Having the right people answering phones in your inbound call center is a crucial element of sustaining a successful business. That said, this is hard to achieve in the first place, let along maintain over the long term. There are countless roadblocks and problems call center staffers run into when trying to build a call center that adequately supports their customers while also supporting the ultimate goal of creating a profitable business. Here, three of the most common problems and advice on how to solve them.
Problem: Too much agent turnover.
Solution: Adequate training and support.
Agent turnover is a big problem in call centers. Not only do many people see working in a call center as a temporary or transient position, but it is also very easy to drive smart agents out of your call center if you are not supporting them properly. One big driver of agent turnover is when agents feel like they are in over their head after being thrust into a position of dealing directly with customers without sufficient training beforehand. This can lead agents to grow frustrated, feeling like they started the race four steps behind and without a way to catch up. To prevent this, make sure to build time into your hiring and onboarding process for thorough training before new agents go live on the phones. The more prepared and supported they feel, the more likely they are to succeed. And the more likely they are to succeed, the higher the likelihood they will be happy in the position and want to stay.
Problem: Staff and demand don’t align.
Solution: Scaling numbers and offering assistance.
Demand for support via a call center is almost always changing. It will change based on the time of day, day of the week, or week of the year. It will change based on when the company is launching new products or making changes to their existing ones. It will change based on when the company enters a new market or exits an old one. And because demand is always changing, that means that optimal staffing numbers for your call center are going to change as well. If you think you will be able to hire a certain number of agents and have a set number of them working every day without ever changing it, you are likely mistaken. When it comes to staffing numbers, flexibility is crucial. You must have the capacity to scale staff up and down when demand calls for it. In addition to scaling your staffing numbers, you may consider offering your agents assistance in the form of self-service or automated options. Having these as a first line of defense, if you will, can reduce call volume for agents in a way that may reduce the need to staff more people at a given time.
Problem: Budget doesn’t support need.
Solution: Consider outsourcing.
As important as your call center is to making your business go, the budget for it may not be as large as that of other departments in the company. And in some cases, the demand for your call center may grow without the budget growing along with it. In these instances, especially if you were previously running an in-house call center, you may want to consider outsourcing. Outsourcing your call center has numerous perks, chief among them being that it is significantly less expensive than an in-house call center. It also gives you access to talented professionals for whom the work is a career, plus makes it easier to offer support 24/7.
One more way to ensure that your call center runs smoothly: equip them with a top-of-the-line call center platform, like CallShaper. To learn more, request a demo today.