The Leading Contact Centre Magazine

76 Tips to Improve Your Contact Centre Strategy


Tips for improving fun and morale, multi-channel, staff development, internal communications and performance.

Strategies for fun and morale

1. Let the staff determine what fun they want

Always let the staff determine what fun they want in order to achieve high levels of participation.

With thanks to Danny

2. Be nice to the team

Be nice to the team, and genuinely try to make their experience of work a good one. It’s simple but definitely effective!

With thanks to Gemma           

3. Fun and morale doesn’t mean spending £££s

Fun and morale doesn’t mean spending £££s.

It starts from a simple conversation with your staff that lets them know that what they do is valued, and that costs nothing.

With thanks to Helen 

4. Have regular dress-down days

Have regular dress-down days, team drinks and lots of biscuits/fruit/crisps to encourage outbreaks of morale and have a laugh.

With thanks to Debby

5. Hold monthly birthday celebrations

birthday-balloons

Hold monthly birthday celebrations! People feel far better when their important day is celebrated by so many people all together.

With thanks to Neeraj   

6. Build a social committee

Build a robust and effective social committee in your work and run as a mini business.

With thanks to Suzanne   

7. Play games to maintain positive energy in the call centre

To keep your contact centre team motivated, you have to have positive energy in the environment.

We play several games that representatives can participate in while taking calls, including bingo, scavenger hunts and crossword puzzles.

With thanks to Annette  


See our Articles about Games for some great ideas to liven up your contact centre.


8. Say nice things to your colleagues

Say a minimum of one nice thing to a colleague every day!

With thanks to Ivar       

9. Find out what your agents think the rules are

People participate in what they create. So find out what your agents think the rules are. This will enable them, as individuals and collectively, to achieve work targets.

With thanks to Sharon   

10. Hold a 10 minute ‘huddle’ when each new shift starts

team-hold-hands

Hold a 10 minute ‘huddle’ when each new shift starts.

Give your agents the figures and daily targets, and then wrap it up by playing a quick game at the end. For example, throw a rag doll round and get your agents to tell each other one thing they like about each other with every catch.

With thanks to Rosanna   

11. Ensure staff feedback is taken on board

Ensure staff feedback is taken on board for improving systems and strategies, and also that you never lose sight of keeping staff in the loop with excellent communication channels.

With thanks to Michelle   

12. Identify Chief Fun Officers within your advisor population

Identify CFOs (Chief Fun Officers) within your advisor population – generally some of your stronger personalities – to devise quarterly events to give your team something to look forward to.

It helps to ensure buy-in from the floor when it is coming from their peers.

With thanks to Sandra  

13. Ask the staff rather than telling them

Ask the staff rather than telling them, show an interest, and offer coaching and appraisals.

With thanks to Huw     

14. Fill your agents’ break room with fun and useful items

Fill your agents’ break room with fun and useful items. For example, table football, sports/news on TVs and social media stations.

With thanks to Rich 

15. Run bake-offs and raise money for charity

cake-baking

We have an international floor and have enthusiastic team leaders who love to run bake-offs, raise money for charity, taste each-other’s wares and offer prizes for the best bakes – we’ve had everything from enchiladas to Japanese teacakes!

It’s been great fun because we all love to eat!

With thanks to Sandra  


Email your fun stories to the newsdesk for your chance to appear in Call Centre Helper!


16. Host morning exercise sessions

Host morning exercise sessions. They are a great way to start your agents’ day.

With thanks to Selma   

17. Host “Made a Difference” awards

Host “Made a Difference” awards, which are then voted for by all the staff.

With thanks to Kerry     

18. Smile at people!

Smile at people! You’ll be surprised at how quickly positivity can spread.

With thanks to Nick   

19. Hold “your turn” days

Hold “your turn” days, so everybody has a chance to organise fun events at work.

With thanks to Ivar   

20. Respect and appreciate your agents

Involving your agents, respecting their opinion and appreciating them boosts their morale, as well as their productivity levels.

