Call Center Workforce Optimization is a strategy that streamlines call center platforms and technologies to augment employee engagement and provide customer satisfaction through the use of digital channels.
Purpose of Call center Optimization
The idea behind Call center workforce optimization is to streamline call center technologies, systems and digital channels such as mobile, web and social media into a single point of management. This ensures customer interactions, employee performance and business processes are more transparent and visible.
By analyzing all customer interactions, business enterprises can get better insights on how to coach employees and improve workflows to improve the overall quality of customer service.
The workforce quality and the ability to empower call center agents is directly proportional to customer experience. Nearly all prominent companies have successfully improved their customer service strategy by modernizing their call center workforce management. Most call centers are empowering their employees in such a way that they are able to do good in both customer support service as well as sales-related goals. As a professional business practice, all contact center management and staff should be well acquainted with the ways to enhance sales through the call center.
Ways to Improve Call Center Optimization
1. Ensuring Accurate Customer Service Data:
It is essential to collect and carefully analyze the customer service data for evaluating and enhancing a call center’s performance. This data will help call centers in formulating strategies that can assist them in attaining their desired customer service and sales goals. By compiling data from the different departments, a sound business strategy can be formed.
2. Improving the Call Experience for Customers:
In order to ensure that the leads convert to sales, it is essential to maintain a good customer experience. For example, if the very quality of call is poor, chances are the customer might never turn up again. Call center agents must understand that customers have other commitments as well. If customers start getting frustrated, it will eventually lead to a significant dip in sales, no matter what the investment may be in the pay per call strategy.
Strategies that can help enhance call experience:
- Respecting customers’ time and ensuring that they do not wait beyond an acceptable time limit
- Focus on calls that deserve your attention. Interacting with “timewasters” ultimately leads to “waste of time”. Therefore, the onus is upon agents to carefully scrutinize the callers so that genuine customers get the best experience.
- Ensure that the call route for each customer is kept as short as possible. Detours and delays are directly proportional to increase in customer frustration.
3. Agent Optimization:
Behind successful call centers and their ability to generate revenue is good agent optimization. Call center agents must be put through carefully planned tests to ensure that they match the expected quality that is required to bring in the desired sales. Investing time and money in agent optimization and educating them about techniques like up-selling and cross-selling is vital to bring about that desired conversion of leads to sales.
4. Improved Agent Productivity
Reduction in excessive agent idle time and agent turnover can help a call center achieve maximum ROI. Accurate forecasting of the demand for the employees is crucial for call center success. While understaffing would lead to excess work pressure on employees, over-staffing would increase costs. By predicting the number of agents required at any point of time, call centers can optimize workforce and running costs.
According to the “Emerging Workforce Study”, 41% of employees plan to leave organizations that have a “poor” training score as opposed to just 12% for those organizations with a rating of “good”.
The call center’s management must focus on providing effective training sessions through workshops, e-learning, virtual assistance and scripting tools in order to equip the agents with the confidence to tackle any scenario.
The top-performing agents must be put in the spotlight during these training periods. Because they have been in the frontlines and are better equipped to give practical first-hand tips on how to handle calls effectively. This will set the bar high for new hires and give them a better insight into how to effectively execute their job.
According to The Global Call Center Report, experienced call center agents receive an average of six training days per year.
Agents must be regularly educated about new methods, practices and processes. Ensure that the agents are always at their best by continually providing refresher courses, training on new products or software and training to improve professional development.
6. Updated Tech
Imagine 2 scenarios: One where you contact a call center and are asked for your contact number, following which you’re put on hold for another minute while the agent looks up your number against a spreadsheet. And Number Two: Where the call center’s software automatically identifies your number and presents the agent with your details so that you can jump straight into your enquiry.
If you chose the latter option, you should understand that customer service departments are capable of generating better revenues when they are equipped with the right technology. For instance, it is essential to have a CRM system in place that captures relevant information across all communication channels. In order to ensure that leads generated are by a real-time referral strategy, there has to be an integration between the call center system and the sales management system.
The system needs to be well equipped with the required technology and tools. A customer support system should be intuitive and accurate. According to Gartner “Contact center infrastructure and CRM functionalities are increasingly integrating, and sometimes competing, to deliver customer engagement capabilities.”
It is known for a fact that almost 95% of the customers use more than one channel to communicate with companies. Presently, clients can communicate using multiple methods such as web, mail, chat, phone, e-mail, text, etc. Companies must offer multiple channels for clients to communicate and make customer interaction as convenient and fast as possible. In this regard, Chatbots and social media customer service interactions have proven to procure better results than other forms.
7. Leveraging AI for better ROI
Artificial Intelligence algorithms are challenging human intelligence. With their inherent pattern recognition, self-learning and cognitive capabilities, AI powered algorithms are better at performing complex jobs with amazing speed and accuracy. Businesses are getting better day by day with the help of predictive analytics, using artificial intelligence (AI) applications to help streamline call center experiences for customers and agents.
The following emerging technology areas are likely to become more significant in coming times:
- Behavioral routing software that is known for matching call-center agents with customers with the help of personality and behavioral characteristics
- Artificial-intelligence agents who are powered by advanced machine-learning methods. They can attend to the queries of customers without any human intervention. The next level of IVR.
- Various Visualization technologies that allow enhanced interaction between live agents and customers
By making use of the opportunities to increase efficiencies, customer experiences, and strategic insights, call center leaders can move beyond cost center perceptions and towards profits. It actually costs six or seven times more, on average, to gain a new customer than to retain the one that already exists. In ecommerce, for example, while new customers spend an average of just under $35, returning customers average closer to $55.
In order to keep customers coming back for more, one has to provide helpful sales support and a troubleshooting team that is capable of efficiently solving any issue at hand. One of the best ways to guarantee a steady flow of returning customers is to ensure that you have a solid, reliable and helpful customer support team, system and tools in place. In other words, the better your customer support, the more revenue you’ll drive.
Outsource Call Center Services to ExpertCallers
Expertcallers is tremendously experienced in providing high quality inbound and outbound call center services to various business verticals around the world. If you are an up and coming business who cannot afford a dedicated customer service center, talk to us to explore outsourcing options.