advocate for the brand.
Write and customize call scripts
The first basic rule for any call center is to develop scenarios that your managers will use during the calls. Script of the calls helps your call centre agents get through the communication flow in the right way.
Another basic rule is never to follow the scenarios of the calls word by word. Get off the script and customize default templates. You need to address the needs and wants of your clients so your customer service doesn’t sound like Terminator’s speech. Managers should carefully listen, respond, and get engaged in the conversation.
Train your patience
Can you imagine someone reaching out to the call center to say thank you? Not until pigs sprout wings and fly. Primarily, customers contact you when they have some problem and are often frustrated when they make contact. Customer service is a very stressful job, and patience is the key. No matter what an unhappy customer may say, call centre agents should give customers a chance to complain and explain their situation. Any negative reaction is dangerous.
Your employees should explain the problem’s solution patiently and calmly, and remember that people sometimes confuse things and facts. Customer support should never demonstrate impatience but try to keep themselves as calmer as possible to make customers feel at ease.
Another challenge for call center agents is answering elderly customers’ phone calls. It is vital to pay more attention to this audience due to communication complications. Seniors may not be able to explain exactly what issues they have. Get ready to answer the same questions many times and provide explanations many times, too. Suggest that they either record the call or write down your instructions. They may need more time to make decisions or respond to your questions. Before ending the call, make sure they understand you and are happy with how the issue was resolved.
When talking over the phone, people are limited to only one sense and are deprived of the possibility of visual contact and body language perception, their attention is stuck to what they hear. That’s why it’s crucial for a call center agent to carefully rehearse not only WHAT they say but also HOW they say it. Let’s talk about how your managers speak. The average words per minute (WPM) speaking rate is essential, as it significantly affects how the listener perceives your message.
The average rate for English speakers in the US is about 150 wpm, according to the National Center for Voice and Speech. Ebook publishers, radio hosts, YouTubers are recommended the 150-160 wpm that ensures complete comprehension.
The rate of speech influences clarity, comprehension, and customer experience.
- Clarity is aimed to increase the focus of your listener to get better results. Avoid empty words to stay focused on the topic. Get rid of such words as just, literally, really, wrap my head around, etc.
- Comprehension is the key to customer satisfaction by providing straight-to-the-point information and relevant recommendations, so your customer will find the answers quickly.
- Customer experience directly affects loyalty to your company and will get you more good reviews and sales.
Start improving your language by reaching your perfect WPM. Adjust your speaking rate to your customer because it affects how fast people can listen and understand. If you’re too fast, you are going to lose your listener, and if you’re too slow, your listener may drift away.
Manner of speech
Getting the right speaking rate is not enough. The way call center agent sounds directly affects customers. The caller can sense an agent’s mood and can reflect it like a mirror. It means that if the person sounds irritated, angry, or frustrated, that makes the caller feel the same way. It’s crucial to speak naturally in a cheerful voice that will make callers feel more at ease.
Don’t try to talk too fast or sound too persuasive, it may frustrate your callers. First, they may see it as arrogance or that you want to end the conversation as soon as possible. When picking the phone, your agents should keep in mind that their mood is able to get transmitted wirelessly.
Deal with rudeness correctly
People are strange when you’re a stranger. People get rude when you’re a call center agent, and it is excellent to grow stress tolerance. Customers often call when they are disappointed about the product or service, and there are many cases when they use verbal abuse or even threats. The most important thing to keep in mind is not to fight back and understand that the customer is not angry at you personally, even if they may sound so. Call center agent often becomes a scapegoat for frustrated customers who are mad at the company and its policies, software, or service that is not working correctly. The only way to get through is to be exceptionally polite and keep calm. After such an unpleasant occurrence, it is advisable to take a short break from work, and get a cup of coffee, get some fresh air, or have small talk with your colleagues.
Make sure the right people pick up the phone
Customers want to reach out to the right person when they contact the call center. 94% of callers don’t want to be transferred to another representative more than once. To avoid multiple transfers that would make anyone angry, it is recommended to direct callers to call center managers they’ve already spoken to, connect VIP customers with the corresponding department and have the calls history at hand. It’s impossible to do that manually, and here’s when the technology hits the light.