With thanks to Emma  

21. Get management involved in rewarding agents

bright-lolly-pops

Have management do something for the agents once they achieve their KPI team challenge.

We had management baking pancakes for all the agents last year in the company kitchen. It was really good fun!

With thanks to Els   

22. It all starts in the hiring process

I would rather attract people who are motivated already and inspire them.

It all starts in the hiring process, so ask people why they want to join your contact centre.

With thanks to Abdullah   

23. Hold a monthly Movie Night

Our support centre works with cinemas, so we arrange a Movie Night every month.

This has a double benefit; our agents need to understand our customers’ business, and it’s a great team-building activity.

With thanks to Mark   

Strategies for multi-channel

24. Make multi-channel a career step

Make multi-channel a career step. For example, when you master customer service on the phones, you can move on to learn chat, then email, etc…

You can even include a small raise every time an agent increases their level of responsibility.

With thanks to Michael   

25. Test agents in the recruitment process

Always thoroughly test potential new agents throughout the recruitment process to ensure a good cross-skills match.

With thanks to Danny   

26. Integrate channels to provide a single view of client data

One way to leverage multi-channel to enhance the customer experience is to integrate channels to provide a single view of client data and bring all the information together for ease of access by agents.

With thanks to Kennedy   

27. Meet the customer in the channel they choose

Meet the customer in the channel they choose, not the channel you want to meet them in.

Think omni-channel not multi-channel; it’s about choice and allowing the customer to move channel.

With thanks to Allan   

28. Get your recruitment right

waiting-for-interview

Get your recruitment right so that you have staff that are capable and competent to provide excellent service across all contact methods.

With thanks to Debby   

29. Align your interactions

Align and standardise how every interaction is initiated in the CRM, regardless of the channel.

With thanks to Rich   

30. Use customer experience statistics to measure satisfaction

Use customer experience statistics to measure satisfaction across the varying channels.

With thanks to Shane      

31. The right people should be able to communicate using all channels

If you’ve recruited the right people, they should be able to communicate using all channels, and will feel much happier and confident being trusted to use them all than if you take a possible method of communication from them.

With thanks to Rosanna   

32. Get the right technology

Make sure you get the right technology in terms of the scale and customer experience you are handling.

With thanks to Abdullah   

33. Make sure the right person is delivering your company message

Any communicated company message is only as good as the person that delivers it. Make sure you have the right person delivering it!

With thanks to Alex       

Strategies for self/staff development

34. Create a career progression plan to improve staff retention

Creating a formal career progression plan is very effective for retaining employees in the contact centre.

If you have a system in place whereby agents can learn new skills and maintain high performance, they can move up in the contact centre and not feel that the only way to enhance their career is to leave the contact centre.

With thanks to Annette

35. Test your agents on a monthly basis

test-paper

We have monthly tests on product knowledge and always include questions on the industry to ensure staff are aware of things which may affect them and their customers.

With thanks to Danny   

36. Encourage your management team to listen to webinars

We use the Call Centre Helper webinars as an opportunity to bring the entire management team together into one room each week.

We listen to the conversation and use it to initiate ideas and get us all thinking about how we can continue to improve.

With thanks to Sandra


Visit our Webinars page to book yourself onto an upcoming webinar.


37. Staff development should be long term

Staff development should be long term for future roles, not just the role they are in now. The highest levels of motivation come from what staff do over and above their current role.

With thanks to Richard   

38. Regularly ask your team about training

Make a conscious effort to ask your team regularly about what they need and want in terms of training.

With thanks to Rosanna  

39. Implement a training culture

We are working on implementing a training culture and really prioritising this over lots of other things. The response has been phenomenal!

With thanks to Gemma 

40. Start using social media as an internal communication channel

Make your own internal Wikipedia and start using social media as an internal share/competence channel.

With thanks to Ivar

41. Make sure training sessions are fun

Training should be fun – make it something that people want to attend not just something to get through!

