34 Winning Contact Centre Tips to Successfully Start the New Year

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We present the 34 winning tips sent in by the viewers of our industry-leading webinar programme, which may provide some great insights to start your new year on a high.

Our webinars are not all about our speakers, they are also about sharing best practices in our chatroom, so we can all learn from each other.

At the end of each webinar, we present a “winning tip” from each of the ideas that our audience shared with one another.

Many of these provided such great insights that we decided to compile the winning tips to each of our 34 webinars in 2019 and share them with you below.


1. Invite the Boardroom to Visit the Contact Centre Floor

We invite our board to a “back to the floor” session bi-annually.

These sessions offer a great opportunity for agents to showcase their abilities and for the board to truly understand what challenges customers have when corresponding with the business.

  • Thanks to Heather

2. Ask for the Story Behind Your Metric Results

There is always a story behind the number and you need to ask what really drove that result and observe as well.

You need to observe behaviours and ask for the story behind the numbers in addition to the metrics.

There is always a story behind the number and you need to ask what really drove that result and observe as well.

  • Thanks to Suzanne

3. Have an Easy Escalation Path From Your Self-Service Systems

We want our customers to be able to contact us in the best way for them, so we have all channels including a messaging system though our self-service online portal.

If the customer is using self-service we don’t want to push them to use a different channel such as the phone if they have a question or issue.

  • Thanks to Helen

For more on getting a strategy like this right, read our article: How to Create an Effective Digital Customer Service Strategy

4. Send out Calendar Invitations for Coaching Sessions

Book side-by-side coaching sessions in your calendar and invite the agents to them.

If it’s in both your calendars as a “meeting invite”, you’re less likely to miss it or get distracted by something else and not attend. This shows the agent you are invested in their development as well.

  • Thanks to Chris

5. Use Scatter Graphs to Test Correlation Between Metrics

Use a scatter graph to measure different metrics against each other and see if they have an impact on each other.

If there is a strong correlation between two KPI metrics, then you might be ‘double rewarding’ or ‘double punishing’ agents.

  • Thanks to Joseph

6. Remove Voicemail Dead-Ends

What could be more frustrating to customers than going through a series of prompts, just to end up in someone’s voicemail?

What could be more frustrating to customers than going through a series of prompts, just to end up in someone’s voicemail?

If you make menu prompts intuitive, such as no “press one for assistance”, followed by “press two for sales”, the prompts and callflow should make sense to your clients/customers.

  • Thanks to Ashley

7. Reassess Whether Your Agents Are in the Right Roles

Going from call centre to contact centre, we couldn’t do the jump to multiskilled agents all at once, so we’re having to silo channels to separate groups of agents with a plan to merge once we understand the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for each channel.

The challenge we had initially was getting the right agents for the right role – great conversationalist agents who are good on the phone have different skills from those who are experts in grammar and speed of typing for webchat.

  • Thanks to Sean

8. Respond to Employee Feedback and Get the Team Invested in New Procedures

It’s about how you deliver what you hear. We have a “great things happen when you listen” initiative – so you take the feedback and then advise what you did as a result of it.

For example, if there were training issues or broken processes, you say here what you did, e.g.  we had x training sessions, we changed the process to this, so the employees know that what they are raising is being actioned.

  • Thanks to Michelle

Here’s some great advice for increasing advisor buy-in to your new procedures: How to Better Introduce New Contact Centre Processes

9. Engage With Your Customers and Non-Customers

We brought in some of our customers and non-customers (whoever we could get to participate in the community) so we could watch them use our product.

All employees were required to participate, and it was a really cool experience. This really gave everyone a chance to see customer pain points, etc.

  • Thanks to Laura

10. Create Tone of Voice (ToV) Guidelines

We created ToV guidelines aligned to the values we hold as business and how different values are demonstrated across different channels.

Tone of Voice (ToV) needs to be consistent across all channels. Whether that’s on  email, the phone, social media or live chat.

We created ToV guidelines aligned to the values we hold as business and how different values are demonstrated across different channels. This helps to ensure consistency in the conversation.

  • Thanks to Adrian

11. Invite Colleagues From Other Departments to Quality Calibration Sessions

Invite colleagues from business areas that have nothing to do with the contact centre/customer service to join QA calibration sessions.

Those of us who work in the contact centre know too much.

Colleagues that have nothing to do with contact centre will view the process like customers who have not contacted the business before.

