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Tips for boosting call center productivity

If you have any experience with anything contact-center-related, you are probably aware of the vast amounts of workload agents face daily. This is why taking care of call center productivity should be the focal point. Promoting call center productivity requires a clear understanding of customers' needs, optimal technical support and a good work environment.

Why is call center productivity important

What is the most important goal for call centers? Good customer experience is for sure one of the main ones. It is all about how you approach and treat your customers. These days, customers accept nothing less than an outstanding customer experience. Making customers satisfied is becoming far more important than products or services themselves. This results from evolving technology and many similar products on the market.

A positive customer experience is directly linked to happy agents. Pushing agents to the point of exhaustion will not increase call center productivity. A more straightforward way to increase productivity is by reducing call handling times and eliminating unnecessary costs.

11 tips for increasing call center productivity

As you can see, productivity is vital. Now you are wondering what you need to do to increase it. Look at the list of tools and techniques to assist you in your improvement.

1. Invest in agent training and tools

It is difficult for agents to be productive if they lack confidence in completing their tasks. A well-run contact center requires both support and tool training. Growing the necessary skill set is an excellent way for agents to increase productivity after initial training. Technologies, as well as customer demands, are changing rapidly. More often than not, agents need help to keep up with everything simultaneously. Making sure you take your time to educate your agent is, therefore, essential. This diversifies the agent's workday and provides interest and growth. 

Regarding technology, there should be a big focus on the tools you provide your agents. Working in a call center can be demanding regarding the daily workload. A good omnichannel solution is a way to go. It lets you track customer communication, history, engagement, and more with a comprehensive suite of features for managing your clients and contact centre simultaneously.

2. Integarte all channels

On the note of solutions that increase call center productivity, omnichannel is one of the best to consider. Imagine an agent having to toggle between five screens simultaneously to resolve one customer query. This will take a hit at productivity and, ultimately, customer experience. Integration of all communication has direct result-bearing impacts on an agent's productivity. It allows an agent to track customer journeys across many communication touchpoints. Efficiency, productivity, and improved customer experiences can flow from integrated contact centers.

3. Reduce agent workload with automation

Consider an agent who must switch between five different screens to resolve a single customer query. Productivity and, ultimately, customer experience will suffer as a result. 

When it comes to first-call resolutions or average call handling time, integration has a direct impact on an agent's productivity. It enables an agent to track a customer's journey across numerous communication touchpoints. Integrated contact centers can increase efficiency, productivity, and customer experiences.

4. Use analytics to measure performance

Call content is equally essential for increasing call center or agent productivity. Analyzing what types of calls your organization receives requires an examination of the call's content. They can be routed to a visual IVR, a bot, or an agent based on the call intent. This reduces call volume for agents while also assisting them in improving the quality of calls handled.

Skill-based call routing, for example, connects customers with the appropriate agent without having to wait in line for hours. This ensures that both call quality and call resolution rates are maintained.

5. Allow agent autonomy        

Answering calls can become monotonous, especially when following a script. Allow your agents autonomy rather than controlling every aspect of the customer interaction. When you give agents independence to make customer service decisions on their own, it can have a significant impact on call center productivity. Everyone, including agents, enjoys assisting others in resolving problems.

Proper staff training is vital in a call centre. Enhancing skills is essential to improve agent productivity.

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6. Encourage a healthy work environment

Nobody is designed to work an eight-hour day without rest. Many situations in a call center can cause tension and stress. When agents are stressed, encourage them to take a break to use the restroom, grab a snack, or walk around the office. A clear mind will allow them to focus their energy on the following customer they speak with rather than the last.

Involve your agents in this process and make goal setting easier on an individual and team level. Check in on these goals regularly to keep them fresh in your mind. This continuous reflection will assist your agents in taking control of their performance.

7. Incentivize Agent performance

Many believe that a higher paycheck is the ultimate motivator for agents to work harder. One way to recognize their efforts is to reward them for achieving goals and receiving advanced tools to help them reach their full potential. Contact centres can find a happy medium between short-term (spot rewarding) and long-term incentives (based on track record against KPIs). For a better customer experience, contact centers should listen to their customers, understand their needs, such as a seamless customer journey, and take steps to assist them in their work. The most crucial incentive is a fun and healthy work environment.

8. Allow self-service options

There are two kinds of customers. One-half prefers speaking with a customer service representative, while the other prefers quick service without communicating with or interacting with any agent. Customers who dislike interaction and prefer self-service will benefit from the concept and utility of self-service. Self-service significantly improves call center productivity metrics.

According to Gartner, by 2025, a customer will manage 85% of their relationship with a company without interacting with a human. It will also aid in the overall evolution of the call center. Many businesses have realized that most of their call center work consists of client requests for basic information. Customers now use chat, chatbots, offline messages, emails, and even IVR requests instead of wasting time trying to connect with agents. 

9. Keep your agents informed

Productivity is not solely a human issue; it also involves technological gaps. Even if agents work hard and are motivated, they may not receive the expected results. Improving the average call handling time necessitates the agent's ability to access the necessary information quickly.

Contact centers must be able to integrate all information, portals, and processes into a unified platform. Agents can provide all customer support via phone, chat, email, and social media platforms without requiring multiple logins. Second, agents are aware of the entire customer journey, making it easier to understand the customer's concerns and provide the desired services.

10. Reply quickly

Customers complain about long wait times. They get frustrated when agents place them on hold to look for answers if you have taken their feedback seriously. Call centers should ensure that agents have easy access to solutions and that the queue wait time is as short as possible. Some call centres now use self-help systems, which allow agents to search for answers while the customer speaks. This shortens call duration, decreases client wait time, and enables agents to take more calls. A call center can use the call-back mechanism if there is a long queue.

 It is important to remember that making customers wait is a bad practice that negatively impacts the customer experience and the brand.

11. Congratulate success

Positive feedback is an excellent tool for increasing agent productivity. When an individual or team's objectives are met, acknowledge the achievement with praise or incentives. When an agent positively impacts a customer or the company, you should recognize them.

Why should you let your agents know they are doing a good job? It is well-known that agents who understand their goals perform better at their jobs.

Contact center productivity is built on a foundation of technical and human interventions. Technology adoption should not remove the "human" element from work, and technological adoption should not be overlooked in today's competitive world. Keeping agents motivated and driven does not come from leaning too heavily on either side.

Maximize contact center productivity

Agents play a significant role in call center productivity. This is why you should always consider improving their experience on every level. Make sure they stay on track regarding current industry trends and education while making sure you create a healthy work environment.

Finally, make sure you understand what the customer truly desires. Always remember that knowing your customer is crucial. The history and trend of the majority of the queries will be able to guide you to improve overall call center productivity and make the call center more productive. It will also help channel funds, investments, training, and resources more efficiently and optimally. It's like a cycle: as productivity rises, so will customer satisfaction. As a result, try some of these methods and invest in good omnichannel solution, like LIVE for incremental support.

Learn more about how the Live product family can help you support and improve your customer experience strategy.

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