With thanks to Gemma  

42. Promote career progression from the grass roots upwards

Many of the senior people in our company came through our call centre. If you recruit good people they can often progress rapidly to other areas of the business.

With thanks to Kevin

43. Make a short video of training tips

video-screen

Record a short video training session for your agents to use as a refresher.

With thanks to Els   

44. Provide opportunities for career development

Make performance management a positive experience that measures gaps and provides opportunities for investment in the individual.

Also, thank people for what they do well, and help them do better in other areas. This can be linked to strategy and personal career development.

With thanks to Sharon      

45. Utilise the senior management team

This year, we launched Learning Academies, which utilise the senior management team and SMEs, and cover subjects such as Leadership, Project Management, Technology, Customer Engagement and Support.

It is really useful and cost effective, but also extremely valuable for staff development, and ties into our succession planning and talent management.

With thanks to Helen   

46. Allow leaders to understand the skill toolkit of each individual

Consider a talent matrix that allows leaders to understand the skill toolkit of each individual, and subsequently support development opportunities at a higher level.

With thanks to Suzanne

47. Let your staff be your innovators

Let your staff be your innovators.

With thanks to Alex   

48. Show your agents how things work

Arrange detailed training sessions for your customer service representatives about contact centre procedures. Show your agents how things work, how huge an influence the employees have on KPI and why the rota has to be prepared in certain way.

If they know more, they may become more involved in their work, and, who knows, you may even find a new team leader.

With thanks to Ada

49. Check correlation of training inputs versus business outcomes

Check correlation of training inputs versus business outcomes. For example, are interventions targeting FCR, sales uplift and NPS actually delivering the expected and/or desired results?

With thanks to Keir   

50. Use a non-conformance spreadsheet to log and evaluate errors

We use a non-conformance spreadsheet to log and evaluate errors, and subsequently identify training needs, patterns and development requirements.

With thanks to Michelle 

51. Make time to find out what is going on in the market

clocks-through-hour-glass


Make time to find out what is going on in the market for your vertical, as even 15 minutes a day can increase your overall industry awareness.
 
With thanks to Paul     

Strategies for internal communications

52. Give everyone a customer service induction

Everyone joining the company should have a customer service induction.

With thanks to Rosanna   

53. Make ‘team talks’ a priority

We hold weekly ‘team talks’ for each department which are scheduled into forecast and are classed as being as important as taking the calls.

Your staff can’t take the calls without the up-to-date information to deal with them, so invest in your staff.

With thanks to Michelle       

54. Invite your CFO onto the customer service floor

As the Head of the Contact Centre, I invited our COO and CFO to come to the floor for the day, listen to calls and understand how we operate.

Our CFO was amazed at the level of knowledge and skill required. This has changed the perception of the division and means that our thoughts and proposals are now listened to!

With thanks to Sue  

55. Share customer retention figures

Share retention figures, and show the company the value of the business you have saved.

With thanks to Richard   

56. Temporarily switch your staff between departments

Everybody from the MD to the pickers in the warehouse have been invited to our floor to understand what we do and take part in interactive mixed training sessions.

We also lend out our guys to other parts of the business – only yesterday 2 of our guys left emails behind and went into the warehouse and picked!

With thanks to Sandra  

57. Utilise all available communication channels

We try to utilise our communication channels and do such things as blogs, e.g. “a 24hrs with…”, and have a people store which is about celebrating all the great things our people do on site.

We also have a global group of Engagement Ambassadors who own a micro site on our intranet and showcase/celebrate all the great things that happen on site.

With thanks to Suzanne

58. Don’t forget to read messages that you are receiving from others

click-message-icon

Apart from sharing the information with other departments, don’t forget to read messages/info that you are receiving from others.

Don’t ignore or skip messages that come to your mail box because they might be doing exactly the same with messages sent by you.

With thanks to Ada   

Strategies for performance

59. Set SMART goals based on historical data

You have to make sure goals that are set are SMART goals and the metrics are determined by historical data and not by gut or by looking at just your top performers.

