Call centres experience some fierce competition in the industry. One wrong move and you can be out of business. This is because modern customers have higher expectations. They want exceptional customer service quickly. Here are some of the best practices to help your call centre keep up with the modern times and succeed.
Listen to a live call as a group and get feedback
Listening to different live calls at regular schedules as a group will help improve the agents’ performance. Each member should also give feedback. Most agents respond more to constructive criticism from someone in their team than from supervisors or managers.
Encourage agents to praise one another if they make a sale or get a commendation for a job well done. Praise should come from all areas of your company and not just from management.
Don’t always highlight mistakes
You should have a good balance of praise and constructive criticism. Don’t remind your agents constantly about their mistakes. They will only feel bad and this will translate to their work.
Listen and compare each other’s calls
Your agents should be able to listen to their own recorded calls and other calls in the team. They may be able to find new techniques or ways to help them with a particular situation that they are struggling with. It also allows them to share best practices.
Remember to adhere to security protocols. Always be mindful of sensitive customer information. Keep calls within the team.
Give regular structured feedback
Send agents direct feedback after every shift. Follow a regular structure that you will use every day. You can highlight the good points in the call and then point out the problem areas they need to work on. Offer suggestions on how to make calls better.
Let your teams design their own team goals
Regularly reminding your agents about the company’s vision and mission is good practice but it is also a good idea to let them design their own personal and team goals. Ask them to write it down then formulate the steps they need in order to achieve their goals. Set goals quarterly then sit down and review their performance.
This practice will help motivate your agents because they are the ones who decided what their goals are.
Allow teams to have their own team representatives who will be the voice of the whole team. The team can discuss ideas and problems and then have the representative go to management to voice out these ideas. It is a safe way for agents to voice their opinions.
Have a virtual suggestion box
A suggestion box is always a good idea whether it’s an actual box or a virtual one. Discuss suggestions monthly with agents. If a suggestion makes the majority happy, consider implementing it. Keep everyone updated with the implementation progress.
Allow agents to design and simplify their own workflow
Most agent desktop solutions can now be customized. Agents should have autonomy over their workflow so that they can perform at their best. Upper management can give input and suggestions on how to improve the workflow but at the end of the day, the agent should still be the one to decide.
Openly discuss ideas
If you feel that a suggestion box is too much work, just hold regular meetings to openly discuss ideas. Remember to really listen and not to open a debate about an issue. List down the ideas and analyze them on your own time. Let an idea sink and understand where the agent is coming from. You might be surprised at the results of your analysis.
Monitor social media
Most customers tweet, blog or post about their experiences in their social media accounts. Delegate an hour each day to find out what people are saying about your company and services. You will be able to get true insight with this research.
If you see positive comments, share them with your agents. It will motivate your agents. If it’s a criticism, discuss it with the group that handled that particular call.
Hire QA staff internally
Let your agents move up the career ladder internally. Consider hiring QA staff from within. Your agents will be motivated to do more. They will also respond more to someone who has experienced their jobs and understands the current situation.
One-on-one coaching sessions
One-on-one sessions are a great way to pinpoint and correct the weaknesses of an agent. This practice will make an agent more comfortable during training because he does not have to compete with anyone. He will be comfortable to make mistakes and try out new techniques because he is with a mentor. His performance will improve and you will see results in no time.
Take these suggestions to heart and see if you can implement them in your own company. These practices are being done by many successful call centres all over the world. You can tweak them according to your company culture.