Invest in coaching
Create a knowledge base within your support team containing articles, how-to’s, and videos to help agents learn operating procedures. Ensure that they also receive regular updates from your product, marketing, and finance teams about new releases, bug fixes, or changed pricing plans promptly. This way, they’re not uninformed while attending to customer calls. Using call recordings, you can even highlight educational conversations and share them with agents for situational training. Pro tip: Adjust the Span of Control (ratio of supervisors to agents) within your contact center. Consider keeping the ratio as low as possible so that supervisors have the time to conduct agent training, in addition to their responsibilities of driving KPIs and managing escalations.
Lose outdated tech
If, for example, an agent has to toggle between a phone system, an email inbox, a webform, and a chat system (each provided by a different software), they will spend considerable time tracking a single issue across channels. Additionally, new agents will struggle to gain context quickly, in case they need to have a conversation with an existing customer. One platform, with the different channels mapped to a central system, will serve the dual objectives of creating a consolidated customer profile and ensuring accurate cross-channel updates. Freshcaller, for example, is integrated with a helpdesk + ticketing solution and a CRM platform to provide a connected customer engagement platform. In addition to software, procure good-quality headsets for your agents. Given the volume of calls they handle, it’s important to minimize inconveniences and ensure that they’re comfortable.
Empower your agents
While detailed scripts and SOPs can streamline operations in the call center, there will be situations that require agents to deviate from standard procedures. One the one hand, you would want your agents to reduce average handle time and increase the number of customers they attend to. Tried-and-tested scripts could help achieve that. On the other hand, agents need to spend adequate time on the call to maximize First Call Resolution (FCR) rates and customer satisfaction (CSAT). To achieve this, they may need to improvise based on the nature of the customer query. Create a range of options (discounts, free express shipping, add-on services etc.) that agents can provide customers without needing supervisor approval.
Implement a rewards system
Engaging in redundant tasks with limited opportunities for originality and autonomy can drain even the most dedicated agents. Consider rotating agents across channels or support divisions so that they can learn new skills and be exposed to a variety of tasks. If rotation isn’t possible in your organization, institute a system of benefits, bonuses, and rewards to incentivize agents. For example, you could practice an “Agent of the Month” recognition system or feature an agent who overcame a particularly difficult scenario in your monthly internal newsletter. Acknowledging effort and rewarding top performers can remind agents that they’re valued within the organization and help them manage day-to-day stressors better.