One-third of customers will leave after one poor encounter with the brand.
59% of consumers have higher expectations for customer support than they had a year ago.
If you want to make your customers happy, you need to focus on delivering remarkable customer service.
But how do you do that? Of course, it largely depends on the type of technology you use and the effectiveness of your agent talking skills.
To help you achieve your goals and increase revenue, there are certain call center best practices that you should implement in your contact center.
Let’s delve into it.
Best Call Center Best Practices to Improve Call Center Performance
1. Hire Skilled Staff
Call center agents are on the front line speaking with your customers every day. They are the ones who get to hear customers’ questions and concerns and try to solve the challenges your customers are facing.
As a call center manager, you need to be mindful of hiring staff that will not only support your customer but will also provide an open feedback loop to the management. This will help improve your call centers in areas they lack behind.
Set up your team for success by hiring the right personalities with the right mix of skill sets that includes both attitudes as well as aptitude.
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2. Create Call Center SOPs
Standard operating procedure (SOP) is a set of documents that contains guidelines on almost everything, including staffing schedules, call load forecasting, specifying how calls should be monitored and reviewed, and how to handle certain situations.
In short, SOPs ensure compliance within the call center and reduce complexities.
It is advisable to include SOP in your company’s knowledge management database for easy accessibility. Make sure that your employees know how to access your company’s knowledge base to find information.
3. First Understand Then Explain
The success of customer service is more than just resolving customer issues. When you interact with your customers, they might make judgments about you within an initial few seconds.
Hence, you should aim to impress callers by actively listening to their problems patiently. Once you have understood their issues, you can then try to solve them in the best way.
One of the call center best practices is to focus on providing value and being as helpful as possible.
4. Set Proper Scheduling
One of the most challenging tasks of call center managers is to deal with its call center agent scheduling. At the onset, the job of the manager might seem like a cakewalk – that includes only shouting out orders. But the truth is afar.
Call center agent scheduling involves managing and assigning tasks to every agent in such a way that the call center can reach its optimum performance level.
That’s why it’s essential that every call center manager set the weekly tasks list, monitor call volume fluctuations, and check agent availability.
5. Train Your Agents Effectively
Customers are relying on your agents to solve their issues. By providing adequate training, you can ensure that your agents are well-equipped with all the required knowledge. They won’t have to place customers on hold every time they come up with a new query.
Furthermore, training should be continuous. It will help your team sharpen their call center skills and result in less churn rate if they see an opportunity for growth.
The training module should cover product knowledge, soft skills, and have proper documentation of the same.
6. Leverage Call Monitoring Tool
Call monitoring tool enables you to record all your customers’ calls, which are generally used to study and analyze quality control. These insights help call center managers to know if the customers are getting the right responses.
In fact, many call monitoring tools enable users to listen and train their agents on live calls.
By recording customer information (name, phone number, etc.), agents can follow-up with them again after the call.
7. List Helpful FAQs and Tutorials
70% of customers now prefer to see a company’s website include a self-service application. This Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) acts as an easy-to-navigate and helpful resource center for our customers. And the best part is that those are available 24*7.
Over time, you will realize how most customers have the same queries again and again. That’s why it is smart to publish detailed tutorials or FAQs that you can share with anyone in just a few clicks.
An effective FAQ can also help reduce incoming calls and increase sales while building trust.
8. Take Feedback Score from Customers
A survey found that 90% of customers want organizations to take feedback from them. Out of this, only 37% of customers got to provide feedback occasionally.
17% of all customers say that they never get the chance to offer feedback.
Gathering feedback as a call center best practice can really pay off as it will help you understand how your customers perceive your call center. It will give you a good idea of how your call center is performing.
9. Offer Incentives to Agents
One of the call center’s best practices is to reward your agents for accomplishing their targets or goals.
Rewarding your employees is a great way to boost their morale. After all, they do the heavy lifting of continuously interacting with the customers. You can offer financial incentives, paid time off, or organize team events. In fact, recognition alone can improve your employee satisfaction level and promote a positive work environment.
Ensure that you track individual and team-based performance by defining various metrics like average handling time, customer satisfaction level, etc.
10. Create and Measure KPIs
Another call center best practice is to track various metrics.
There is a vast number of metrics to track. But not all of them are valuable for every company. Once you have defined your goals, you can set metrics, aka Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that align with business objectives.
The set of key metrics that you need to evaluate depends on various factors. Some of the most significant metrics for call centers are –
- Average wait time
- Abandoned call rate
- Call volume
- Customer satisfaction
- Contact quality
- Voice quality, etc.
11. Avoid Negative Language
Are you call center agents saying, “You shouldn’t have done this’ or ‘I’m sorry this happened to you?’
Agents should use a positive tone while interacting with customers. Their main focus should be the solution and not the problems.
Similarly, there might be situations where agents won’t have solutions to their problems. For instance, “We can’t refund a process for you.” In such cases, instead of stating what you can’t do, describe what you can.
Having a script and providing extensive training to your agents on what to say and what not to say can go a long way.
12. Use Previous Data to Making Decisions
We live in an era of big data. Gathering data and analyzing them can help formulate effective strategies that can lead to success. The best way is to group this historical information and analyze trends.
These trends will reveal what worked in the past, and you can make decisions based on facts rather than just your gut feelings.
Final Thoughts: How Do I Run a Successful Contact Center?
Your primary focus should be on improving the customer experience. To do that, choose tools and implement call center best practices to enhance productivity at work.
When you consistently deliver a good experience, it will help build long-lasting relationships with your customers, leading to organizational financial success.