Automatic call distribution enables proper routing of VIP clients to the priority support line, integrated with the Salesforce CRM, and proper distribution of calls to leads, opportunities, and existing customers. Ring.io enables you to easily set up skill-based routing, simulcall, and round-robin.
Mute the call if needed
Keep the balance with the Mute button, as overusing it might result in pretty awkward situations. Double-check the mute button to make sure your caller won’t hear you.
Pressing “Mute” is recommended in such situations:
- short pauses during a call without putting the caller on hold
- help frustrated clients speak out their feelings without listening to them
- for getting a short break for yourself whenever you have a demanding customer.
Automate your workflow
The operational routine of call centers is not limited to just making calls. Managers have a lot of other work to do every day – update the database, check the metrics, write and send emails, manage tasks, etc. In the ’80s of the past century, it would be pretty OK to do all of those manually. But not in 2021, when people are growing artificial bones on 3D printers or flying as tourists into an orbit around the Earth.
Take advantage of plenty of automated solutions on the market to free some of your time and let you focus on your customers. Ring.io can offer several handy ways to automate some of your daily tasks and make your operational routine easier.
Call queuing enables you to manage large volumes of inbound calls by automatically placing callers in a queue with a custom hold message and music until the customer service agent can pick up the phone. Your employees can monitor in real-time how many callers are currently in a queue and need help and the availability of agents. Plus, the feature allows you to create call queues for different departments.
Inbound screen pops provide you with detailed info about every inbound caller that it instantly pulls out of your CRM. You will see which marketing campaign an inbound caller came from and know exactly who you’re talking to before picking up the phone. The system will also show you all open support requests from the inbound caller.
Call recording is automated too. The solution stores all recorded calls in a database, where they can be accessed at any time.
Track calling performance is a complete call performance dashboard built into Salesforce that uses all the call data that Ring.io automatically logs into Salesforce.
Follow-up automation helps customer service managers to automate common next steps after a phone call that trigger all the right bits and pieces in your CRM.
Analyze your calls
Exceptional call center work is based on a lot of good practice. Every call you receive, even from furious and upset customers, is a valuable contribution to the overall experience, as this experience helps you and your staff members improve your skills and knowledge. Modern software allows you to record all the incoming calls, so you can analyze them during your team meetings, discover strengths and weaknesses, and use this knowledge to enhance customer interactions. Live call monitoring enables managers to call activities of the team in real-time. It’s possible not only to see who of the employees is currently on a call but also to listen in to the conversation. You can also identify the number of people busy with the calls and how many inbound callers are queued.
Put a customer on hold in the right way
Sometimes, putting the caller on hold is a necessity. Not to cause additional inconveniences, call center managers should be aware of the etiquette for putting people on hold. Here are some basic customer service tips:
- Ask the person directly if they won’t mind being put on hold to wait for a response.
- Explain to the caller why he is put on hold.
- Provide the customer with a definite time frame and explain how long they will be on hold.
- When you get back to the call, remember to thank the caller for waiting in line.
Usually, customers prefer to stay connected all the time and may reject your suggestion to wait on hold. If the caller says “No”, ask if they won’t mind receiving a return call from one of your colleagues or suggest transferring the caller to someone else or taking a note.
Calculate your ASA
The average speed of answer (ASA) is the metric specific for call centers and is calculated individually for every separate call center. It helps to calculate the average amount of time an inbound caller waits in the queue before a call center agent answers the call without the time the person spends navigating an IVR. The metric only measures from the second the phone system puts the caller into a queue to the moment one of the call center co-workers picks up the phone or until a caller hangs up. There’s a lot of software that can calculate this data for you; however, here’s the main idea of how it’s done:
Calculate the overall wait time of all inbound calls and divide it by the number of total inbound calls that were either automatically resolved or answered by an agent. As soon as you get the number of your hold time, check if it fits within the customers’ 1-2 minute timeframe.
