Your agent blames her poor quota on a bad batch of customers. A “not-so-nice” customer spams your call center’s Facebook page with rage. Another employee didn’t get the memo about the shift swap. And you didn’t even get a chance to drink your coffee. Oh boy, another long day ahead…

Here are 4 quick survival tips that you may find useful. Don’t pick up the phone and read on!

Understand Your Customers’ Needs-Your job relies on customer satisfaction. Truth be told, customers make or break your call center. If you cannot give them the assistance they need with professional and accessible call center agents, then you could find difficulties ranging from your offshore company to your upper management. Constantly having customers jump through hoops on the phone from one agent to the other is frustrating.  Likewise, having too much automated voice messaging or long holds can leave your customer abandoned and disatisfied. On the other hand, a difficult customer is inevitable. Having a lot of patience is much needed for the job so do not hesitate to tell your agents to address customers if they become irrationally angry or use inappropriate language. Your staff needs to know that they shouldn’t take the situation personally.

Motivate Your Employees! Through thick and thin, your employees are still the backbone of the center. Like you, they work on a ridged schedule. Break time, start time, end time, shift swaps, overtime, etc. are sometimes notified last minute and they are expected to handle changes immediately. In some instances, shifts can begin at 2am (due to time zone differences) so your dedicated team needs a little push and nurturing at times.  Turnover is a given and it is expensive to rehire, thus encourage your staff and bring high energy to them everyday. Incentivising your agents with a bonus scheme or awards system could be helpful, especially in cases when agents don’t qualify for a sales commission. Making sure that you’re providing them an “up-to-date” scheduling tool which keeps everyone clocked in the system- notifications included- is crucial for time registration.

Read more: How 95% of scheduling tools are useless!

Train Employees with Care- Your staff will rely on training, thus making the training process easy to follow will give them the knowledge they need to perform well. Depending on the staff or location of the call center, some may need extra training on speaking or writing proficient English. Other training may include product sales or product tech support. Whatever training is needed, keeping your staff on a tight schedule is absolutely necessary since your time, money and resources are limited. If a staff member cannot join the training session, they must be able to inform you immediately with a notification via SMS or quick message through an internal communication tool. Consequently, if your staff isn’t well trained, KPIs (key performance indicators) could falter. For example, if indicators show that a customer makes constant calls or email inquiries with the same issue, then this situation may indicate that an agent does not have the knowledge to handle the issue. Thus, you may lose the customer or acquire poor reviews online. Giving your staff effective training keeps your customers happy in the long-run.

Find the Best Modern Solution- Your role to report KPIs from your team determines your standing. Sales and marketing managers ask for reports on outbound sales performance. Finance executives want reports on the operational costs such as training and turnover costs. HR wants a report on work hours, sick leave, payroll, contract offers, interviewing, etc. Having a system that doesn’t provide the right tools to measure and store these reports is a recipe for disaster. Relying on pen and paper or Excel leaves a large margin of human error. Thus, investing in an all-inclusive system that provides everything listed above is key for a call center to succeed.

 

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Kyra Kuik
Kyra Kuik Head of Content
Kyra is Planday's Head of Content. When she's not busy spinning up blog posts or editing, you can find her with a big cup of coffee, running, or admiring the charming pups of Copenhagen.