In his last of five articles Craig Farley, Head of Consulting at IPI, discusses why strategies and tools are key to achieving peak performamce in the contact centre.
Anyone who’s ever pledged themselves to a fitness journey understands that it requires commitment, resources and drive. Without one of these tenants, the pursuit of fitness will wobble and waver. Likewise, Contact Centres can only flourish if they commit to realistic goals, invest in the necessary resources and push forwards with the motivation to succeed. So, whether tackling barriers such as stress that can derail commitment or investigating new avenues for resource-guided training, Contact Centre managers should commit to seeking innovations to ensure their Contact Centres are fighting fit!
In this article, we are sharing ideas, strategies and tools that put Contact Centres on track to bring home the gold medal for Contact Centre fitness.
People and technology
A tennis player is nothing without a racket, a heavyweight boxer is aimless without their ring, and an agent is ineffective without the right technology to secure the right results. Thus, it is fundamental to implement technology that suits agents and allows them to play to their strengths. Technology, like chatbots, can optimise an agent’s time by relieving the burden of mundane and repetitive tasks. With this time back, agents can reinvest in opportunities to improve their skillset or even destress on a hectic day.
Introducing a workforce management system can also be used to improve scheduling and streamline booking days off to ensure that everyone gets the time they need to recuperate.
Open-minded approach to processes
Each Contact Centre is unique, so it’s important not to slip into a one-size fits all approach. Performing a high-level evaluation of the current processes within a Contact Centre is a great exercise for identifying possible bottlenecks or inefficiencies while also helping to suggest methods to improve or fix them. While the evaluation may cross-examine different operations depending on the Contact Centre, some good focus areas include call routing, script adherence, escalation procedures, and customer feedback mechanisms.
Creating unintimidating KPIs
Nothing is gained if nothing is measured. But setting the right metric can be tricky. Just as a bodybuilder understands that setting unreasonable goals will only strain their muscles rather than strengthen them.
KPIs have long been a staple of measuring success within a Contact Centre, whether on the number of calls handled or time to resolution. Yet they can inadvertently overwhelm agents and create an anxiety-rich workplace. Setting targets that are realistic and directly linked to individual agent goals and aspirations minimises stress without sacrificing an agent’s motivation.
Don’t rest on your laurels
Contact Centres need to be wary of complacency. Reflecting as a group or taking the time to review customer feedback, analyse complaints, and identify opportunities that enhance customer interactions is key to improving Contact Centre agility and growth.
Tools such as speech and text analytics can be great for monitoring trends within customer interactions without expending unnecessary energy. By keeping an eye on changes before they happen, Contact Centres are primed to adapt as soon as possible and maintain a competitive edge.
We all remember sports days as children – where schedules would be scattered with individual events and often close with a team-led challenge, like a tug of war or a relay race. Such activities solidified feelings of unity without dampening the glowing aura of personal success.
The same logic can be applied to any aspirational Contact Centre. Arranging events and activities that bring colleagues together at the end of a season or coming together to celebrate successful product launches provides space to cheer on team members and the group effort.
Training for gain
Training and enablement is vital for an aspirational Contact Centre. Indeed, business success depends on well-trained and motivated agents with access to the proper physical and mental tools and support from their colleagues and leaders. Investing in training improves agents’ confidence in customer interactions and overall customer experience.
High-performing Contact Centres are built on more than just the right technology; they also depend on well-trained, highly-motivated employees.
Avoiding stress doesn’t just come from confidence in technology. Practises such as yoga and meditation decrease anxiety while giving employees time to review their day, week or aspirations. Group challenges, such as weekly step count targets, that encourage agents to get out from behind their desks to unwind will also reap rewards for Contact Centres looking to keep their staff happy and their Contact Centre ticking.
Running a Contact Centre may be different from organising a tournament, but you can still initiate a medal ceremony. Consider a range of accolades such as length of service – first month as a team member or yearly anniversaries – or the delivery of a new solution that can be easily celebrated with a leaderboard or even a small prize. Combine this with a company-facing ceremony, and individuals will see the results of their hard work in tangible benefits.
Craig Farley, is Head of Consulting at IPI
IPI is the UK’s leading digital contact centre specialist, focused on creating intelligent and innovative contact centre solutions that deliver exceptional customer experiences.
IPI understands that technology is only part of the solution to addressing business challenges within the contact centre. Its experts know the intricacies of people, technology, processes and customer demands and understand the realities of running a contact centre, as well as the practicalities of making advanced software deliver to its full potential.
For additional information on IPI view their Company Profile