Contact centers are usually the intermediary between companies and their customers. Their main purpose is to help customers interact with products and services, provide useful information, and assist in sales or technical issues (among others).
Unlike traditional call centers, which rely only on legacy phone systems, successful contact centers use a wide range of channels (mostly digital). However, this also means companies need more agents working in the background, which can be problematic without an efficient management system and enough well-trained agents.
To solve these problems, many companies use outsourced IT help desk services to provide the necessary technical support to employees and customers. But if you’re looking to improve and stand out in front of the competition, there is more you can do regarding customer experience and employee satisfaction.
We compiled a list of best practices that contact centers can use to grow, and we’ll show you how to use them to ensure smooth business operations in 2023.
Best Practices for Customers
1. Focus on Creating a Positive Customer Experience
Today’s customers are demanding and don’t like waiting long for a reply. This is why many people don’t like dealing with traditional call centers, where waiting times can get ridiculous. Contact centers with an omnichannel approach have already solved this issue by offering customers various contact options, such as email, live chat, or chatbots.
Another issue that can affect customer experience is the direct interaction with a human agent. Customers get frustrated if they don’t feel valued by the agent or get passed from one agent to another and have to re-explain their problem each time.
Therefore, contact centers must provide their agents with the right tools and knowledge so they can professionally and respectfully address each complaint or request. For instance, customers that have a long relationship with a brand expect agents to know some of their personal data, such as name, address, and previous interactions with the contact center (if any).
Creating a positive customer experience is not an easy feat, but according to a recent HubSpot research, 93% of customers will happily return if they liked the interaction with the customer service.
2. Step Up Your Technology Game
Contact centers implementing an omnichannel approach are already one step ahead of traditional call centers. However, in today’s fast-paced world, it may not be enough just to add other communication channels. You also need the right technology to help process real-time data and deliver a positive customer experience.
Modern customers (especially younger generations) are more likely to work with an intelligent chatbot or engage in a discussion via live chat than send an email or make a phone call. Intelligent chatbots and live chat platforms are AI-based tools that can have human-like conversations with customers and offer answers to basic questions. Plus, these tools stay active day and night and can handle several customers simultaneously. This frees human agents’ time and allows them to focus on more complex issues.
Best Practices for Improved Performance and Employee Engagement
1. Train & Motivate Your Agents
Well-trained and motivated agents are the core of a successful contact center.
Good training starts with onboarding and continues with on-the-job training. Also, you should include supplementary courses and training sessions to ensure your agents are up to date with the latest trends. For better motivation, contact centers should also implement reward systems that make employees feel heard and valued.
In all fairness, constant agent training can be a sizeable financial investment. But this investment has a positive ROI since your agents will be more confident and productive, which translates into happier customers who will love to return.
In summary, investing in your agents is beneficial not only to your team and customers but also to your business as a whole.
2. Allow Work From Home
As more people find working from home is the most rewarding, talent will start to migrate towards companies that understand this aspect. So, this can be an incredible opportunity for contact centers looking to gain more customers.
Furthermore, modern technology makes it easy to implement a phone network that extends outside the office and transfer phone calls from classic lines, such as PBX, to Android or iOS devices.
However, for security reasons, this also means the contact center must provide employees with the device(s) and a suitable phone plan. Depending on the number of employees working from home, this can get quite expensive. To cut down costs, you can check iSelect mobile phone plans to research the market and find the best plans that fit your business needs.
Best Practices to Keep Up with Contact Center Compliance
1. Stay Up-to-Date with the Laws in Your Region
Every business and industry are subject to different legal requirements, and the only way to ensure you’re compliant is by knowing the laws and regulations.
In the US, for example, contact centers must adhere to all the laws that impact the business, not just the federal ones. Contact centers must also pay attention to data protection laws and the data security methods and policies that must be applied to prevent data breaches and repel cyberattacks.
It’s also crucial that you provide your agents with compliance training, so they know their obligations and how to comply with the relevant laws.
2. Create a Knowledge Base for Your Agents
A knowledge base that is easily accessible is a great way to reduce waiting times for customers and allow your agents to do their job properly. That’s because this is a resource that includes (or should include) all of the important information that agents require to provide great customer service.
For instance, a contact center’s knowledge base can include information such as:
- Policies on how to deal with difficult customers
- Procedures to follow for different types of interactions
- Answers to frequently asked questions
- Troubleshooting guides
- Detailed information on product updates or new releases
- Tips on how to handle a complaint
When all of this is compiled in one place, agents can quickly and easily access the information they need to resolve customer inquiries. This reduces the amount of time spent handling each call and improves the rate of first call resolution (or FCR).
However, keep in mind that designing and maintaining a knowledge base is no easy task. It requires thoughtful and careful planning to include all necessary and relevant information. For this, you should also involve key stakeholders, such as the customer service team, product teams, and IT teams.
Also, once the knowledge base is set up, it’s crucial to keep it updated. You also need to monitor usage and performance indicators so that the knowledge base continues to meet the needs of agents and customers.
The above practices are a good starting point for any contact center looking to improve and grow. However, each business is unique, so the types of practices it needs will change depending on circumstances, geographical positioning, industry, and more.
Overall, the secret to any successful business is the capability to adapt and optimize to keep up with a dynamic industry and increasingly demanding customers.