8 Smart Ways To Drive Inbound Call Center Performance
Know what customers say is the biggest frustration with inbound call centers?
It’s being left on hold. That’s right. Being left on hold.
More than 40% of today’s customers say it’s their biggest frustration.
Long hold times also frustrate businesses. It costs them $130 billion in lost productivity annually.
That’s a lot of productivity to lose—no matter what your industry.
But don’t throw in the towel.
Several ways exist to ease a customer’s on-hold frustration and boost call center performance simultaneously.
One way is to provide a call-back option at your inbound call center.
More than 75% of today’s customers prefer being called back than being put on hold, according to Forester Research.
More than 50% of customers say providing exact wait times is better than being put on hold.
The point is you need to find smart sways like this to drive performance at your inbound call center. Solutions like this boost both profits and competitiveness. They also boost survivability.
Below are 7 additional ways of driving inbound call center performance:
Team up agents
Creating agent teams is a win-win for everyone. It educates agents, builds confidence, and boosts camaraderie. It lets agents learn from each other, improves their overall interactions with customers, and helps agents form internal relationships. Better yet, it produces organizational consistency by creating one-voice throughout the call center—a major benefit to consumers.
Target customer experiences
Easier said than done. But it’s critical to boosting call center performance. So relay this message to your agents. In addition to praising those agents who achieve great results, assess agent performances based on specific customer experience outcomes. Doing so helps agents learn from unsuccessful outcomes.
Implement ongoing coaching sessions
This ranks as the most frequently missed opportunity to boost call center performance. Ongoing coaching reinforces the skills, techniques, and methods learned in training.
Educate agents on the big picture, tell them how they can boost the company’s brand image, and monitor calls in real-time. Monitoring ensures that agents are following best practices protocols.
Empower agents to make decisions
Internal policies can often hold agents back. The more complicated your internal policies the harder it is for agents to help customers. While internal policies are important, give your agents permission to go off script when necessary, which can boost first call resolution rates.
Share examples of best practices
Monitor and record all your calls. That way you can review the exact transcript of a call when working with agents and share best practices with them.
With the exact script in front of you, you can highlight exactly when a call turned for the better or worse, and/or show the agent the best way to either handle an objection or upsell the customer.
Dedicate one person to monitor calls
Dedicating one person (or team) to call monitoring and analysis frees up your managerial staff to do what it does best—manage. It also frees up supervisors to be supervisors and enables them to focus on key activities like agent coaching, manage the floor, and planning.
Provide ongoing training opportunities
Technology offers managers dozens of ways to tell which agents are performing well and which are not. Use these capabilities to help you grow and manage your team by offering ongoing training opportunities. Creating an agent team with a diverse set of skills also helps boost performance.
These eight proven ways can increase your call center’s productivity. That’s paramount these days given today’s hotly contested marketplaces.
Boosting your call center’s performance can turn it from a cost center to a profit center. It also can turn your inbound call center into a competitive advantage.
And these days SMBs need every competitive advantage they can get.
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