  • Thanks to Mathew

12. Modify Your Leadership to Fit the Individual Advisor

Vary leadership style depending on the individual advisors within your team.

With a team of ten, you may need ten slightly or very different styles.

Consider personality type and learning style.

  • Thanks to Neil

For more advice of coaching great leaders in the contact centre, read our article: Train Team Leaders Well

13. Use Agent Self-Evaluation in Your Quality Programme

Before providing your feedback in an evaluation, ask agents to do a self-evaluation then set a time to calibrate the findings.

Group calibration is also a great tool to improve agents’ scores and tackle compliance issues and customer satisfaction (CSat).

  • Thanks to Marco

14. Run a Quick Daily Resource Planning Meeting

Commit to a daily meeting with managers to discuss forecasting and planning, so that if the “unexpected” happens it doesn’t come as a surprise.

Management will be aware of absence levels over planned shrinkage percentage and also potential for changes to offline time, etc.

  • Thanks to Richard

For an introduction to resource planning and some great elementary tips, read our article: Resource Planning: What You Need to Know

15. Acknowledge the Customer’s “Baggage”

Show the customer you understand their entire relationship with the company by acknowledging their past interactions and issues.

This baggage influences the customer’s perception of the current interaction.

  • Thanks to Jose

16. Motivate Your Team With a Great Culture

We keep our teammates motivated by our culture. We all have one goal, and that is the customer’s needs.

Therefore, we only track CSAT, Quality and Adherence, as we want the team to focus on the services they provide and not be a number.

  • Thanks to Amber

For more on creating a great contact centre culture, read our article: Create and Maintain a Positive Culture

17. Reassess Your Contact Centre Opening Hours

The number of businesses operating with 24-hour service, 365 days a year will increase over the next couple of years, and not just self-service access.

Customer expectations are changing, and more want to engage when it suits them – with some customers turning to social media to vent when they realize the contact centre is closed.

So, assessing whether changing your opening hours could be a key customer satisfaction driver may be a great thing to do.

  • Thanks to Andrea

18. Feed Bots With the Right Data

A bot is just an interface. If it’s hooked up to the right resources, then it can be very useful.

For example, if it’s linked up to a search function which has indexed all your company’s documentation, it can create instant access to useful information. That can improve FCR.

  • Thanks to Bilbo

Find out some common bot misconceptions in our article: 7 Things They Won’t Tell You About Installing a Chatbot

19. Use Gamification – Especially When Working With New Recruits

We use gamification to engage our learners for training and to encourage them to tap into their inquisitive sides, so they are well motivated to learn.

The result of this is a more engaged class and more knowledgeable staff.

  • Thanks to Stacy

To find out more about this topic, read our article: What Is Gamification and How Is It Best Used in the Contact Centre?

20. Don’t Hide Service Failures

Companies should actively promote their service failures and how they “made it right” instead of hiding them.

People like to deal with companies who recognize that they are not perfect and have a good process to fix problems when they happen, and correct their process when that was at fault.

  • Thanks to Denis

21. Include a First Contact Resolution (FCR) Measure as Part of Your Quality Assurance

As part of the Quality Assurance (QA) checks, include “Did you get this right first time?” as a measure. If the assessor believes they didn’t, call the customer back.

It avoids another (frustrating) inbound call, leaves a great impact on the customer’s impression of the business and makes sure the advisor wants to get it right next time.

  • Thanks to Alex

For more insight into how to measure FCR, read our article: How to Calculate First Contact Resolution

22. Assess How Multitasking Could Improve Your Customer Service

Look to see how your staff can be multitasked. By being multitasked they can help customers much quicker, as they know the process, so this will help prevent another touchpoint being made.

When we receive an enquiry we set up a one-on-one to deal with that enquiry.

If we cannot answer and need assistance from another area, we do not pass them on, we stay with them through the whole journey.

We keep the customer fully informed of what we are doing, who we are speaking to and help to answer their question/issue. This builds trust.

  • Thanks to Claire

23. Limit Scripting When You Have to Show Empathy

How we phrase scripts can translate to the customer as ‘we don’t care’. It’s a fine line, but empathy is so important from the agent.

Advisors have to think (quickly!) about what the customer’s circumstances might be, how must they feel, and then be empowered to adapt the foundation of the script to deliver the information in an empathetic way.

  • Thanks to Susannah

For advice on training empathy in the contact centre, read our article: How to Coach Empathy in the Contact Centre – With Three Training Exercises

24. Screen-Share With Customers

Incorporate screen-sharing capabilities to walk your customers through issues/concerns step by step.

