As we near the end of the year, call centers everywhere are looking back on 2022, evaluating the performance of their agents and business as a whole and figuring out things that need to be improved for the coming year. Even if the agents working in your call center did excellent work in 2022, providing top-notch support to customers and increasing customer retention rates, not taking steps to support them in the new year would be a mistake. Constantly working to help your agents do their jobs better will not only encourage and inspire them to do so, but it will also reduce agent turnover and strengthen your business overall. Here are four ways to improve the performance of your call center agents in the coming year.
- Track the Right Metrics
Data is your friend as a call center manager—collecting data on all the calls that go through your call center will help you understand the most common issues customers and agents are dealing with as well as how agents are responding. But there is a lot of data you can collect and it is important not to get bogged down by statistics that don’t have a significant effect on the success of your business. In other words, make sure you are tracking the right metrics and making changes to your protocols accordingly. Our advice: Focus on the metrics that most immediately impact customer satisfaction, like average customer wait time and first call resolution. These will tell you how successful your agents are at solving the problems customers are presenting and can prompt adjustments in staffing and/or training that will improve these metrics.
- Optimize Your IVR
Speaking of things that impact customer satisfaction, struggling to reach the person who is best equipped to deal with their issue is something that will not leave customers satisfied. One way to avoid these struggles is to update and optimize your Interactive Voice Responder according to the most common call types, making it easier for customers to reach the proper person in your call center. Not only will this boost customer satisfaction but directing calls to agents that they are equipped and qualified to handle will also make their jobs significantly easier.
- Empower and Reward Agents
If an agent is forced to end or transfer a call without having resolved the customer’s inquiry it is going to yield two incredibly frustrated parties at the end of the day. Removing handcuffs that prevent agents from handling certain issues on their own and empowering them to come to creative solutions to problems will increase first call resolution while also giving agents agency (no pun intended). This is especially critical if your agents are working remotely, as it is more difficult for them to consult with supervisors or other team members during a call who may be able to help them come to a solution. Then just as crucial as empowering agents is making them feel valued and appreciated through incentives or rewards. Again, this is super important if agents are working remotely and lacking the physical presence of their team around them. The more agents feel like valued members of your team, the harder and smarter they will work.
- Choose the Right Call Center Software
Say you are tracking the right metrics, regularly updating your IVR and giving agents the power and support they need to succeed. While excellent steps, none of it really matters if you have your agents working with call center software that is difficult to use and does not directly support their ability to do their jobs. Your call center software should streamline the processes your agents use most often, providing easy access to the tools they need—whether that’s the interactive script, the reporting dashboard, or any number of integrated apps that they might use during the course of a call. If you have not found the right one yet, there’s no better time to make a change. Contact us now to learn why CallShaper is the right call center platform for you.