Use the compensations & gifts strategy
Customers want to feel taken care of, that they are being heard, and are special to the brand. If you say “We care” – do care. It would be awkward if the company shouts out loud about eternal love to every single client. Still, their customer service is not able to pick the phone on time or resolve any of the occurring issues by providing lame excuses. For customers to feel irreplaceable and valuable, companies have the compensation strategy as a backup that helps them to smooth things over in case of situations that may be inconvenient to clients. If the caller is furious about the quality of service or product he received and it is on your side, it would be reasonable to offer them a small gift, discount, or promo code. This step is able to leverage the unpleasant situation and show that the company is sorry for the inconvenience and cherishes that the customer remains loyal.
When a customer encounters a problem, he wants to find the proper foothold, and he should be able to find it in customer service. You want your clients to know that they can count on your company to satisfy their needs. If you’re able to quickly and effectively resolve their problems, are friendly, and show that you care, you will gain the status of a reliable company in customers’ eyes. What does it take to be advocated as a reliable business?
- When the customer comes with an issue, resolve it during the first interaction. It is possible to fix most problems quickly, so it is recommended to do so while the agent is talking to the caller. Waiting for the issue to be resolved will cause anxiety in customers, and they would be likely to drop you. To minimize the risks of triggering anxiety, try to limit the time of “bugs fixes” of the problem as much as possible.
- Identify and focus on customers’ needs. An agent’s conversation should be focused on what the client wants, meaning that it is necessary to clarify the issue a few times with different formulations and inform the client how and when you’re going to resolve it. Another trick here is not to sound unnatural, forced, or stunted.
- After you resolve an issue during the first interaction, ask the customer if there’s any way that you can be helpful. Don’t rush to say goodbye so that customers don’t feel that you’re hurrying to hang up and switch to the next call.
Train your call center agents
Ensure that all your call center employees are trained regularly to be autonomous in their work and increase their qualifications. Use appropriate metrics and tools to review the efficiency of the call center and seek ways to improve it. Hold regular coaching sessions and retrospectives on your interactions for feedback and discussion, as customer service is developing at a high pace, and you need to keep up with it. You can use Call Whisper to automate and improve the training process.
Establish a clear and concise information flow
All members of your staff should have a clear understanding of how the call center works. The movement of information in the organization must be transparent; all your employees, both experienced and newbies, have to know where information comes from, how it is processed, and where it is forwarded. For example, there should be a specific system for customer suggestions, and they must be sent to the relevant department for assessment and implementation if approved. All employees should also have guidelines on what to do in complex and in ordinary situations.
A few psychology tricks every customer service agent should know
Call centers are not only about answering and integrating phone system with the CRM, but it touches a very specific area of human interaction. Neural marketing is what matters here as much as the software you use for call management. Here are the most important insights that every call center agent should be aware of, so it would be awesome to include them in your training agenda.
Seven best practices of a good customer interaction
Every customer interaction should include seven essential elements:
- Listening carefully
- Speaking professionally
- Effective questioning
- Tone of voice
- Ending the call
Sometimes companies assume that they can miss out on some of these elements, but this is a widespread mistake. You can’t speak professionally without a friendly tone of voice or ask relevant questions without listening. All these practices should be adopted to result in a high-quality customer experience and will significantly affect the results of your interaction.
Mind the Halo effect
The Halo effect is about an attitude about a person that is made based on specific positive traits. It is a cognitive bias when the human brain uses only several positive features of a person to form a generally positive image of the person. The same works for brands and companies. Every single person with whom the customer interacts affects the overall evaluation of your business. Use the Halo effect to create a positive customer experience. It is a legendary psychological phenomenon used in marketing for many years.
Smile while talking on the phone
A caller should feel that you are cheerful, warm, and eager to help. So smile before picking up the phone. This simple lip movement changes people’s tone of voice to a more upbeat and helps to make you sound positive. This simple trick will work not only for the caller but for an agent, too. Smiling helps to boost a good mood and stay positive during the conversation and the whole working day.
Present yourself in the right way
The way a company answers the phone says a lot about the kind of service you can expect to receive.
The correct phrases in the proper order can give a positive first impression and convey a direct message about your company. The basic rules are as follows:
- Pick up the phone within three rings.
- Greet the caller.
- Give your name or company name.
- Ask the customer if and how you can help.
Don’t make your greeting too long or over the top, as it can quickly become annoying. Nobody likes to be greeted with extra information, like this: “Hello. It’s a beautiful day here at Atlantics International. My name is Rsa Atkins. How may I help you?”