By doing this, you can broaden your approach to multiple learning styles and give a more personal touch to your customer’s experience.

  • Thanks to Brittaney

25. Reconsider Your App’s Self-Service Options

We launched our own app last year. This has proved to be very successful in terms of self-help / FAQ. Customers can also view how their service is performing and request a callback.

We hope to be able to launch the ability for customers to raise service faults by the end of this year. I’m working with a supplier to introduce artificial intelligence (AI) / virtual assistants to the app too.

  • Thanks to Lesley

Find advice from our panel of experts on implementing self-service in our article: The Do’s and Don’ts of Digital Self-Service

26. Treat Scheduling as an Employee Engagement Opportunity

When our new shift suites were built we looked at the business, the customer and the employee; this improved morale in the operation and the demand is being handled better.

We have full-time shift patterns with ten-hour days, four days a week, which is working well.

My operations are blended so our paperwork time is now smoothed out over the week too.

  • Thanks to Claire

27. Assess the Top and Bottom 10% of Calls

Typically when I look at sentiment, I look at the top and bottom 10% in the distribution to see where the trouble calls and good calls are.

Trying to look at an exact sentiment score per call can be misleading. Looking at the average score per call topic can be very revealing.

  • Thanks to Jason

For more on using sentiment analytics, read our article: How to Measure Customer Emotion

28. Remove Rewards From QA

We have recently removed any financial impacts/incentives from any QA results.

This, combined with an ongoing education of putting yourself in the customer’s shoes, has helped our agents to offer a more unbiased view of the service delivered.

In fact, we had an increase in the percentage of people who scored their calls lower than their supervisors and were far more honest and critical of the experience.

  • Thanks to Harj

29. Gather Customer Feedback on Social Media

Use surveys, polls, and questionnaires to learn about customer preferences and needs. These tools will provide important information about what customers like about your business and what can be improved.

A customer is more likely to do business with you again if they feel they are heard.

A customer is more likely to do business with you again if they feel they are heard. Surveys, polls and questionnaires will provide a voice to your customer and increase their engagement with you and your business.

However, these feedback mechanisms can sometimes be quite invasive, so using social media to conduct this research can work really well.

  • Thanks to Ashley

30. Encourage Advisors to Be Creative When Solving Customer Problems

If you give your advisors autonomy to solve the customers’ problems first hand and not have to escalate further up the ladder, this will give the customer a feel of accountability from one person and resolve their issue first time.

Therefore, even if the customer has a problem, the journey will hopefully be swift and smooth, resulting in a satisfied customer.

  • Thanks to Amy

For good advice on better handing call escalations, read our article: How to Handle Call Escalations

31. Train Advisors to Avoid Making Assumptions

Allow more time at the start of the conversation. Don’t assume that you know what your customer needs straight away and allow them time to talk and give yourself the chance to see the bigger picture.

Once you know more, there is less chance you will need to go back and forth with them down the line. A win-win for everyone!

  • Thanks to Tom

32. Prioritize Employee Satisfaction Over Handling Times

I have seen that in companies which are more focused on employee satisfaction/engagement and striving to be a great places to work, Average Handling Time (AHT) is lower. This is because employees are focused on one goal – the customer, and not necessarily their individual stats. It eliminates situations where calls are rushed and reduces multiple callbacks.

  • Thanks to Amber

For more tips for safely lowering handling times in the contact centre, read our article: How to Safely Knock 20 Seconds Off Your Average Handling Time (AHT)

33. Get Your Team to Train Your Bot

Allow agents to “train” and improve chatbots before releasing them in the wild…

Don’t start outside the box when thinking about the process of building up your chatbots, start with the simplest solution and scale up.

  • Thanks to Daniel

34. Remember, Self-Service Is Still About Service

We have to remember that self-service is still about service. If we do not understand our client’s expectations, we will be unable to propose satisfactory self-service options and thus they will come back to a live person.

I expect that the implementation of a self-service option should be constantly adjusted to better meet customer expectations.

  • Thanks to Denis

For even more great tips to help you run the best possible contact centre operation, read our articles:

To view any of our 2020 webinars, where we will be sharing even more great advice, follow the link: Call Centre and Customer Service Webinars

Author: Robyn Coppell

Published On: 30th Dec 2019 - Last modified: 30th Sep 2022
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