Here are some great ideas we learnt at the MOO Print Limited contact centre in London.
1. Empower agents to problem solve using their own judgement
|MOO Fact File|
|Contact volume – per month||Inbound:
|Agents||23 seats – UK
38 seats – USA
|Call Scoring||BPA Quality|
Empower agents to use their own judgement to find solutions to customers’ problems, as well as issue refunds where they think necessary.
You can still have standard procedures in place for guidance, but remove rigid control by reminding agents these are “to their own judgement”.
“We empower our agents to refund customers, as well as reprint orders, without having to escalate the situation to a supervisor,” said Dan Moross, Director of Customer Experience at MOO. “We’d rather our agents tried and failed than had to ask for permission every five minutes. It’s also refreshing to see some of the solutions they come up with.”
2. Keep social events interesting by asking different people to organise them
Ask different members of the team to organise your upcoming social events, taking one event each. This will help to keep the social calendar varied and exciting.
Setting aside budget specifically to pay for social events can also encourage agents to choose more unusual activities, as they don’t have to worry about organising “something that everyone can afford”.
3. Find out when everyone is free before organising a social event
Instead of holding a social event every third Tuesday, survey your agents to find out which day works best for them. For example, use the Doodle calendar invite tool.
You can then make an informed decision each month about whether to book your social on a Monday or a Thursday, or skip that week entirely.
4. Use #shortcuts to pull stock responses into webchat and emails
Preload shortcuts into your email and webchat systems, which can be accessed via hashtags, so agents can quickly pull through stock responses – saving time when trying to handle multiple conversations at once.
For example, typing #thanks could bring up “Thank you for contacting us. If you have any further questions please get in touch with us again”.
Stock answers can then be personalised or modified for the conversation.
5. Stock up the kitchen with free “help yourself” options
Stock up the kitchen with free “help yourself” options for your agents.
These can include breakfast options including cereal, bread and fruit, as well as unlimited tea, coffee, cakes and biscuits.
You could also introduce a freezer full of ice creams or a drinks fridge – all of which can be easily restocked with supermarket online delivery options.
6. “Work shadowing” can help agents learn about other departments
If an agent expresses an interest in another area of the business, such as project management or marketing, set up “work shadowing” sessions for them.
You can also form work experience committees, so agents can get real experience on the job while helping other departments deliver a new project or event.
MOO have also trained some agents on Photoshop and Illustrator, so they can further help customers on the phone. For example, checking artwork and making alterations.
This kind of activity can benefit both customers and agents, as well as improve cross-department communication.
7. Host a contact centre birthday party every year
Celebrate each year your contact centre is in business with an annual birthday party.
MOO host a big event each year for their employees, their families and members of the public. The most recent celebrations included food trucks and a helter-skelter.
If you don’t have the budget for a big blow-out, you can still mark the occasion with cake, balloons and party hats.
8. Display local events on a central noticeboard each week
Help your agents have the best social life they can – and promote team bonding – by advertising local events on a central noticeboard each week.
The “MOO’s to-dos” board shows local gigs, open-mic nights, and other events going on in the surrounding area. It is also used to remind everyone of any company events happening that week.
9. Invite every new starter to have lunch with the CEO
As part of the induction phase, invite your latest recruits to have “new starter lunch” with the CEO.
This helps to break down any communication barriers, as well as gives new recruits an opportunity to ask any questions they may have.
10. Ask customers for additional information before connecting their webchat
Give customers the option to fill in additional information, such as their order reference number, while they are waiting to connect to a webchat agent.
This will help to speed things up, as the agent can already be opening up the customer’s account details before they’ve typed their first message.
Features which allow agents to see what the customer is typing before they click send can also help speed up the resolution time.
You can also try posting links to useful and relevant areas of the website.
11. A free lunch is a great way to say thank you to your team
Providing your agents with a free lunch every now and again is a great way to say thank you for all their hard work.
Keep it interesting by doing something different each time. For example, ordering pizza one week, and cooking up pancakes the next.
This can also help you build positive relationships with local businesses, who may be willing to offer exclusive discounts for their services.
12. Stockpile a list of different ways to say thank you on social media
Keep your social media feed varied and interesting by saying thank you in different ways.
A team brainstorming session can help create an initial bank of phrases agents can copy and paste from in the coming months – without your Twitter feed becoming too repetitive.
13. Not all learning opportunities have to be contact centre related
One way to help boost morale in the contact centre is to offer agents the opportunity to try something new that isn’t related to their day job.
For example, organise outside speakers to come into the contact centre and host calligraphy and book-binding workshops, or yoga classes.
14. Award spot prizes to agents “named” on social media for a job well done
Award spot prizes to individuals if their name is mentioned in positive feedback on social media or CSAT feedback forms. This could be a £5 voucher or box of chocolates.
You can also print these out to create a board of social media mentions.
15. Follow up with a friendly email if a webchat session times out
Webchat sessions can time out for a number of reasons, whether the customer has had trouble sourcing the additional information they require, or an agent has been caught up with another customer.
Whatever the reason, the conversation shouldn’t stop there.
Train your agents to follow up a webchat with a friendly email, giving the customer a chance to send through any additional information or follow on the conversation via email.
16. “Show and Share” presentations help keep everyone in the know
A good way to improve cross-department communication is to ask each department to take a turn in putting together a 10-minute presentation.
One department can then present to the entire company once a quarter, updating them on their latest projects and achievements.
17. Show customers you care by typing “I’m really sorry” into a webchat
Phrases such as “I’m really sorry” and “sadly, we aren’t able to do that” can show customers that they are dealing with a real person who cares about their problem.
Using the sad face emoji can also help to show customers you are on their side, as you try to find an alternative solution to their problem.
18. Treat everyone with a personalised mug
Treating everyone to a personalised mug for their tea and coffee is a great way to boost morale, as well as embed a sense of ownership in the contact centre.
Once you’ve decided on a design, you can include the agent’s name and the date they started working with you.
These can either be rolled out all in one go to celebrate new office premises, a successful merger or award win, or be a “rite of passage” for every employee once they have completed their first year.
19. A life coach can offer additional emotional support to your agents
It isn’t always easy for an agent to talk to their team leader about things that are bothering them.
Bringing in an outside trainer who also has life coaching and/or counselling experience can help to give agents the safe space they need to talk about what really matters to them.
These sessions can help address basic confidence issues, as well as support agents through any cases of stress or absence that may arise in your contact centre.
With thanks to MOO Print Limited for hosting our visit