Call centers are popularly known as “electronic sweatshop” and its employees are referred to as “digital slaves.” Every time you put up with a scripted call from a customer service representative, you get an inkling of the repetitive and staid nature of their job.
For them, it is an unending toil in a cramped cubicle farm, conversing with customers who range from naïve, to annoyed, to furious, all for a paycheck that is barely over the minimum wage specified by the government. Add to this the presence of bossy supervisors and a shaky growth curve, and it’s no wonder productivity at call centers is one of the worst among all industries.
But this does not mean the productivity figures of call centers should stay the same way forever. There are ways in which you can bring them up and this blog is dedicated to ways to enhance their productivity.
- Empower Your Agents
One of the easiest ways to maximize the performance of your workforce is by empowering them to make impactful decisions. You can start by not constraining them to follow a predetermined course of action to resolve an issue. Give them the liberty to use their own ingenuity to resolve a problem. This will instill a sense of purpose in the mind of these employees. The end result will be a more motivated employee willing to go the extra mile to solve issues faced by your customers.
- Prominently Display Call Stats
This move can help you tap into the competitive nature of your agents. By displaying all the real-time stats and other things that a particular agent is doing right on a screen, say a wallboard, you are necessarily doing two things. One is you are motivating other agents to be on their toes; while the other is you patting top performers on their back and boosting their morale to continue with their winning ways.
- “Outsource Inspiration”
As per a recent study, the productivity of agents can go up significantly once they come to know about the true impact that they are having on customers. For instance consider the example of an experiment wherein a group of agents, who were raising funds for a student scholarship program, met a few beneficiaries of this program and got to know about the positive impact that they are having on the lives of these students.
Within a span of 30 days, the agents who were involved in this engagement had increased their weekly phone time by a whopping 142% and their fundraising efforts jumped by a staggering 171%! In comparison, the other agents who were not part of this experiment showed no change in their performance. Hence make it a point to share success stories, positive experiences and other constructive outcomes with agents.
- Offer a Call Back to Customers
Nobody wants to be stuck waiting on the phone for an extended period. Hence go out of the norm and replace hold-time with a call-back. This will not only reduce call abandon rates and improve the experience for callers, but will also make the job of your agents much simpler.
Increasing the productivity of call centers isn’t as easy as being bossy and pushing your agents to be automatons. It requires inspiring agents using out-of-the-box approaches, enhancing their engagement with their work and leveraging new-age solutions such as call back services. If you can take a simple, unassuming approach to tackling these focus areas, you can reap huge rewards with regards contact center productivity.