5 Tips for Improving Productivity in your Contact Centre
Chris Bauserman,VP of Product & Segment Marketing at inContact
While it is easy enough to say you want to improve contact centre agent productivity, it is a tough task to actually achieve. Each organisation has different areas to address in order to improve employee performance – including issues related to motivation, communication and/or teamwork. Outlined below are five best practices to help boost contact centre agent productivity in every organisation.
It begins at the starting line: hire the right agents
Many contact centres settle for a churn-and-burn culture, which is a continuous cycle of new recruits who are let go once productivity dips. What these contact centre managers don’t realise is that if they spend a little more time and effort to hire a handful of quality agents – rather than cycling through 5-10 agents per month – their contact centre productivity will increase due to the natural continuity that occurs with longer-tenured agents.
In addition, employing agents who are not committed to staying long term often brings damaging attitudes that can become contagious in a workplace. This destroys team dynamics and lowers individual ambitions. As such, it’s critical for organisations to focus on hiring agents that are not only committed to improving their own skills, but raising the attitudes and abilities of everyone around them as well.
Give your agents more information
When provided with more detailed information and background on a customer, an agent will be better equipped to deliver positive results. One way to provide this information to agents is to integratecomputer telephony integration(CTI) technology that allows computers to interact with other channels – such as phones, live chat, SMS or social media.
This way, agents can get automatic on-screen prompts containing authentication and specific customer information, enabling them to provide a more personalised experience or route the customer to another staff member who can offer better assistance. In either case, less time is wasted, a more streamlined and positive customer experience is achieved, and contact centre agent efficiency has improved.
Provide consistent coaching and training
Coaching and training are critical components of agent development, and providing consistent feedback will help to build contact centre productivity over time. Once contact centre agents have learned the basics, it can be easy to let their skills stagnate as they move on to the next recruitment class.
It’s important for organisations to leverage workforce optimisation solutions that contain a knowledge library with the ability to upload coaching forms and track feedback over time. To ensure the coaching process is objective, contact centres should implement agent self-evaluation as well as analytics-based assessments of customer conversations.
All employees want to know how they are performing, and working closely with a dedicated coach within a formal training program will raise the overall productivity of contact centre agents within any organisation.
Allow agents to work remotely
Recent studies have shown that contact centre agents really can be more productive in the comforts of their own home. If you haven’t experimented with remote employees, start by giving your top agents the flexibility to work from home once or twice a week.
Rewarding your employees with the ability to work remotely has multiple benefits–it increases the productivity of your remote employees while also incentivising agents across the organisation to raise their own productivity and improve performance, with the hopes of being able to work from home as well.
Motivate with incentives
Apart from the ability to work from home, organisations that offer unique and fun rewards toits agents when they hit performance targets improves agent satisfaction and, in turn, retention. Sometimes, simply recognising agents for the achievement of their goals will suffice. In other cases, including a combination of prestige with tangible gifts, such as bonuses, free lunch or a $15 gift card, will motivate employees to go the extra mile. When executed correctly, a rewards program can have a big impact on employee performance.
Going that extra mile to hire the right agents, provide them with the information and tools they need, and implement different ways to keep them motivated will make a big difference in productivity at your contact centre.Agents will feel appreciated and empowered, and turnover rates may even decrease. Don’t believe me? Try applying just one of these tips above and be sure to measure the results – you will likely be pleasantly surprised!
Chris Bauserman is VP of Product & Segment Marketing at inContact
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