Name the callers the way they like it
To establish a good connection with the inbound callers, it is necessary to address them the way they like. Below are the few tips that will help call center agents correctly identify the roadmap of addressing callers:
- Pay attention to how your customers introduce themselves; if they say, “This is Mrs. Sullivan, call her “Missis Callivan,” if “This is Dr. House,” call him “Doctor House.”
- If the female caller introduces herself as Jane Doe, it’s better to call her Miss Doe to be safe.
- Ask permission to use their first name. “May I call you Rob, Susanna?”
- If your callers do not introduce themselves, ask them if they would like to.
- If customers don’t like what you call them, apologize and call them the way they prefer.
Your empathy matters
Even call center agents have been in customers’ shoes and remember how unpleasant it may be to feel indifferent. Customers want to be heard and understood, so providing some empathy for their problems is essential. Do not overplay it too much because the caller will identify it. Take a genuine interest in the client’s concern. When you try really hard to help your customer out, they will feel it, making the whole process more pleasant and enjoyable for both of you.
Be grateful and courteous
Say thank you as often as you can for taking care of your customer’s ego. It will contribute to the way they feel about your brand. Use short and consistent sentences and sound polite. Instead of “Do you want,” it’s better to use “Would you like to,” instead of “Wait a minute,” say “Would you mind waiting for one minute so that I could clarify that issue for you?”. Keep the balance, though, not to make your callers feel they are at the reception at Buckingham Palace.
Use positive language
It’s essential to keep a cheerful disposition throughout the entire conversation. Mirror your caller’s vocabulary and color it up with positive vibrations. Use positive adjectives and avoid negative words, i.e., “won’t” or “don’t.” For example, instead of saying “I can’t say right now,” use “I’ll see what I can do for you, it may take longer.”
Say you’re sorry
Sorry seems to be the hardest word, but it’s an effective tool in resolving critical situations with a tricky customer. No matter if you are wrong or right, apologize for the inconveniences and claim that you are here to do your best to resolve their problem. It is extremely hard not to lose your temper after so much stress. However, keep in mind that customers’ attitude directly affects their willingness to bring your company an income. If you manage to make them calm down, it will create a good impression. When you apologize, saying, “I am sorry for the inconveniences you’ve experienced in this situation,” but as many feelings into those words as possible. It can help smooth the conflict and save a customer who could have probably decided to switch to your competitors.
Use “We” rather than “You” when guiding a customer
When assisting the caller to complete an operational task, use “we” instead of you “you.” If you’d be helping your client to reboot the Wi-Fi router, it’s better to say, “We need to go turn it off and wait for a minute,” rather than “you need to turn it off.” It will make the customer feel that you are involved in the process of resolving his or her issue and that you take it seriously.
Be specific and recap
When dealing with customer issues and complaints, inform the person you’re talking to about your further steps. Tell them what your next course of action will be to resolve their problem. Explain step-by-step what you will do and follow up with your customer. In this way, you’ll be able to assure them that you’re qualified and will do everything possible to fix their problem, they will get confidence and trust in you as a company representative.
Make your customer feel important
The fastest way to your customer’s hearts is to make them feel respected and needed. Aim to understand your customers and their feelings. The statistics says that businesses can avoid 67% of customer churn if the client’s problem was resolved during the first interaction with the customer service.
Know how to handle negative situations
The customer is always right. So there’s no way to blame them or make them feel like they got something wrong or were mistaken. Having a negative interaction plan is crucial for any call center. Create a written guideline for your call center managers with several scenarios on presenting unpleasant news and responding to negative situations. These scripts must be added and reviewed on a quarterly basis, and every member of your team should know how to act correctly in such tricky situations.
Be an active listener
Active listening is when the agent comprehends what the customer is saying. Call center employees may get distracted throughout the working day, but it’s critical to listen actively to every single customer and demonstrate it to them.
Some of the most effective active listening tips are:
- When the callers tell you about their problem, repeat it back to them. First of all, this move will ensure that you understand their issue and are aware of all the details without missing anything important. Secondly, the customer will see that you are involved and interested in resolving the problem as soon as possible.
