Contact Center Management: Balancing Your Top 3 Priorities Before the New Year

Being the manager of a call center is not an easy job. In fact, it is quite difficult to consistently and constantly juggle employees, customers, and the budget with excellence. But when these three pillars of your contact center ecosystem are in balance with each other, you will be operating with maximum efficiency. Likewise, if one of these pillars suffers, they all suffer. 

When you see the equilibrium between your employees, customers, and budget beginning to falter, it is important to take steps towards a solution. You must understand what makes these three pillars hard to balance and utilize data to take the first step towards diagnosing your contact center’s pitfalls and determining a solution.

Employees

One of the biggest struggles call centers face is employee attrition. Did you know that call centers rank among the highest turnover jobs in the world? When you consider the stress that comes with high call volumes, upset customers and low pay, it is not a surprise that keeping call center agents happy in their profession becomes a challenge.

A high rate of turnover causes obvious disruption to your operations while also negatively affecting your budget. Constantly onboarding new employees is costly and wasteful. You should be directing more resources towards employee training and retention because an increase in job proficiency leads to an increase in job satisfaction, eventually leading to lower attrition rates. In addition, when your agents stay, and ultimately become experts within the industry, customer satisfaction and your bottom line will rise.

Customers

With the on-demand culture we live in, customer expectations are on the rise. More than ever before, customers are not satisfied waiting on the phone for someone to pick up. And they surely are not satisfied when they have to repeatedly explain their problem to multiple agents. They expect you to be fast, accurate and fully informed. Technological solutions exist that can solve these problems and your customers know it. Furthermore, they expect it.

Before a customer contacts your call center, they have likely already attempted solving their problem themselves through your FAQ resources and the good old Google search bar. By the time they pick up the phone, choosing to reach out to a real human, their frustration is already on the rise. This tension is further reason that customers expect their issue to be resolved the first time they contact your support lines,  making it incredibly important that your agents are appropriately trained and ready to provide the top-notch service your customers are seeking.

Budget

Unfortunately, many contact centers are viewed as “cost centers” by upper management because of the budget they require for personnel and operations. When budgets are increased in the company, the call center tends to be last in line.

As the manager of a call center, you should always be looking for ways to lower costs and optimize your budget. Properly trained employees and satisfied customers will play a big part in growing that bottom line. Beyond that, if your agents are truly doing an excellent job, they will begin cross-selling and upselling customers who originally called in due to a negative experience. With this skill, your “cost center” can begin to be seen as a “profit center.”

Take the First Step Towards a Solution

Keeping your employees, customers and budget happy is no easy task, but you cannot make a positive change in your contact center until you know exactly where it is that your operations are falling short. It is easy to see when your employee retention rate is suffering, your customers are unsatisfied, or your budget is out of control, but do you know why these things are happening? Without understanding where your call center’s pitfalls are, you can’t fully understand why you are struggling, let alone, how to fix it.

The first step towards discovering where your call center needs improvement is by collecting and analyzing key data points. The five most important workforce management metrics that we suggest you track are:

  1. Customer Satisfaction
  2. Average Handling Time
  3. Contact Quality
  4. First-Call Resolution
  5. Service Level

If you’re feeling overwhelmed about where you should start, we’ve put together a whitepaper that explains why these are the most important metrics to track and how you can use them to grow your bottom line.

With the last quarter of the year upon us, it can be tempting to let your current processes ride and wait until January to step up your workforce management game. What if you instead used Q4 as a time to implement changes that will have your contact center operations ahead of the game in 2020? Get in touch with Verint today and we will help you get there.

 

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