Driving Efficiencies and Effectiveness
To make significant performance improvements in your contact center, you must address the individual agent processes that occur hundreds or thousands of times each day. What contact center agent software is used most? Which processes do your agents perform most often? Where can you find waste in those processes, in terms of lost time, unrealized revenue potential, or high frequency of errors?
Improve those processes first to deliver the largest gains in contact center agent productivity.
You may have already identified tasks or processes for improvement, and those are a great place to begin. But there may be other significant process inefficiencies that are costing your call center in terms of productivity and revenue
Improving call center agent processes can have many far-reaching effects. A better user environment will improve staff satisfaction, reduce training needs and reduce or eliminate errors. This in turn can result in lowered operations costs and minimize attrition in call center staff. The improved efficiency directly benefits customers, resulting in higher customer satisfaction and improved revenue.
Epicenter implements the following best practices to ensure agent efficiencies and effectiveness are driven by –
Re-examine the key performance metrics
Re-examine the key performance metrics that are used to judge the performance of the contact centre – average handling time might seem like the most important metric but it tells you nothing about the outcome of calls and other interactions. Smarter companies are measuring outcomes such as customer satisfaction levels, new business sales, net promoter scores, and life-time value of customers. This enables them to strike a balance between efficiency (the cost per interaction) and effectiveness (business outcome).
Target for achievement
There’s a truism that you get what you reward… so reward what you want to get. Focus on what’s important to your organisation – hitting targets, encouraging repeat behaviours, creating an environment for self-development – mix intrinsic and extrinsic motivational techniques to light a fire in people rather than under them.
Clear Processes for Solving Common Problems
Methodology to solving problems, this will come as an invaluable improvement to agent efficiency. By supplying your agents with an arsenal of best practice processes and subject matter expertise, you are able to eliminate any unforced errors from the support process. Creating the processes is simple and is something a product engineer or expert can handle in a matter of hours. Allowing each agent to immediately become an expert at solving problems.
Continuous Improvement Training
This one sounds like a no brainer, but it was mentioned time and time again amongst our customers. By establishing a continuous training schedule, you can assure yourself that each agent will receive the appropriate training at the right time. Focusing each session on a new customer service skill or best practice procedure, the entire operation will learn to become more efficient in their daily tasks
Extract greater value from your customer calls
It’s one thing knowing that the contact centre is your organisation’s most valuable source of customer information; it’s quite another extracting that information, analysing it, and proactively taking actions based on your findings. Ask yourself whether you could be making better use of your ACD, call recording, workforce management and performance management data. Consider whether that data could be more efficiently aggregated and analysed, and whether the use of quality management and speech analytics technologies could help you turn findings into real-time actions
When a good call is identified, hold a group session to allow everyone to listen to it. This will reinforce the good behaviour in that individual and push others to demonstrate the same performance. Let them mark it against agreed criteria to determine whether it was a good call themselves – if you don’t have these criteria get them to create some.
Improve the agent desktop
Take a look at the agent desktop. In the majority of cases this is a complex environment that leads to excessive agent training needs, increased levels of agent frustration and thus turn-over, increased average call handling times and, worst of all, customer frustration while they wait for the agent to resolve their issue. There are products on the market now that can revolutionise the agent desktop to make it more interaction-handling centric and remove the need to directly access business applications, and can even recommend what the agent should do next