Here are some ideas we picked up on a site visit to the Webhelp contact centre in Derby.
1. Listen to your agents’ first calls of the day to nip any issues in the bud
Supervisors start every morning by listening to their advisors’ first calls of the day.
This helps them to pick up on any flatness in their advisors’ voices, or correct any miscommunication over new products or service options.
Addressing these issues early on – with a chat or a coffee – can help set the whole team up for a really productive day.
2. Appoint ‘deputies’ to recognise those going the extra mile
Recognising achievement and providing career development opportunities is vital for those going the extra mile.
One way to encourage this is to introduce ‘Deputy’ job titles. For example, ‘Deputy Team Leader’ or ‘Deputy Operations Manager’.
While these roles may not necessarily provide a salary uplift, they will recognise the efforts of that employee and provide a fantastic career development opportunity to enable them to advance to the next level.
3. Play themed games to help support your key training messages
Make your training sessions more memorable by playing games which support your key messages.
Webhelp have created several activity boxes to help support training in the contact centre. Each box is themed and filled with ideas and resources for trainers and supervisors to use.
Here are 2 games we think every contact centre should try:
- ‘Positive word’ word search
Give each advisor a word search and ask them to identify 10 hidden positive words as quickly as possible.
This will help to reinforce their understanding of the positive words they should be using on their calls.
- The ‘Guess the Emotion’ game
All you need for this game is some sticky notes and pen.
A nominated advisor sits in the middle of the room and has a sticky note placed on their forehead – which displays the name of an emotion. For example, happy, sad, angry or excited.
You then go around the room asking everyone to act out the emotion (without saying what it is) until the nominated advisor correctly guesses the emotion on their forehead.
This activity can help your advisors to identify these emotions more quickly – and react appropriately – during live customer calls.
4. Follow up with unhappy customers before a situation escalates
One way to keep your Net Promoter Score (NPS) statistics in check is to proactively engage with any customer who is or could quickly become a Super Detractor (those scoring between 0-2 on the NPS scale).
Webhelp have set up a designated station on the contact centre floor called the SD (Super Detractor) Exchange. Supervisors take it in turns to look after this station.
During any shift, advisors can go to the SD Exchange with a problem they have encountered with a customer who is or may very soon become a Super Detractor. The supervisor can then work with the advisor to resolve the issue.
Once a solution is determined, the advisor can call the customer back and get the customer relationship back on track – before the situation has a chance to escalate.
5. Ask the management team to cover shifts during popular holiday periods
One great way to reward your advisors for all their hard work – and keep morale high – is to allow them the time off they need to spend with their friends and family over the holidays.
This can be achieved by asking your team leaders and managers to cover the Christmas and summer holiday shifts.
6. Improve up-selling efforts by focusing on the benefits – not the features
One way to improve up-selling and cross-selling results in your contact centre is to train advisors on the benefits of your products or services – rather than just the features.
Results can also be improved by giving advisors the opportunity to test out your products and services themselves, so they can address any customer queries with first-hand experience.
7. Make time for ‘flight risk’ agents in need of some TLC
Any member of the team with an unusually long commute to work, childcare responsibilities, or an elderly relative living at home may struggle to maintain a positive work/life balance – and could be considered a ‘flight risk’.
Make time in your working week to talk to these employees and find out what you can do to help. This may be as simple as adjusting their shift pattern so they avoid rush-hour traffic, or reducing their hours each week so they can better manage the school run.
By keeping these lines of communicate open, and doing your best to support your employees in their personal lives, you can reduce the risk of them leaving your organisation.
8. Collect anonymous agent feedback on your team leaders’ performance
Team leaders spend a lot of time giving their team performance-related feedback, but feedback coming the other way can be just as valuable.
One way to overcome this is to introduce a ‘Voice of the Advisor’ programme, through which advisors can anonymously give feedback to their managers.
This two-way system can help nip any issues in the bud, as well as provide positive recognition to leaders for a job well done.
9. Team leaders should take breaks at the same time as their team
One way to help promote team bonding is to schedule your team leaders to go on break at the same time as their team.
This should help create informal opportunities for everyone to get to know each other, as well as break down any perceived hierarchical communication barriers which can prevent advisors from voicing their concerns.
10. Appoint “Guardian Angels” to support new recruits
It can be a very overwhelming experience to join a large contact centre operation – especially for those who are new to the industry.
One way to help your new recruits settle in is to appoint a “Guardian Angel” to look after them in their first few weeks. Your “Angels” can act as break partners and friends, as well as offer advice and support.
This arrangement can also offer your future team leaders a chance to put themselves forward and start developing key leadership skills.
With thanks to the team at Webhelp UK in Derby and the CCMA