To set the metric, use a sample of data and then take out the top 10 and the bottom 10 performers. If goals are not obtainable or realistic you are destined to fail.

With thanks to Annette

60. Take account of staff development when figuring out requirements

Planners should take account of staff development when figuring out the requirements, and Operations Management need to make sure they use it for their staff!

With thanks to Shane   

61. Go minimal on the reporting dashboard at all levels

Performance benchmarking data has to be simple, easy to read and memorable – go minimal on the reporting dashboard at all levels.

With thanks to Rich

62. Always aim high on service

When it comes to benchmarking, remember that your customers will always judge you against the best, with little regard for which industry you are working in, so always aim high on service.

With thanks to Annette

63. Save your incentives that give away prizes until peak periods

Save your incentives that give away prizes until peak periods, as agents are motivated more by their achievements being recognised on a photo board and their successes being shared.

With thanks to Rosanna   

64. Try to get away from “tall poppy” syndrome

Try to get away from “tall poppy” syndrome and use those successful people to bring up the rest of the teams.

With thanks to Danny

65. Put the “voice of the customer” at the heart of the scorecard

Putting the “voice of the customer” at the heart of a balanced scorecard for Executive Management changes the perception of how the contact centre is perceived.

With thanks to Shane   

66. Find the hidden complaints

submerged-question-mark

We must have a method to measure the ‘process’ rather than the ‘task’, as without it we can’t find those hidden complaints – i.e. the customers that have had poor service but can’t be bothered to complain.

Ignoring these customers costs us far more than ones that do complain as we have no opportunity to fix the problem.

With thanks to Richard   

67. Work together on initiatives for more effective output

We currently have been working together on initiatives that have seen a more effective, efficient and successful output.

The key stakeholder groups are operations, insight, change management/process improvement, customer experience, learning and development/training, and communications.

With thanks to Suzanne   

68. Have a communal pipeline of events channelled via change control

Having a communal pipeline of events channelled via change control is great for taking marketing and sales initiatives into account and planning for optimising performance.

With thanks to Shane   

69. Ask staff members for ideas

Ask staff members for ideas, as grass-roots ideas are more likely to relate to the customer, compared to what Marketing will come up with.

With thanks to Sarah   

70. Display performance stats alongside real-time numbers

Display performance stats alongside real-time numbers to embed the connectivity between the two and get all performance measures viewed equally.

With thanks to Rich     

71. Assess all business actions against ‘customer-centric’ goals

person-on-table-football-table

Assess all business actions against ‘customer-centric’ goals, not just those associated with the ‘front line’.

With thanks to Sharon     

72. Buddy-up employees from Marketing and Sales

Have a member of your marketing team assigned to each of your sales teams, like a buddy system, as a point of reference so that they can share knowledge and get feedback from each other.

With thanks to Alex   

73. Regular reviews across all operations is essential

Processes, associated systems and documentation must be maintained.

Regular reviews across all operations is essential, and linking detailed processes all the way up to strategy is something that is a ‘must’ but is rarely achieved.

With thanks to Sharon   

74. Jump on the phones yourself to identify day-to-day issues

people-on-phones

Jump on the phones yourself to see what issues your agents are dealing with day-to-day.

With thanks to Rosanna  

75. Don’t overlook reporting

Reporting is always looked at last but should be first.

With thanks to Sharon

76. Do not overload staff with too many development areas at once

Do not overload staff with too many development areas at once, as it is very difficult for them to change everything in one go and could lead to low morale and a failure to achieve objectives.

Set your objectives based on the key development area first and let them focus on that area. Then, once that objective has been achieved, set the next objective. This is far more motivating than overloading staff with unrealistic objectives.

With thanks to Michelle

What strategies do you use to drive success in your contact centre?

Published On: 29th Jan 2014 - Last modified: 8th May 2018
Read more about - Customer Service Strategy, Hints and Tips, , ,


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