Maintaining Optimal Service at the End of Each Shift
If one of your contact center shifts ends at 5pm, have you ever noticed what happens starting around 4:30?
Often, average handle time drops – which sounds good until you realize that it’s happening not because agents are being more efficient, but because they have one foot out the door already and are rushing through their last few calls.
That’s a problem. The customer that calls at 4:50pm deserves the same amount of time and attention as the one who called near the beginning of the shift.
Here are some suggestions to help make that happen.
A “Last Man (or Woman) Standing” Contest
Offer a small incentive to the last agent still on the phone when the shift ends. If there’s a healthy competition between agents, you may find more of them sticking around longer not just for the prize, but also for bragging rights.
Encourage a Culture of Professionalism
This starts in training. Be clear on an agent’s responsibilities, and how the job should be approached. Praise good performance regularly throughout each shift, and reinforce the values of the company and the importance of each customer at every training session. If the groundwork has been laid correctly, agents won’t need as much outside encouragement to maintain their professionalism through the end of every shift.
Select More Late-Shift Calls for Quality Management Scores
Let your agents know that future training sessions and quality management assessments will utilize a higher percentage of calls taken from the last half-hour of their shifts. When agents know they will be judged on their performance and on the outcomes of these calls, they will give them the attention they deserve.
Close the Phone Lines Early
Some contact centers have elected to close phone lines a half-hour before the shift ends, allowing agents to use that time to wrap up and post-call work, or perhaps even switch over to online chat, a less stressful means of customer communication.
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