The call centre is unique in that no matter the processes involved, it still requires a host of actual human beings. If you want to improve the efficiency and productivity of your call centre, you need to see to both the processes and the people. Here are a few tips on just how you can do that.
1. Facilitate Communication with Your Agents
Communication is the bare minimum needed to drive efficiency and productivity. The less you engage your agents, the more unattached they will feel to the job. You should always communicate with your agents and give them a means of communicating with you and other decision makers.
- Regular meetings with groups of agents
- One-on-one meetings with individual agents
- A complaint box or email address
- Asking questions of agents
- Short surveys
It’s easy to want to inform agents of changes to procedures or the way they need to do things going forward. But don’t just dictate, ask for opinions. In addition, don’t keep what’s going on with the business a secret.
Keep your agents updated on the place they work for, and solicit opinions about that as well. Don’t leave it all up to numbers and metrics. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use your metrics.
2. Pay Attention to what Your Metrics are Telling You
Don’t make the mistake of focusing on what’s not working and what’s coming up short. These are important, but bringing down the hammer on your agents because of these metrics won’t help your cause. You should also take a look at what’s going right as well.
- Where are agents excelling?
- What time periods show the best results?
- Who on the team stands out and why?
It’s good to know what’s going on at your call centre with some easily digestible numbers and charts. But it’s more important for you to know why things are happening as they are. This goes for both the things your group excels at as well as the things your group struggles with.
When you know the why, you can start to manage things towards improvement rather than punishment. Setting goals based on your metrics helps, but you need to your agents to want to achieve and excel beyond their set goals. One way you can do this is through motivation and incentives.
3. Add Incentives and Increase Motivation
Motivation and incentives are really two different things, but you can group them. In any call centre group, there’s a very good chance that everybody isn’t there because they just absolutely love the position. This doesn’t make them terrible employees, nor does it make them terribly good ones.
Include your agents – When you include your agents in the inner-workings of the business, you motivate them. Set goals, but show them the necessity of those goals. Showing your agents how they’re literally helping the business to achieve its goals will make them feel part of something larger.
Incentivise goals – To a person already feeling a little burnt out from their job, the incentive of “you get to keep your job,” can only go so far. Incentivising goals can go a long way towards improving both the productivity and efficiency of your call centre.
Of course there are many, many ways to motivate agents and just as many ways to deal with incentives. These will depend on your specific culture. Although, keep in mind, you can always just ask them.
Look for Similar Policies in Other Services as Well
You can do all of these things and a lot more for your call centre. Of course, if you plan to hire a call centre instead of building one yourself, you should also make sure the call centre you contract also has policies in place to keep its employees happy, productive, and efficient. For more info about making the most of a call centre, contact one in your area.