- Avoid interrupting the customer. Let the caller finish talking about their problem, try not to speak simultaneously or interrupt them in the mid of the phrase. There are types of customers who sound like they will never stop talking, and here’s when things get tricky – no one would want to get stuck in a long inconsistent monologue. If you hear that the caller is getting off the topic, pick a minute when they will take a breath, apologize for the interruption, repeat their problem, and try to offer the next steps.
Admit to your mistakes
Sometimes businesses take up a position of an infallible company that never makes mistakes to build trust, create an image of reliability and make customers feel more confident in their product or service. Unfortunately, such a strategy may end up in losing a customer and gaining a bad reputation for trying to cover up an obvious mistake they made instead of simply saying sorry to the client. So if customer’s issues occurred because of errors your company made, apologize for that. As a customer service manager, if you made a mistake during the call, apologize and fix it. This will clearly state for the customer that you are brave and honest enough to admit to your mistakes and will do your best to resolve them ASAP.
Know how to close a conversation
The ending of the conversation via phone with a client is as important as its start. The customer’s problem should never be left unresolved, as it will trigger anxiety and other issues.
Don’t leave the caller disappointed
When working to resolve customers’ problems, never leave them with a solution or answer that will disappoint them or make them upset. Before closing a call, make sure your customer is happy with the answer or solution you provided and that they don’t have any additional issues or questions.
HR & management life hacks for the best call center ever
It’s all about the people, right? People who create your goods or services, people who buy them, and people who are on the frontline with your customers, day by day, and sometimes night. Management of call centers is one of the most crucial aspects to have them run smoothly and efficiently.
Hire the right call center agents
Successful call center management needs to invest enough time and energy into hiring the best representatives of the talent pool for the position of a call center agent.
People working in customer support should possess a natural ability for that; they should have good communication skills, a positive attitude, excellent memory, be active listeners and stress-proof, plus enthusiastic. The main intangibles for a call center agent position are enthusiasm and the ability to listen.
The most important here is that you can’t teach any person these traits; they are not skills but inborn capabilities. That is why recruiters should take the time and effort to screen their candidates carefully, and HR managers should regularly hold one-to-ones with the new employees for their attitude.
Focus on onboarding
Onboarding in customer service should be a well-organized, thorough process that will communicate high standards, teach good habits and provide comprehensive guidance for future employees. It is highly recommended to train call center agents well on handling customer complaints, solving their problems, and minimizing adverse outcomes and aggressive behavior.
We advise that managers treat clients’ complaints not as personal insults or obstacles but as insights on what could be done better and an opportunity to deliver a better service. A proper onboarding program is a must for a successful call center to make your employees feel confident in dealing with any type of call.
Prioritize employee engagement
The reputation of call centers as difficult places to work can push away potential good employees and dramatically increase staff turnover. To minimize turnover, management must raise employee engagement and work on their loyalty to your brand. Effective employee engagement can be as simple as talking with your employees each day or elaborate as a team retreat. There is a large variety of engagement activities that you can hold for your team, i.e., holding team happy hours or brainstorming sessions. They aim to make all agents feel like a part of the team, keep their mood upbeat and ready to develop their skills further, and work hard to manage customer issues. Before onboarding, establish employee engagement programs in your organization to boost your team spirit.
Make convenient work schedules
Working in a call center is a stressful job that can have a negative impact on your customer service agents. The moment employees start to feel overworked, their high-level performance decreases.
Proper scheduling is the right way to prevent burnout. Giving your managers enough time to refocus and recharge will ensure that your customers receive great service from friendly, helpful, and patient company representatives.
Whether you’re making schedules for a large or small team, it is still quite a challenge that can turn into a full-time job. Planning contains a lot of variables, and you have to take into account employee ability and availability, peak and low hours, and much more. It is recommended to use scheduling tools to automate this work.
Learn from the mistakes
Communicate with your agents on a regular basis because their first-hand experience is what can make valuable input into your daily operations and service improvement. Your employees are familiar with the customer service process inside and out, are more aware of the problems, and can share information on what is necessary to fix them.
