We asked our panel for their top tips on improving your contact centre.
1. Don’t give your agents too many targets
You should only measure your agents against 3 or 4 KPIs because if you give employees 10 KPI targets or more they are bound to fail.
With thanks to Michael
2. Get your CEO to spend some time on the phones
Get your senior managers and CEO to spend some time in your contact centre on the phones.
It will be a terrific boost for your contact centre teams.
With thanks to Rachel
3. Cross-train with other departments
Cross-train with other departments. It’s amazing how you will start working as a team when everyone understands what the other departments encounter.
It can also help with problem solving, as people working outside of your department can assess the situation with fresh eyes.
With thanks to another one of Call Centre Helper’s readers
4. Incentivise the use of your preferred channels
If you want your customers to contact you through your preferred channel, try to create incentives for them to use it.
For example, offering a 10% discount on all insurance policy quotes handled via web chat.
With thanks to Steve
5. Have one-to-one meetings with your agents before scheduling them
Before all the scheduling takes place, have a one-to-one session with each member of staff to find out their personal preferences.
It is a lot easier to plan around these preferences than to swap things around after the schedule has been made.
With thanks to Huw
6. Frequently review FAQs
FAQs are all well and good, but it is so important to ensure these are reviewed frequently. There is nothing worse than giving out ‘old’ information.
With thanks to Nicola
7. Ring through to your own call centre
If you are trying to decide which areas of the business need the most attention, ring through to your own call centre.
It can be surprising to see it from the customer viewpoint, and should help you to identify any weaknesses.
With thanks to Nick
8. Get your recruitment process right
Get your recruitment process right; get the right people, get the induction right and get the training right.
It’s all about the people. They are your most important asset.
With thanks to Rachel
9. Add contingency plans into the schedule
Add contingency arrangements into your schedule for worst-case scenarios (e.g. adverse weather) with a list of flexible agents you can call on if you need to.
With thanks to Carl
10. Record self-help videos to engage with your customers
Self-help videos lose value if they are too corporate in style, you should record them to engage the customer, not to be a PR tool.
With thanks to Dougie
11. Keep your IVR menu short and simple
Keep the IVR menu short and simple, as long and badly designed menus can upset your customers.
When designing your IVR, try to stick to a 4×4 rule, i.e. no more than 4 levels and a maximum of 4 options for each level.
12. Keep an eye on what your customers are saying about you
Keep an eye on what your customers are saying about you on social media platforms.
This can help you to understand the issues that may be driving your customers away, without relying on them contacting you directly.
With thanks to Nigel
13. Let your agents voice their ideas
Give your agents the opportunity to voice their ideas on what they would like to see the system do, and implement the best ones.
It really helps with morale when your agents see their ideas come to fruition.
With thanks to Stephanie
14. Show hard-to-please agents the problems with scheduling
Use job shadowing as a way of informing and educating your agents.
Get your hard-to-please agents to spend time with the resource team and see first-hand the impact of not having people in at the right time.
With thanks to Kerry
15. Use customer-friendly language instead of jargon
Encourage your agents to use customer-friendly language rather than jargon and internal project names.
These words can easily become embedded in your agents’ dialogue and alienate your customers.
With thanks to Dougie
I like the ideas of getting the CEO to engage with customers and agents conversing in customer friendly language rather than bamboozling them with tech jargon.
Very nice ideas, but only IVR menu is out of control, have any other option to enhance this?