There’s no ‘one size fits all’ solution to call centre management.
There are tonnes of different factors to take into consideration, everything from the size of your team, to the service you offer will influence the internal operations.
Call centre management is more than scheduling and time tracking. It’s about setting manageable targets, having expert knowledge about everything to do with your product/ service, and most importantly, ensuring the work place is a positive and productive environment, where your agents can thrive.
Succeeding in these day to day tasks is a balancing act, so we spoke to Alan Lynch, SEO at Compare&Choose for his top tips about internal management and how to consistently maintain award-winning customer service!
Stop clock watching
A common mistake in call centre management is the emphasis placed on call handling times. Pressuring your agents with time restraints is likely to affect the quality of their customer service and often, when agents are too focused on clock watching, the customers’ needs won’t be their number one priority.
Most customers will value their time and would prefer a quick fix, however monitoring call duration isn’t the best method to ensure total satisfaction. By removing time restrictions, customer service agents have the freedom to really listen to the customer’s issues and are more likely to come to a resolution the first time they call.
Ditch the script
Whilst having a script to follow might seem like a good way to ensure efficiency and customer satisfaction, they can come across as robotic and impersonal. Every customer is different, with unique demands, so, treating each query as an individual will significantly improve your customer service standards.
Call centre agents should know how to gage a customer’s tone and respond appropriately based on the severity of the issue. As our customer range is so diverse it’s vital that our service team adapt every interaction to the pace and nature of the call. This is not something that can be achieved when agents are reciting a pre-prepared dialogue.
For many companies dial options are necessary to ensure calls are directed to the correct place, however the fewer automated options – the better! These are very frustrating and can result in unsatisfied customers.
All our call centre agents are fully trained in all areas of business, so our customer concerns are dealt with by one person, in our Newcastle HQ. We are confident that this ‘one stop shop’ service, and fast response time, is much more efficient to ensure problems are solved quickly, ensuring our customers are not increasingly aggravated. As a bonus, we find that satisfied customers rub off onto team members, which in turn helps keep morale high in the office!
Allow for flexible management
Flexibility is key when it comes to the day to day operations of running a call centre. Management teams should use their experience and learnings to develop and implement new processes that will improve customer satisfaction. Host team brain storming sessions to help define strengths and weaknesses in your current set-up and work together to iron out the flaws. This will help to empower your team to be proactive about new processes and systems, as they have had a say in their implementation.
Agent burn out is a common concern at call centres and its often easy to avoid. In my experience, ‘burn out’ is often a result of interaction time stipulations and unrealistic targets. Removing these limitations can have a drastic impact on employee morale and in severe cases, staff retention. At Compare&Choose, we have scrapped targets and restrictions, to promote team spirit, rather than competition.
Though it is understandable that targets are often a necessary part of workplace productivity, team members should be rewarded for achievements, rather than being penalised for falling short of goals. Penalties for underachievement creates negative vibes in the office, leaving team members feeling stressed.
When it comes to the management of a call centre, it’s all about ensuring team members are happy and have a work environment they can thrive in. The positive attitude will reflect on to customers, improving their experience and outlook of the company.