Get insights from your call center managers by communicating with them regularly. Get feedback from them on what they think should be changed to increase performance and resolve customer issues more efficiently, ask where they’re experiencing problems and what they need to do a good job. Find out what is essential to the customers.
Provide specific feedback to your employees
Conduct regular assessments of the quality of the service. Check the performance of your employees and share specific targeted feedback about their work so that they can improve.
Such evaluations should be conducted systematically so that you can track the professional development of every staff member. On the basis of targeted feedback, it is recommended to establish an ongoing training program for employees for quality to ensure that the quality of service and performance will be continuously upgraded.
Make data-driven decisions
Data and its analysis should drive your call center management. It’s vital to regularly set SMART goals and adopt metrics to reach them and evaluate performance. You can use metrics such as customer satisfaction (CSat) or Net Promoter Score® (NPS). All your employees should be familiar with the metrics that apply to their job. Remember to collect data with your call center software to get more information about your operations.
Every call center management activity includes a lot of small tasks that need to be handled; at the same time, there are also a lot of high-level strategy decisions to help your department perform at its best. And a call center manager must focus on these more significant issues, and do so; he should delegate minor tasks to his employees.
Delegating helps you find time for strategic decisions, encourages the team members and helps them gain new knowledge and skills. Set up a process framework that doesn’t require you to be involved in every step or decision of the delegated task, and it can be done via an employee handbook. This approach will help boost your team’s involvement and help you find the hidden gems among your talent pool, and enable the right people to get promoted in the future.
Establish a healthy environment and positive incentives
Encourage your agents to do their best at work through positive incentives, such as contests, awards, quotas. A friendly and safe environment will keep your team members motivated in stressful conditions when things get complicated. Incentives also make employees feel appreciated and can maintain a higher level of morale in your team. When people feel valued and make a difference, they’re more likely to go the extra mile to provide high-quality customer service, which is beneficial for them and your business. It makes for a happier employee, and ultimately, a happier customer.
View the situation from an alternative perspective
Putting yourself in your employees’ shoes once in a while is a valuable experience for any team lead. Taking a few calls will help you better understand the issues and challenges your agents face every day. What is more, such tactics will enable you to see what they need for better performance clearly. You will also see what your clients need, not only from the feedback sessions. You will be able to improve your strategy and guidelines for your call center.
Putting yourself on the frontline with your staff members is leading by example. It envokes respect and demonstrates that you’re one of them, ready to understand their worries, and you’re ready to get your hands dirty when it’s necessary.
Balance the workflow
Call center managers are responsible for the workflow balance and size of your team to meet the demands of your business. You need to be able to prognose how many agents you may need in any situation. To do that, it is vital to review and analyze the following variables: call volume and peak call times (yearly, monthly, weekly, daily) and the number of team members necessary to provide short wait times. When you have all this information in place, you will be able to predict call volume, staff requirements, create work schedules for efficient operation of the call center, and keep labor costs low.
Remember about administrative tasks
Besides improving the effectiveness of your team members, you shouldn’t put aside your administrative tasks, such as organizing timesheets, training, calculating profit margin, and project planning, which are a foundation on which your call center can work.
Stay on top of your routine administrative tasks, so they don’t pile up and negatively affect your department’s performance.
Know your business
As a call center manager, you must be knowledgeable in every aspect of your department: team-member performance, technology, metrics, branding, industry developments, potential problems, and solutions to them. You should also be informed about the company’s strategy, business values, basic operations, and organization hierarchy. Call center managers often work hand in hand with marketing and quality assurance. Keep in touch with managers in other departments and works hand-in-hand with them to drive the business forward.
Invest in technology
Modern call centers need the right technology and tools to run efficiently. It’s the manager’s responsibility to introduce proper solutions into your workflow, train your team members to work with it, and keep up with the newest trends in the industry. Records access, phone system, integrated CRMs, contact management, and entire call center suites in combination with motivated and skilled employees will provide an easy and seamless customer experience.
Finally, the final word
If you got through all these megabytes of text, you’ve started practicing one of the essential things for customer service – patience, and you’re good to go along your improvement road. We aimed to connect all the pillars crucial to establishing an excellent customer support phone service. Now it’s up to you to start implementing these tips, tricks, and lifehacks into life.